Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicks flying out the coops as Portlanders flock to suppliers

The chirping of 70 of the cutest, fluffiest chicks you ever saw filled Pistils Nursery last Tuesday. Customers in the store on Northeast Mississippi Avenue took turns cooing over the newborn birds.

Two days later, the store was quiet again. All of the chicks had been sold.

The slow economy has egged on Portlanders' already strong do-it-yourself mentality and created an unprecedented demand for chickens, as more urbanites discover the benefits of companion animals that produce free breakfast.

More about chickens

Before you rush out and set up that coop, check with your city on what regulations it has about keeping chickens. Here are some.

Portland: You can keep up to three hens without a permit as long as they live in sanitary conditions and don't cause obnoxious smells. Permits for more hens are $30; adequate facilities are required.

Vancouver: You can keep as many hens as you like as long as they are healthy and safe and don't cause odor. No eggs can be sold without a permit.

Beaverton: Chickens are prohibited except as pets inside the house.

Hillsboro: Chickens are prohibited with this exception: You may apply for a permit if you live on a single-family one-acre lot along the floodplain or at the city's outer edges. The city is reviewing this policy; changes are not expected before 2010.

Information about raising chickens:

Information about chicken breeds: The ICYouSee Handy-Dandy Chicken Charts

Pistils sold about 600 chicks last year, said manager Mandie Rose. This year, they're selling about twice as fast.

Read the rest


Lauria @ Brackenbury Lane said...

What a beautiful feather pattern! Do you know what kind of hen that is?

Christa said...

I can ask.

Pio the Meyers and Jenell the Human said...

My parents have 10 acres and now have chickens. They have problems with the foxes getting to them though. My friend in "city" New Jersey had 6 chickens, I think it was illegal but no one cared. They poop a lot but the eggs are GREAT!!! How organic can you get?

Christa said...

It is called a Silver Sebright Bantam.

The Avian Medical Center is a great place. I go there.


Lauria @ Brackenbury Lane said...

Thanks for the info Christa! It's beautiful!