Thursday, May 21, 2009

MeetUp Success

The first Asheville City Chickens Meetup was successful.  The group discussed various aspects of raising chickens in Asheville including how the rules have changed and what it takes to get started.  It was exciting to see how much knowledge there was when the group came together collective.  If you are interest in taking part of future Meetups then head to

Friday, May 15, 2009

Letter in the Asheville Citizen-Times

Some things folks interested in raising chickens ought to know

Stewart David, Asheville • May 15, 2009

Now that regulations for keeping chickens in Asheville have eased, I'd like to offer some information to those intent on raising chickens

Half of the birds born at commercial hatcheries (males) are unable to lay eggs. They also aren't useful for meat production since they don't yield the quantity of flesh of the “broilers” genetically manipulated to grow to optimum slaughter weight in six weeks.

So these “byproducts” are killed the day they are born. Common methods include being ground up alive and suffocation in plastic bags.

Almost all egg producers “dispose” of their flocks annually. This practice isn't limited to factory farms, where hens spend their entire lives crammed into feces-encrusted cages, unable to spread a wing. Local “free range” farms do the same. 

That's because, although hens lay for many years, production diminishes slightly when they become a year old. Businesses are about maximizing profits, so cost/benefit ratios mandate replacement. “Spent” birds can be purchased inexpensively from local farms, and doing so rather than buying from a hatchery would be a compassionate, life-saving decision.

I hope people acquiring these intelligent, interesting beings come to see them in a new light. To learn more, visit

Stewart David, Asheville

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ordinance Effective Date

Just a quick update on the April 28, 2009 changes to the City of Asheville Animal Control Ordinance.  After speaking with Brenda from Animal Services and Maggie (the City Clerk) I found out that the changes to the ordinance will not take effect until July 1, 2009.  We will work on getting a quick guide together to help people through the process of obtaining a permit, etc, but it sounds like we still have a little while to go before everything is in place.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Asheville City Chickens Meet-Up Group

Now that Asheville's Animal Control Ordinance has been changed to be more permissive of urban chickens, it's time to shift Asheville City Chickens from a grassroots political group to a group of engaged urban chickeners interested in raising chickens in a city setting and dedicated to helping others in their endeavors.  In order to facilitate that Cathy has set up a account to allow us to arrange get togethers among those interested in urban chickens in the Asheville area.

The first MeetUp will be on May 21, 2009 at 6pm.  We encourage everyone to sign-up on to get updates on our future MeetUps and to sign up for the first MeetUp.   Hope to see everyone there!

Check out our page.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Chicken Whisperer

I was surprised to learn that much like dogs and horses, chickens also have their very own whisperer.  Seen here, Andy Schneider, is considered somewhat of a national expert on all things chickens.  You can check out his blog here.  You can also check out his updates on Twitter here.  

The show comes on Saturdays at 9am EST (catch it here), but if you can't wait until then you can get your fix from the show archives here.

His blog also has some excellent links to resources and information on chickens in general.

Public Radio Piece

An interesting piece on the fight nation-wide to relax restriction on urban chickens.  It's interesting to see that this movement is still gaining popularity across the United States and that the arguments against it are almost always the same.  There is also a brief mention of Asheville's efforts. You can download the piece in MP3 format or listen on-line here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Centralized Poultry Production and the Flu Crisis

"Backyard or free-range poultry are not fuelling the current wave of bird flu outbreaks stalking large parts of the world. The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is essentially a problem of industrial poultry practices."

With the swine flu pandemic spreading across the country, it's important to evaluate what causes such illnesses to spread.  It's also important to learn how to keep food sources secure, healthy, and safe for consumption.  This article explains the role that centralized poultry production has played in some of our current pandemics.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Information on the flu and urban chickens

The top-down global response to bird flu

From the artcle:

"We live in poverty, without any basic facilities and no one coming to enquire about our problems. All of a sudden all the television crew, media persons and doctors wearing surgical masks are roaming our dirt roads to collect more statistics. Our chickens were our only source of income and now they have destroyed even that. Is this what is called governance?"

Check it out here.

Articles and Sites on Urban Chickens

Thanks to Kim S. in upstate New York for her support of Asheville City Chickens and these links.

Article on getting started with Urban Chickens (there is some good information on how you can get started and what mindset you should be in now that chickens might be a possibility for you).

A website with all things Urban Chickens... while its good to stay local, they have some items you might not be able to find yet in Asheville.

Another resource for chicken supplies.

Chatterjj left this site in the comments of a previous post.  It's a forum with locals from upsate SC.

If anyone knows of any resources please leave us links in the comments.