The Millenial and Chickens

By Dawson Lewis

Urban chickens, Rooftop Gardens, Urban Bees, City Gardens. What do these things have in common? They are all growing trends with the Millennials Generation. More and more Millennials, roughly the generation born after 1982, are getting into raising their own food. They are joining the New York City Beekeeper Association, laying out gardens on apartment roofs, and chasing chickens in their back yard. Increasingly they are wanting to make that connection between their food and the work of their hands.

The National Garden Association reported that Millennial gardeners increased from 8 to 13 million between 2008 and 2013. (1) Last year the Chicago Botanic Garden built an almost half acre garden on top of McCormick Place convention center. (2)

And of course chickens. From Los Angeles to New York, Portland to Miami cities are increasingly opening the door to let residents, many of them Millennials, keep a few hens. According the USDA 1% of the homes in Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City have hens. (3)

What is behind all of this? There are various reasons.  Some have a desire to have a smaller “footprint” and to live more sustainably. Others want that personal satisfaction of doing something for themselves. Whatever the reason, the question for Pierre is will we join the trend by allowing hens? If not I am afraid that we risk making our city look rather odd.

(1) https://www.dropbox.com/s/asqrzzjttajgy28/NGASpecialReport-Garden-to-Table.pdf

(2) http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/24/225745012/why-aren-t-there-more-rooftop-farms

(3) http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/poultry/downloads/poultry10/Poultry10_dr_Urban_Chicken_Four.pdf