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Added Feb 25 2012

Totally unrelated to each other.
First: anyone know of any good fitness/yoga studios near by?
2: does anyone have chickens in the neighborhood?
Last: does anyone have construction near you? Am looking to salvage bricks, wood, and other masonry for backyard project.

  • I know they have live chickens to sell close by. On Elston and Pulaski there is a place. It is on Elston across the street from Two Way Grill.

  • MilwaukeeMania Negative Nancy

    @S.L. Ick--are you looking for live chickens to eat or to raise in a backyard coop?

    For a yummy chicken soup, there is the live poultry/goat/other animal halal butcher that Jay C. listed.

    But I'm guessing you want to raise chickens. Would Google it. Some of my friends have a coop in their old garage. They went to a Chicago chicken raising convention, with lots of workshops. Logan Square has a chicken raising co-op.

  • Backyard coop; am a member of Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts as well, but am hoping to connect with other urban homesteader-types in JP.

  • 1.

    2. Yes, if you mean rasing chickens ... two of my neighbors. Check out this link...

    3. Nope, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad ;^)

  • BellaV 1st time Homeowner in Jefferson Park since 2012

    I am SO GLAD that someone else mentioned having chickens! I grew up on a working farm, and since I've grown up, I miss my clucky little friends.

    I mentioned to my hubby that I'd like to have a few chickens when we purchase our new home in JP, and he told me I was crazy and that my neighbors would call me the crazy chicken lady! I was very happy to report to him today that infact, several people have chickens in JP.

    Yet another thing to look forward to :)

  • Yeah, my spouse is also less than thrilled. Can't do it for awhile yet, and I think there's hope I will move on, but my library of urban-chicken-related materials keeps growing, as does the stockpile of materials for my coop!

  • southsideandy A South Side outpost in the heart of the N.W. Side

    S.L. Ick: For chicken raising stuff, if you can, go to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, which is coming up in a couple weeks. At least check out who's exhibiting.

    Last year I went and there was a big chicken coop display and stuff. Here's a link to a picture or two that I shot at the show, because a friend's dad was interested as well.

    Maybe you can get some decent ideas, or find a way to mimic some of the techniques if you're building from scratch...

    As for yoga, I can't help ya...nor do I have any construction projects happening around here. Sorry. :)

  • Great photos! And thanks for the show info!

  • Oooo...scratch question 3: just found the building permit section! Hopefully will be able to pilfer some good things from that.

  • Lou

    No roosters allowed ? !

    Why all the hate and discrimination ? !

    Crowing... just think of it as your neighbors annoying dog barking...

  • Yeah, I think the idea behind the banning of roosters has a lot to do with crowing, but in truth, there are breeds that don't crow loudly at all and are definitely more quiet than a lot of dogs. Mostly though, I think there is greater concern about small backyard flocks turning into full-on hatcheries because of owners being unable or unwilling to keep their roosters out of the hen-house, which then leads to a proliferation of chickens, more rats, and more predators coming in from the preserves, ultimately causing greater danger to other domestic pets.

  • Conor McGrath Portage Park

    We plan on putting together a coop and raising a few birds for eggs at some point in the not too distant future. Good to know there are others nearby who are already doing so.

  • Gene 50 year resident of Jeff Park

    There was a family with a rooster by Cicero and Devon many years ago.Every morning as i pulled into the office you would hear him crowing.Roosters,raccoons,chicken hawks,coyotes,deer,this is the third largest city in the country and our neighborhood is bleesed with all this wildlife!

  • OldIrving Anna on a quest for craft brewed "zimne piwo"

    I hear a rooster somewhere in the 3700 block of Kolmar/Kilbourn when walking the dog. There are chickens in a coop in the Villa. In the summer, the owners pick dandelion greens in the alley for them. Organic, no cost and results in tasty eggs.

  • I have 8 chickens. Got them last April for eggs. Great place to buy chicks called Belmont Feed and Seed. Just off the expressway. Great people that have pretty much everything you need. Kids love them, we love them, pretty cool! Trying to be as homestead-y as one can be in a small city lot!

  • Wow! 8 chickens, huh? Love it! I only want 2 or 3 chickens though. I also have some interest in getting goats: Nigerian dwarfs or Pygmy for milk, cheese, soap, lotion, butter, etc.

  • P.s. @Stephen N.: do you have pictures of your backyard-coop arrangement? Trying to amass ideas before committing to a plan...

  • Wow! I don't think you can keep anything that's considered "livestock" in the city; it's on the books. Buyer beware! Don't get stuck with a goat you have to find a new home for! Or a ticket!

    As for pictures, I do have some, but they're not handy. May not be able to put them up for a day or two.

    Eight is a lot of birds, but I have 4 boys, and neighbors/family/friends always want some eggs, so I guess I'll never be short! Aside from my sons, most of these people are willing to pay me for the eggs for the same reason I want them!

    We had a ton of questions too, and the internet has too much info, a lot of it contradictory. Whether we did it right or not, who knows! Good luck!

  • As of 2010, keeping a goat is legal in Chicago, as long as the owner does not sell the animal's milk or cheese. I will have to hunt down that source, but that article is what set me off on the whole "chickens, goats, bees" business since we were about to purchase a house with a yard!
    Will make sure the rules haven't changed before making any such commitments though, and thanks for the heads-up!

  • Stephen N, you've got that all wrong. Keeping of livestock was once not permitted, but the laws have changed. Keeping of livestock is now OK, but slaughter of livestock is not. Pigeons however are whole other kettle of fish, so to speak. I refer you to the following link for additional information...

  • Gene 50 year resident of Jeff Park

    So,is it legal to punt pigeons when you are downtown and they don't get outta the way?

