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Everything You Need for Urban Chicken Raising from The Chicken Whisperer

Updated on January 25, 2015

Backyard Chicken Coops for the City Chick

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CC licenses/by/2.0/ | Source

Small Chicken Farming

Andy Schneider has become famous in his own Alpharetta, Georgia as well as throughout the United States as a top chicken whisperer. He helps people raise chickens in the city and country.

As an advocate for human chicken raising and egg production, he promotes the concept of fewer chicken and egg farms and a greater number of small back yard flocks in America. This provides free range, fresh eggs and an array of learning experiences and fun for children.

Mr. Schneider is known as The Chicken Whisperer™ and produces a radio show, a blog, and an ongoing tour of the country in promotion of back yard chickens. I don't have chickens, but I follow The Chicken Whisperer™ on Facebook (see links below).

Interestingly, livestock scientist Dr. Temple Grandin (reference: Relevant Links, below) feels that the domesticated chicken is the next animal the nation should highlight as one needing better and more human living conditions. Andy Schneider is the man to see about that. He is the spokesman for USDA - APHIS Bio-Security for Birds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feel that backyard chickens are safe and not likely to carry diseases like avian flu.

Chickens Online

The weekly 90-minute radio broadcast is hosted by Mr. Schneider with his co-host Pat Foreman, who has written several books about sustainable living. These two broadcasters talk about chickens, how to choose chickens for the urban family, and cover many related topics.

Guests on the show each week may be anyone from any aspect of sustainability, especially those involving food plants and livestock. Between the two co-hosts, this man and woman have the expertise of everything sustainable.

Their they travel with their work from the back yard garden and chicken flock to the 4-H Clubs and classrooms of America to lobbying state and local legislatures for bills that permit additional communities to raise chickens at the individual home level. An archive of online shows is located on the blog and you'll find the link below.

The Chicken Whisperer has one of the most widespread online presences I have seen. It is featured in several places on the Internet, but without ineffective redundancy. These places include a website, two blogs, an online radio show, an Examiner page, and social networking through Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook page caught my attention first, with its happy yellow chicken logo. The Facebook page announces guests and topics on the weekly show, informs readers of special events, and announces new legislation in towns across America that will allow chickens to be raised in the local backyard at home. It is a good page to follow.

The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens: Everything You Need to Know . . . and Didn't Know You Needed to Know About Backyard and Urban Chickens
The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens: Everything You Need to Know . . . and Didn't Know You Needed to Know About Backyard and Urban Chickens

Raise chickens in the city or county to produce your own local eggs and contribute to sustainability. With his own radio show, this author is tops!


Long raised on Ohio farms, chickens have come to the large and small cities of the state. The capital, Columbus, Ohio is one of them.

The Top 5 Best Backyard Chicken Breeds recommended by several advocate groups include Plymouth Rock (very friendly and good for eggs and meat), Rhode Island Red (lays brown eggs), Leghorn (noisy), Jersey Giant (also recommended highly for meat), and Americaunus, Araucana or Americana, which lay blue eggs.

Americauna Chicken, also called the "Easter Egger"

Click thumbnail to view full-size
All of these are natural colors among best backyard breeds.This is the Spanish cousin, the Araucana.
All of these are natural colors among best backyard breeds.
All of these are natural colors among best backyard breeds.
This is the Spanish cousin, the Araucana.
This is the Spanish cousin, the Araucana.

Even Actors are Choosing Chickens

Actor William H. Macey spoke recently of purchasing six baby chicks through the mail to raise for egg laying in Los Angeles. He built a chicken coop as well and said he expects 4 eggs a day. His children are taking an active part in raising the chicks as well.

In fact, he found that one chick was missing from the coop. Going into the house, he finally discovered the chick sleeping in the bed of one of his daughters, its head on the pillow and body under the covers.

Speaking of actors and a chicken, a documentary film called Mad City Chickens is making a tour of the US. It illustrates the lives and progress of individuals and families that have taken up the activity of backyard chicken raising.

Check out reputable chicken suppliers like My Pet Chicken and consult with them for the best choices. Most local ordinances allow for 6 to 12 chickens total per household/yard. Roosters are apparently not necessary unless new chicks are a plan, so neighbors will not be complaining of early morning crowing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feel that backyard chickens are safe and not likely to carry diseases like avian flu.

Choosing Backyard Chicken Coops

I am impressed by the growing numbers of people purchasing assembly packages for chicken coops at home and even designing and building their own.County extension services connected with local universities often offer free designs and blueprints for them. Building coops can become a family project, if you want to involved your children.

Many of these chicken coops are in the design of small human houses and create decorative fixtures in the backyard as well as a shelter for then hens and chicks. Coops, therefore, do not necessarily destroy the landscaping or aesthetics of a city block.

