How Fort Collins' Chickens Are Faring

October 13 2009, 12:20 PM

Across the nation, more than 30 cities passed ordinances that make it legal for people to keep chickens in their backyards, including Fort Collins, where one year later all the squawking over whether to pass the new law has settled into a soft, but distinct, clucking sound. Thirty-six households have since acquired chicken licenses and are apparently farming their own super-fresh eggs. And just six of the more than 14,300 calls animal-control officers received involved chickens. "Not much has happened," Bill Porter, director of animal control with the Larimer Humane Society, tells 9News. Four roosters in town upset neighbors, but those were "accidents," Porter tells the Fort Collins Coloradoan, saying the owners "thought they were buying hens as chicks only to discover they were roosters." The ordinance allows residents to keep up to six hens, regulates coops, and prohibits slaughter. Susan Orlean recently wrote about the history of chicken farming and its revival for The New Yorker (subscription required), which features video of the author with her chickens online. Orlean also took some time to answer reader questions via chat.