Raising chickens doesn’t require much time or space, and provides a variety of benefits to whoever decides to embrace the flocks. None of this is news to Anne-Marie Anderson, who’s taught several classes about chicken-keeping for the Wylde Centerand organizes their annual urban coop tour.
Anderson is also founder and Head Gardener of The Celtic Gardener, a landscaping company in the Decatur area that creates sustainable gardens and specializes in native plantings, Southern heirlooms, urban vegetable gardens, chickens, and beekeeping.
Anderson will lead a session called “Eggs for Breakfast: Backyard Chickens 101″ at the 18th Annual Georgia Organics Conference, Recipe for Change: Better Farms, Better Flavors, which will be held on Feb. 20-21, 2015, at the Classic Center in Athens, Ga.
We talked to Anderson about her love for raising chickens, what’s needed to raise them, misconceptions, and why so many people have been interested in having chickens on their own backyards.
What’s your favorite thing about raising chickens? Chickens love life, love food and love anything shiny. It’s infectious!
What are some common misconceptions you see among folks raising chickens for the first time? That keeping chickens takes up lots of time. There IS a sharp learning curve while you build a coop and raise chicks, but adult layers require just minutes a day.
What do you NEED to have to raise chickens? Common sense, a little space, and positive local ordinances.
To what do you credit the increased interest in keeping chickens in urban areas? The dawning realization that chickens offer so many benefits in such a small package: food, fun, waste disposal and pest patrol services. They’re less work, and less noisy, than a dog or children! As a Brit, I’m always surprised that there isn’t more vociferous concern about animal welfare issues too.