On Monday night, Denver City Council gave a big ol’ rubber stamp to urban homesteading when it approved a new ordinance to streamline ownership of both egg-laying hens and milk-producing goats. While Denverites were already technically allowed to keep a limited amount of livestock, the amount of red tape and fees (up to $250 annually) meant that only the most dedicated folks had bothered to go through the process. Now, with a one-time $20-$25 license fee, city dwellers can keep up to eight chickens or ducks and two dwarf goats in their backyard without having to deal with a zoning permit. Male animals, according to City Council, are still “prohibited primarily to minimize noise and odor impacts.” (Billy goats are notoriously stinky.)

One of the main players in the chicken battle was Sundari Kraft, a local food and sustainability activist, who has some amazing timing: She just published the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading two weeks ago. Kraft’s book is a great primer, covering homesteading basics like vegetable gardening and preserving, as well as advanced skills like aquaponics (raising tilapia!), keeping bees, and, yes—how to milk a goat.

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