With all the fuss in the news nowadays about sustainability and local food, one valid point needs to be made. In short, local food is good for local business.
While it is true that home egg-producers are going to result in a few less eggs being purchased off the shelves, it is also true that those same folks are going to need some of the following:
Live chicks and/or hens
Feed – alot of people prefer organic laying ration for their backyard flocks
Chicken coops – from the simple to the elaborate, Amish-style to urban chic – builders take note!
Chicken fencing, water and feed bowls/bottles, etc
Coop “litter”, ie straw, wood chips, etc – whichever people choose for coop cleanliness
Composting barrels (optional of course)
Chicken Baby-sitters (optional – if you go on vacation, some enterprising person will need to gather eggs and check feed and water supplies daily! Maybe the same ones who check your dogs/cats/plants?)
Chicken-raising books (optional – but helpful! Libraries can also be great resources for this)
It only makes sense that responsible urban hen-keeping will be of benefit to local businesses. Local restaurants may even buy a few extra eggs, to provide their customers with the finest and freshest tasting breakfasts and baked goods?
Many cities have “Coop Tours”, selling printed brochures directing visitors to a dozen or so local coops, along the lines of garden tours. Proceeds often go to “feed the hungry” or similar projects. Coops can be as simple or elaborate as people desire, and can be worked into an existing landscaping scheme by a good landscaper for the upper-end addresses.
Having a reputation for being supportive of sustainable living brings in new citizens and new businesses with the same bent. In short, towns and cities that embrace responsible hen-keeping are doing a good thing… not just for the benefits of those backyard few, but for the businesses being supported at the same time.