In this era of economic uncertainty and frequent health scares due to lax government oversight of food manufacturers, some Americans may be interested in raising their own livestock and food animals.
Proponents of this approach stress the independence and self-sufficiency that it can bring about. This is especially true in times when excess government spending threatens to produce inflation, which may lead to dollar depreciation and stores running out of food as people begin to stock up on supplies.
Raising one’s own food animals is also a good way to ensure cost-effective access to fresh meats and dairy, and can protect consumers from salmonella and other food-borne illness that have been in the news recently. That is because family-raised animals eat healthy, natural feed free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other toxins that are commonly used on commercial and industrial farms.
Chickens are among the easiest to raise on urban farms, in terms of ease of care, time commitment and cost, according to BackyardChickens.com.
There are many informational resources, including online and paper publications, that can answer many questions that would-be farmers may have, including how to procure chicks and how to care for them at different stages of their lives. There are also non-profit organizations that support urban chicken keepers and provide networking opportunities.
Other types of animals that can be raised on urban farms include ducks, goats, rabbits and bees.