A selection of chicken coops in a range of prices is available at farm supply stores, some home and garden stores, and from With the growing trend toward sustainability, small chicken coops are becoming more frequently available at a larger number of retailers. Just as with bird houses, building plans are available online and in books; but do not forget to check online at various university/county extension services.

How about chickens in the city?

Would you consider raising a small flock of chickens in your backyard?

See results

A Chicken House on the National Register of Historic Places

Octagonal Poultry House in Cold Spring, NJ.
Octagonal Poultry House in Cold Spring, NJ.

Fun Chickens

What spring season in America would be complete with those candy Easter Peeps and the related pseudo-scientific website of extracurricular experiments on a village of Peeps. Visit Peeps Research for experimental laughter.

If you like Matt Groenig's Life In Hell with the strange yet familiar one-eared rabbit, you will probably like Savage Chickens. It is a comic strip by Dan Savage that has been collected into at least one book. Each Savage comic is portrayed on a Post-It Note, but a fun collection is available and some of the strips are also seen on the hilarious Internet site ICanHazCheezeBurger under LOLCats.


A Close-up

Cooking Lesson: Swedish Omelet


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I envy you your group of chickens, but one day I hope to have my own.

    • profile image

      Adam Belcher 

      5 years ago

      Nice hub, I enjoyed reading. I keep chickens and have enjoyed it very much.

    • Dubuquedogtrainer profile image


      7 years ago from Dubuque, Iowa

      Very interesting and well put together hub! Voted up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you very much!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      7 years ago from The Zoo

      This is such a well rounded and complete hub...very nicely done and useful.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That is great to hear. Happy chicken and eggs to you this year!

    • dagny roth profile image

      dagny roth 

      7 years ago from Neverland

      Good hub Patty! We just purchased chickens this year and are really excited about including them in our family and having fresh eggs! I do think there is a growing trend to promote sustainable living and many of my suburbian friends have small chicken coops in their back yards! Voted up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      The radio show on the Internet is pretty good to hear. Hope he likes it! Thanks for posting a comment, rwmaurer.

    • rwmaurer profile image


      7 years ago

      A friend of mine raises chickens - all sorts of breeds - I will forward him this hub as he will thoroughly enjoy!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      The online radio show is very entertaining as well as informative, too. There are no chickens in our own neighborhood yet, but the neighbors have a pig.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I've never heard of a Chicken Whisperer before. What a fascinating line of work. I actually know a few people who keep chickens for eggs or as pets. Thanks for explaining what's involved. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      WOW! - Really, that sounds like fun. And your own eggs, too. I love chickens.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      WOW! That one large "chicken house" is really something!

      I don't know how long it's been, somewhere between 25 and 30 years since my grandfather and I came home from First Monday, the world's largest flea market, which isn't so far away from here (held the first Monday weekend of every month) in Canton, Texas....with one rooster and a couple hens.

      We've had chickens ever since, mostly bantams, and in every breed and colouration imaginable.

      Those things start making noise several hours before dawn, or any dang time they please, really. They're all about fifty yards to my right, but they sound like they're somewhere to the left of my little trailer home....I don't know how they pull such shenanigans!

      The eggs are a bit smaller than those from a grocery store, but the chickens supply all we need, and the Dad has names for each and every one of them...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I enjoy your Hub as well, since I know little about chickens really, although I visit a lot of them at the State Fair every year.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      Wonderful chicken information Patty. I have enjoyed my small flock of egg layers for going on two years now, and I have to tell you there is nothing like a farm fresh egg laid 10 minutes ago! I really like the concept of more small backyard flocks resulting in better Quality lives for the flock and healthier nutrition for the consumer. This is another outstanding hub. BTW--Thanks for the hublove!



    • philipandrews188 profile image


      8 years ago

      Useful and interesting hub!Thanks.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image


      8 years ago from East Coast

      Yey for humane raising of "food" animals. A little kindness goes a very long way. Interesting hub.

    • DTroth profile image

      Diana Owens 

      8 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

      Hi Patty...

      Great article!

      I've kept chickens for many years and this has a lot of good info.

      Thank you for sharing it with us. (:

      Take care and stay safe,


    • cangetthere profile image


      8 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub thankyou. I have 3 old hens. They have stopped laying for the winter and I am not sure if I will get another season from them. They can retire happy in the orchard Think I might get 3 young ones.I really enjoyed your hub thankyou...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like this hub! Back home in Jamaica my family had a chicken farm. I use to play with them everyday they are very affectionate and loyal

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Had to read this - back yard chicken raising is so cool, I'd love it. And a fresh egg is so delicious - most grocery stores, well, the eggs have no taste in comparison.

