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My part in micro-economics: backyard chickens

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This post isn't about the future of big-J Journalism.

Or about Big Ideas.

But an editor does other things in his day than edit. And sometimes what he does is get hooked into a Big Idea anyway that is conveyed via Journalism.

So that's more than enough technical justification to write about my newfound interest in chickens.

Check out today's New York Times article on urban poultry. Earlier, there was this Boston Globe piece on the same.

Of course, the Monitor was there before the in-town rooster crowed -- way back in October, our own Eoin O'Carroll had this early-bird report on backyard henkeepers.

Quoting Eoin:

"Many large US cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and Seattle apparently never thought to ban the domesticated fowl within city limits. These cities have served as an incubator of sorts for the emerging movement, in which urban henkeepers post online tips on building coops, caring for the birds, and fending off raccoons and other predators....
"The benefits of keeping hens are myriad, say proponents. According to the website BackyardChickens, considered authoritative in the online urban-chicken-enthusiast pecking order, three hens will net you, on average, two eggs a day. And the eggs are said to be tastier and more nutritious than the ones you can get at a supermarket. Hens also perform some gardening work by eating weeds and pests and depositing a high-quality fertilizer. Many also claim that the birds make great pets, but this is debatable."
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