Raising Chickens –
Bogus Trend of the Week?


This Slate writer thinks so, but you tell us.


  1. Well,

    The writer appears to be very bitter about life in general. LOL

    I don’t know, I live in a rural area, but more and more people here ARE raising chickens, and more and more people in town are talking about it.

    At least it’s not the ostrich craze. That one really happened as well, but….. talk about egg on your face! Lots of people lost a lot of money, and the free-range ostriches that ranchers set free because they didn’t want to feed any more put some pretty hefty dents in a lot of Texas Ford F150s.


  2. Most trend pieces are overblown. My guess is that backyard chicken trend has less to do with the recession (i.e. short-term insta-trend) and more to do with the long-term, very slow and incremental movement towards eating locally. It’s just chic right now to connect things to the recession.

  3. I think it is a little trendy, yes. I suspect this will die down in time.

    I still want them though! Well, I want ducks, not chickens, but it’s pretty close to the same thing.

    Are all trends bad just because they are trendy at the moment?

  4. Sounds like the inane ramblings of a bitter journalism student who’d rather than have covered ANYthing else, but instead was told to cover the ‘trend’ of urban chicken ownership. Is it just me or is Slate becoming snarkier & snarkier ?

    As one who bucks trends, I reject the idea of owning a flock as trendy. I think it’s a gradual awakening to what we’ve been putting in our bodies, and what we should do about it.

  5. I want them too – but nothing to do with the economy or recession. Most people want them for nostalgia, local food, green movement, etc.

    They are doing the same false cause-and-effect with veggie gardeners too. There is absolutely no proof that it is increasing due to the economy tanking — actually veggie gardening was on the upswing a year or two before the mortgage market fell.

  6. Yes, it’s trendy, hence ANNOYING.

    But it’s a nice idea, too. We had a bantam hen in the garden when I was little, and she helped my mom with critter control. Problem was, she really liked earthworms. She layed little bantam eggs, too, which I had, boiled, for breakfast.

  7. Why didn’t the Slate guy call McMurray’s Hatchery and other catalog purveyors to see if their numbers were up?

    As far as chickens being “time-consuming,” mine require less care than my stupid goldfish–and give me a lot more in return.

    Filthy? My hens are total beauty queens! I’m the one who’s filthy.

    Costly? Na, once the coop is made, they mainly eat kitchen scraps, like the steak sandwich one child rejects for lunch.

    But, if I had the funds, I would definitely hire Michelle D. to design a new coop. I’m envisioning something involving columns.

  8. Shucks, I was really getting into the idea of having chickens up UNTILL the current economic scare got me thinking about money. Now I figure I should wait, because new projects are always the most expensive at the outset.

  9. My take on the story is that this writer is complaining about how a trend is reported in the media. I agree with the writer in that reporters should use better data if they are going to report on something like a trend. Numbers speak for themselves.
    I read a lot of blogs on raising farm animals so to me, it appears that there is a trend but since I don’t have historical data, I can’t really tell.

  10. That’s Jack Shafer, the resident curmudgeon. He used to be editor at Washington City Paper, where his credo was, Never Report A Story That Has Already Appeared In Any Of The Other Local Media. That’s why the cover of the City Paper usually consisted of something like, Co-Eds Joined At Hip Unmasked As Secret Metro Graffiti Artists. Jack specialized in print media coverage and had a not-very-secret crush on Maureen Dowd. He was moved rather suddenly from D.C. to a sister publication in San Francisco, but didn’t last long before surfacing again at Slate. He’s really a lovable contrarian. Obviously, on this particular morning he must have forgotten to eat his locally pastured omelet and arrived at work a bit grumpy.

  11. Some chickens make good pets. They’re favorite food is bugs.
    We give them free access. So far no one’s caught a disease from the shit that come’s off my shoes.
    My awesome Aussie saved a chicken the other night. Lots of commotion. Missing hen feathers and a touch of blood.
    She left an egg at the back door today.
    I love my hens.
    Got to lock them at night. Raccoons sure are cute killers.

Comments are closed.