Friday, February 18, 2011

Raising Chickens in Omaha - Fun, Rewarding, AND Legal |

Raising Chickens in Omaha - Fun, Rewarding, AND Legal |

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  1. Text only version:
    City Chicks Have More Fun!
    Raising chickens in Omaha is fun AND legal.
    By Christy Pooschke
    Published on January 17, 2011 : 4 comments

    Admittedly, eating “local” is easier said than done….especially when you live in Nebraska… and there’s a foot of snow on the ground!

    However, there are many foods that can be acquired locally in Omaha throughout the harsh winter months - like eggs!

    And, if you haven’t already, perhaps this article will persuade you to consider raising some laying hens of your own!

    What’s that? You live in the city?

    No problem! It’s perfectly legal to raise laying hens within Omaha city limits (as long as they’re enclosed)!

    I love the idea of raising my own healthy food, so I started gardening several years ago. Now, I plan to start raising chickens in my Omaha backyard this spring, but that’s all very much in the planning stages, so for this article I’ve turned to some local friends of mine who happen to know a thing or two about raising “backyard chickens.”

    Last week, I visited the home of local city-dweller Kate Bodman who is raising chickens right in midtown Omaha! As you can see from the photos here, the chickens have brought, not only eggs, but joy to the Bodman family. Kate was kind enough to share with us her reflections upon the joy of raising chickens in her average-sized, urban backyard…

    Urban “Chicken Mama”

    The concept of owning chickens bringing “joy” to a person’s life would have made me raise an eyebrow a few years ago. When a neighbor of mine had chickens, I felt it was questionable in an urban neighborhood setting. Flash forward a few years, and I am eating my words. Now when I hear a person mention that they have a backyard flock, I feel an immediate kinship.

    To me, owning chickens means something. It sends a message that these are people who are doing what they can to be good stewards of their resources in their own way. They want sustainably-grown local foods. It doesn’t get any more local than one’s backyard! They view their property as a tool to be used to increase their self-sufficiency. They may even know that lawns came into being when landed gentry wanted to show they were rich enough to keep a manicured parcel out of production.

    These fellow “chicken mamas” and “wannabees” cross all preconceived notions of the type of person who keeps chickens. I get a lot of joy from interacting and meeting these new friends.

    It gives me hope.

    Another joy of owning hens is the entertainment they provide – have you ever seen a hen lift her petticoats and “run”? Enough said if you have. It is an indescribable vision that can only make you smile.

    These backyard chickens have not only led me to new friends and made me laugh; they have given me something else - every day they leave me their little gifts of colorful eggs. A day that is not quite going right is quickly perked up by these little orbs. A quick treasure hunt is an easy way to pull my daughter out of a funk, too. We aren’t the only ones that benefit from these eggs either. We love sharing with friends and neighbors. It is our way of spreading the joy - we hope to spread, not only the joy of chicken ownership, but also the joy of providing for oneself.