Y2K meal? Backyard chickens!

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California being a "bellweather state," if this effort succeeds, will rules be eased in other places?

(Wonder how many Bakersfield residents know how to kill and pluck a chicken?)

Y2K meal? Backyard chickens

Story at:



Filed: April 26, 1999

By MARC BENJAMIN Californian staff writer e-mail: mbenjamin@bakersfield.com

Is it Chicken Little?

Or will it be a bunch of valuable little chickens?

Bakersfield's Y2K Community Task Force will ask Bakersfield city officials to allow chickens to be raised in back yards.

Task force leaders plan to ask the Bakersfield City Council to suspend an ordinance that prohibits chickens in most residential areas. The proposal would allow residents to keep chickens in their back yards for food if the year 2000 computer glitch renders grocery store poultry and meat freezers useless.

The issue is self-sufficiency and goes beyond raising chickens, said Knute Berry, chairman of the task force and managing director of locally- based Sunny Farms. He said he hopes residents start their own gardens and store food in their homes.

"The ordinance states we are not allowed to have animals for consumption in the city," Berry said. "If you wanted to raise your own chicken for an egg, you can't have it."

He said the plan would temporarily suspend the ordinance to allow chickens within residential areas for a few months before January and until Y2K concerns have subsided. The task force promotes self-sufficiency so the community will not have to use government services, which could become heavily relied upon if the year 2000 computer glitch is as problematic as some fear.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 27, 1999


That is a great idea to change that law, but it will be real difficult to raise chickens in the winter time if the electricity goes out, they need to be kept in at least 65 degrees inorder to keep them from keeping the whole neighborhood up at nigh(they cluck very loud), they do not lay many eggs in the winter and egg production slows down when their moulting. even kept warm. Also, it might be a little difficult to find someone who would be willing to sell chickens in the winter. The chicks are not born untill spring. So I would suggest to get your chicks now. Raise them, and if it gets to cold next winter. you can wring their cute little necks and make chicken soup. Or keep them in the house in a dog carrier but they are messy.

-- vickie haar (vshaar@aol.com), April 28, 1999.

I heard on the radio that the Dallas (TX) city council is proposing an ordinance against roosters with other animals to come later. "It is ruining the quality of life in my district" says one council member. Good timing, huh?

-- Sharon (sking@drought-ridden.com), April 28, 1999.

actually, chickens(hens) minus the roosters are rather quiet. especially at night when they snooze. are the perfect backyard denizens.

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), April 28, 1999.

In regards to having chickens--- paraphrased from Raising Poultry the Modern Way. ......the best time to buy chicks is in late March, April, and May especially if in northern climates. The pullets will start laying in early fall and continue laying for a full twelve month cycle.....

Chickens take several months until old enough to start laying eggs. Unless you can get hens already laying at the end of the year, you are looking at feeding and caring for young chickens that aren't doing a thing for you. We have our 'y2kchickens'---we bought them in March and April. For us, being concerned with y2k, the above time frame was selected as being best to ensure egg production at the critical time. Just my opinion, but time's a wastin'!

-- kat (kat@r-v.net), June 14, 1999.

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