Animal shelters across the country are experiencing an inundation of chickens as a result of buyer's remorse, and Marin is no exception.
According to NBC News, "the growing trend of raising backyard chickens in urban settings is backfiring," as people with dreams of fresh eggs and quaint coops are finding coal in their stockings.
"Some hipster farmers discover that hens lay eggs for two years, but can live for a good decade longer, and that actually raising the birds can be noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive," NBC reported.
Mill Valley city code allows residents to keep up to a dozen chickens but crowing roosters are banned.
“Many areas with legalized hen-keeping are experiencing more and more of these birds coming in when they’re no longer wanted,” said Paul Shapiro, spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States. “You get some chicks and they’re very cute, but it’s not as though you can throw them out in the yard and not care for them.”
Mary Britton Clouse, who owns a chicken rescue in Minneapolis, said the chicken population flux in shelters and on Craigslist is an unfortunate result of the same farm-to-table movement that created the popular vegetable-filled, home-delivered CSA boxes.
“It’s the stupid foodies,” she said. “We’re just sick to death of it. ... People don’t know what they’re doing. And you’ve got this whole culture of people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing teaching every other idiot out there.”
If you're interested in responsibly owning chickens, you can contact the Peninsula Humane Society, located in Burlingame, by calling 650-340-7022.
Do you have experience with chickens? Every regretted buying an animal? Tell us in the comments!