For those of us who don’t own chickens (Chicken Lady’s sister who is making this post) but greatly admire them, the Internet is the next best thing to having half a dozen or half a hundred happy hens in the backyard. One way to get a good solid fix daily is to subscribe to the Google Alerts service. Simply write in what you’d like to hear about each day or week, and Google Alerts will send you a tailored list of links to blogs, articles, web sites, and other resources.
I typed in “Urban Chickens” about a week ago, and have learned a lot about city ordinances banning, encouraging, and otherwise regulating domestic fowl in cities, towns and suburbs throughout the U. S., with some forays into Canada. But the links also included other topics, such as this New York Times article from a few months ago about luxury chicken “co-ops.”
A quick trip over to http://chickenco-op.com/ lets you see this chicken coop in its summer environment, high atop a sunny skyscraper roof with greenery and scenery in the distance. There’s no mention of the coop’s winter location (the living room?), but the brochures do point out that solar powered fans keep the hens cool during the summer. The basic setup is $3,500, and urban hen owners can assemble it themselves in a day, using “basic tools.”
The chickens’ social and personal needs are both considered: “Exclusive and social spaces combine, allowing chickens to interact with neighbors and retreat to luxurious private nests.” This would go over well in Switzerland where social animals such as “pigs and birds” are required to have companions. The surroundings don’t provide much opportunity for some of a chicken’s favorite pastimes, such as hunting for bugs to eat or enjoying dust baths, but perhaps there are chicken day spas somewhere in Manhattan to take your hens for these delights.