Man's best... hen?


Dogs become friends and cats purr perfectly, but can either lay eggs with golden yolks that stand upright at attention? No, and maybe that’s why more and more homeowners are choosing chickens as pets. “Enthusiasts have been pecking away at multiple local laws,” reports USA Today, persuading officials in Fort Collins, Colo., Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash., and even New York City to allow backyard chickens. Homeowners love the fresh taste of newly laid eggs, and the savings during this grim downturn are a bonus. Rob Ludlow, a chicken-booster in Pleasant Hill, Calif., says he thinks that raising chickens hearkens back to the victory gardens planted by Americans during the two world wars; it gives us a feeling of independence and confidence. Ludlow started a Web site five years ago,, and in the last two years, he says, it’s become a burgeoning community of 19,000 members from around the world. In Brainerd, Minn., though, Sonya Chamberlain is still the only person licensed to keep backyard chickens. She thinks she knows why: “People who grew up in rural areas seem most opposed to the chickens, which they see as livestock,” she explains. “They said, ‘What happens if there’s chickens running amok?’ ”

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