    • chim4real_2006 profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a nice article. keep it up.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I had 30 hens for a few years. They are wonderful pets, very friendly. They are good mothers, love to eat bugs, like to be petted, and have a really interesting social life. We put down a 4 inch layer of mulch every year in their yard. They would search through that mulch every day, eat bugs and seeds, and of course, fertilize it thoroughly. It never smelled bad, was always clean and at the end of the year we would dig it all out and spread it under all our trees. Great well-aged fertilizer.

    • citychick profile image


      8 years ago from Ulster County, New York

      OMG, great hub, and I loved your funny. I love chickens, and know people who keep them humanely and sell the eggs. It was funny to hear them talk about the lengths the chickens would go to, to hide their eggs! And do they love corn! I, myself, eat neither chicken nor eggs, so they have no gripe with me...I think they sense it, somehow. Anyway, thanks for the hub.

    • seanorjohn profile image


      8 years ago

      Children love taking care of chickens. My friends bought theirs from a battery farm. Thus rescuing the birds from a miserable existence. Voted up.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I would dearly do this and wished it for many years. But l;uck keeps avoiding me.

    • BrightMeadow profile image


      8 years ago from a room of one's own

      I do agree that a backyard coop is a good idea. I don't like to think about the way animals are treated in factory farms and feed lots. Just got six chicks. I am really excited. I had no idea there was a "Chicken Whisperer." Thanks for sharing that. I must look him up.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi Shirley - I could not eat a chicken I had raised, either.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have 4 chickens and have enjoyed them greatly. I am excited every day when I get the eggs and I love to watch them! However, they will die an old age because I will never kill them for food. :(

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you to all the visitors so far who have posted comments! Urban chicken raising is a big movement and I admire Chicken Whisperer immensely.

      I'm sure we'd like to see coops from other places and johnb75 - that makes me think of Chicken Little.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good Hub. There are many delicious recipes and ways to prepare chickens. However all chickens are not fun and all are not good for you.

      I know about some chickens since I was born in the city and I was partly raised on a farm. Not only did I experience good fried chicken on the farm but I experienced "scared" chickens (people) in the city.

    • marshacanada profile image


      8 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Nice hub.Thanks Patty. A friend got lots of hreat eggs from a flock of "silent hens" in our neighbourhood. She did this for years until a nasty neighbour complained. Now the City of Vancouver BC has passed a law permitting chickens in our city: puck-puck-puck-cock-a-doodle-doo.

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 

      8 years ago from Indiana

      The treatment of chickens, while not often spoken about, really is a matter that needs attention.

      A friend of mine raises chickens. A guy gave him a Tyson chicken once (I don't remember why) and he put it in with his other chickens. Because of the hormones Tyson had already injected into the chick, it grew three times faster than the other chickens. Finally it was too fat to move, had a heart attack, and died.

      The big chicken manufacturers only care about how quickly they can make chickens big enough to sell... and that's not EVEN getting into how they're kept all squished up.

      Good for the chicken whisperer... and good for you for writing this hub!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Chickens are not only fun, but they produce a wonderful food source! We love our laying hens and the eggs they give us each day.

      I had to laugh when I saw the video of the chickens with the Swedish Chef - I remember that!

      Keep up the great hub,


      Urban Chicken Consultant and Poultry Sitter

    • earnestshub profile image


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is a great hub on keeping chickens. I like the idea of making their lives more enjoyable too! After all, they are one of our best sources of food. Sadly that is true of the chicken as well as it's eggs.

      I am glad I was not born with the potential to become delicious food!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, when I was a child we had a couple of chickens. You always write the most interesting hubs, with the most interesting slant on them. I like the historic chicken house, to me it looks like the chickens were living more comfortably than some people.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      8 years ago

      I went grocery shopping the other day and I'm thinking I might need one of those backyard chicken coops.

      Fun video.


    • profile image

      Gigi Thibodeau 

      8 years ago

      I love this hub! I pan to raise my own chickens, so this was useful for me, but it was also a lot of fun to read, and I love the photos of the coops. Voted up!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Esther Shamsunder 

      8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      My grandma had a chicken coop in her backyard in Delhi. Every time we visited, it was fun to watch the chicks and collect eggs.

    • chspublish profile image


      8 years ago from Ireland

      Great hub and I love chickens. I use to keep them for eggs and raise ducks and turkeys also.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      8 years ago

      Dearest Patty,

      I love the way you are always 'thinking outside the box' with your approach to Hubs! This one is no exception!

      Chickens can be the most delightful pets for people who take the time to learn about them! They are fun, funny, affectionate, low maintenance, come running when they see you, eat unwanted bugs in the yard, love to sit in your lap and be petted, have gorgeous plummage, happy chickens add to an environment of calmness, make sweet little cooing/clucking sounds, or alert you to visitors . . . and on top of that they provide eggs! We can learn much from chickens about sustainability! What lovely little creatures!

      Thanks so much for sharing!!

      Blessings always, EarthAngel!


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