The Oh So Fashionable Backyard Flock

by Scott Smith

Madonna with chickens

Before we moved to our little farm I never would have guessed how very fashionable it’s become to have a backyard flock. People from the city to suburbia and of course “country folks” all seem to be getting in on flock keeping. Even Madonna has been seen feeding her flock on the pages of Vogue Magazine (Aug. 2005). Mad City Chickens of Madison, Wisconsin got their local government to pass a law that allows residents to keep a small flock (four) birds in their backyard (they used to have to keep them in their house?). Informational websites are not all ugly Frontpage monstrosities slapped together in a hurry. There is Terry Golson’s elegantly slick, absolutely-hired-a-graphic-designer Chicken Keeping (can’t wait to add her book The Farmstead Egg Cookbook to my shelf). There are all kinds of little companies, like The Henspa or the cleverly named Omelet where you can buy a fashionable, premade domicile complete with chickens for a mere $900 in a variety of colors. But, if you really want to one up the Joneses, hire an architect. It’s the new thing.

Our chicken coop may not be the Ritz, but I’m still in fashionable company with the likes of Madonna in my keeping of chickens. I think I’ll slip on my Manolo Blahniks right now and go check on the girls.