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Backyard chickens soar into national news

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Anyone who has a backyard flock in an urban or suburban environment has likely begun their hobby in the last few years. Those with newer flocks have only recently been legally enabled or have just caught the backyard chicken craze. This craze has grown exponentially in the last few years, however, with the online community BackyardChickens.com having grown from a couple thousand in 2007 to nearly 110K at the time of this article's publication. At any given time, there are twice as many unregistered users reading the site's many informational articles and community forum threads as regisered users logged in, leading one to believe this trend is waxing.

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ABC News' Good Morning America has gotten in on the reporting of this return to homesteading, and recently published a story on the reversal of a New Jersey town's chicken-keeping ban ordinance. This is just one of thousands of communities across the US to clarify legal acceptance of a homeowner's right to produce food on his or her property, including eggs from poultry. Maplewood, New Jersey, will be holding a lottery for a small number of homeowners to gain permission to have 3 hens each.

Where are you and what are the rules for your local community?

How do you feel about one's ability (or lack thereof) to produce one's own eggs?

If you are in a community that allows chickens, how do you feel about it? Why?

In the coming weeks, I'll share some of the answers readers shared and I'd like to interview readers regarding personal experiences as chicken-keepers or neighbors of such.

Ms. Caldwell can be reached at ChickenColumn at gmail dot com

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