Urban chickens a boon to small business development

There are many good reasons for cities to allow chicken husbandry, including autonomous food production, fostering better connections to our food supply, and because they are relatively very tolerable pets.

Chickens have been legal pets in Seattle for more than a decade. In 2010, the city of Seattle voted to raise the chicken limit from 3 to 8 per household as part of their urban agriculture initiative. Although I was disappointed that roosters were now officially banned in the new initiative, I am pleased the City is taking more seriously local, sustainable food movements.

I admire small businesses that are born from insight into a local need. The introduction and subsequent rise in popularity of raising urban chickens has led to many such businesses. It used to be that backyard chickens were all DIY. This worked well for those of us both handy and innovative. But many potential chicken owners were deterred by the DIY aspect – starting with ‘How am I going to build a coop?’.

And so local chicken coop building companies began appearing to fill this need. Several local examples include:

Better Coops and Gardens:

Better Coops and Gardens
Comfy Coops:

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 12.44.03 PM
Mainstay Coops, which hand builds elegant subtle A-frame coops
Saltbox Coops – one design was so popular that it is exclusively available now through Williams-Sonoma Agrarian
Kippen House became so popular for their modern coops that they have published a book of design plans and are no longer taking orders!

To meet the needs of urban farmers, local pet stores began carrying chicken feed and accessories. But now chicken and urban farming-focused businesses and co-ops have also appeared.
Seattle Farm Supply
Seattle Farm Co-op

The next small business to appear was chicken sitting!

Seattle Chicken Sitter

Seattle Chicken Sitter Webpage

The latest small business to service Seattle’s urban chicken owners is a contract service that will clean your chicken coop. The cleverly-named ‘ReCoop‘ has a tagline that says it all: “Foul Management System”! Cleaning your coop, yard, and roosts can’t be a fun job, but with the extra tag “We’re here for the poop”, you can bet they will make good use of the ‘waste’ by composting it for re-sale.


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1 Response to Urban chickens a boon to small business development

  1. Tim says:

    There is another local urban farming centered business in Seattle you didn’t mention, which we frequent, The Portage Bay Grange. They carry a wide array of feed, sell chicks and pullets, have straw and hay and bedding. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Overall a great place! We really like it there so wanted to give them a little plug 🙂

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