Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chickens Impact on Urban Quality of Life

Do backyard chickens have a negative impact on quality of life? Chicken proponents would argue no, they actually improve a community's quality of life, while opponents aren't so sure. But are there any data? A planner with the City of Springfield Missouri looked at the 2008 CNN Money Magazine "Best Places to Live" Ratings. According to his findings, seven of the ten top-rated best small cities allowed backyard chickens (and seven of the top eight slots). Does that mean chickens made those communities better? Not necessarily. But it does mean backyard chickens didn't knock those places out of contention -- that backyard chickens were not symptomatic of communities that had lost their way, but rather that a few hens were positively correlated with small cities that were doing things right.

Intriguingly, a November 15th, 2010 article in the Coloradoan suggests that the top-rated city in the 2008 Best Places to Live list, Fort Collins, Colorado, now allows chickens. According to the article "Most municipalities in the county, including Fort Collins and Loveland, in recent years have adopted regulations permitting backyard chickens."

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