  • Yes, you just can't turn them into stew.

  • @Jim M, good to know! Just when you think you've got all your info straight - still don't think I have room for a goat. Last year, our chickens ran free around our yard for most of the summer until we could get our coop completed (we do have a six foot fence). They ate most of our edible plants we planted in the spring! My wife just said we had to think of it as growing chicken feed that year. I'm too afraid a goat would eat everything all over again. I want yummy produce this year!

  • Does anyone keep bees in the city? I'm too afraid neighbors would complain and that there would be too many buzzing around the neighborhood and people would be scared.

  • According to "The Backyard Goat: An Introductory Guide to Keeping Productive Pet Goats", goats are "browsers" not "grazers", and like weeds, wild herbs, twigs and brush and prefer to eat at shoulder height, so with smaller breeds that get no taller than 17", you'd just have to protect your seedlings until such time as they're tall enough to be of little interest to the goats. Also, they won't eat plants contaminated with goat droppings, which also happens to be great fertilizer!

  • 17 inches? wow! that's crazy! how much milk would you get with a goat that small? (I woul dneed a lot; remember, I have 4 boys!)

    With 8 chickens, I have more than enough fertilizer! I read rabbits have the best "fertilizer". I also have two dogs, whose waste I can not use, just have to clean :(

    That sounds cool, though! Looks like you know your stuff! I'd like to hear how the goat thing works out!

  • Chicago Honey Co-op offers how-to classes for home beekeeping:
    And there is a group in Chicago that meets up:

  • Nigerian Dwarfs give up to 2 qts/day, and Pygmys also give1-2qts/day.

  • when/where would you be thinking about getting one? That sounds cool. Don't tempt me with any more homesteading ideas! I just might do it!

  • OldIrving Anna on a quest for craft brewed "zimne piwo"

    Think you should take the goats along the Metra embankments (see Jeff Park clean up post). They can eat the weeds (and maybe the garbage). Since they're not human, wouldn't have to sign liability releases. Win, win!

  • I'm still pretty far off from the purchase of goats; want to get my chickens sorted first, but when ready, I'd get two (herding animals, they need friends) and start looking at state fairs, breeders, goat-shows (yes, goat shows) and finally goat-for-sale listings. Is possible our friends at Belmont Feed and Seed has info.
    BTW what breeds of chickens do you have?

  • I basically have all different breeds, I wanna see what works well. We have a barred rock, a brahma, three auracanas a.k.a. easter eggers (all different colors), a silver laced wyandotte, a rhode island red, and an isa brown. We basically wanted different colored eggs. We get brown, pink, and bluish eggs all said. Again, a lot of fun for the kids. Our kids range in age from newborn to 12. The older ones know the breeds, know which hens lay which eggs, and help with water, feed, and clean up. Can't teach that kind of responsibility anywhere else.

    We just had a buff orpington that died over the weekend, not sure why. We were pretty upset about it. Another "Dad" job, no less. No signs of disease, plenty of room, plenty of food, not too cold. Perhaps a clogged vent. Didn't want to check after I had already "disposed" of her. Wish I had, though.

  • Monica S. Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association member

    I didn't read all the comments, so forgive me if someone already mentioned this but there's a backyard chicken class at the Chicago Botanic Garden that you can register for. $27 on Saturday, April 27. Take the bike trail from Devon woods up there and you don't have to pay the parking fee.

    If you could ever spare some eggs, please think of me. I miss the fresh eggs from my grandmother's farm. My dogs would make it impossible to raise chickens in our yard, but I've considered it.

  • Alice Jefferson Park Resident

    I sort of skimmed the comments... I live in JP on a standard lot and will be raising chickens this spring. They are schedule to arrive (by US Mail, no less) on April 23rd. We've already built the coop and have done a TON of research on the subject. As gardeners, we're looking forward to the poop! We ordered ours from backyardchickens dot com. We will also be riasing a small amount of bees.

  • Please let me know how the chicks fr: fare: am aware of their service, but the idea of chicks in the mail gives me some anxiety!

  • Alice Jefferson Park Resident

    If I remember this thread, I'll report back! We did the backyard coop tour hosted by Chicagoland Chicago Enthusiests (google group) for two years and found many people got their chicks through them. We hope to be a part of the tour this fall!

  • I know I mentioned this earlier, but I got my chickens from Belmont Feed and Seed last April. I also get my feed there. They have organic feed too, if you want to go all the way (I do). The owners will show you the catalog they use to purchase their chicks, and what kind she is going to order next. We went in and got to pick our chicks, which was fun for the kids, they all got to pick one. Some companies only ship in orders of 25 or more, which is unrealistic for any of us city folk. also, if you do find a supplier that will ship the number you want, they say that under 25 could be a danger to the chicks health, which is why some companies have that policy in the first place. We are happy with our chicks and have had eggs since September. They are also good people for information. I seem to ask a question every time I go!

  • Our Western diet has a very unhealthy imbalance (read ratio) of of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. I hope you are all feeding your chickens high Omega-3 feed so you get healthier eggs. It may cost more, but it's your health.

  • southsideandy A South Side outpost in the heart of the N.W. Side

    I'm glad to hear about all the folks considering bees...I have always wondered where the honey bees that love my Anise Hyssop plant come from, so it'll be nice to "supply" some nectar sources for more local beekeepers via my most native perennials. I'd raise bees myself, but I couldn't find a good place to keep them around here, to be honest...every square inch of my postage stamp yard (like all of yours, mostly) is pretty much spoken for.

  • BellaV 1st time Homeowner in Jefferson Park since 2012

    Well- my husband raised a very interesting question when I (again) mentiond having chickens when we move. What do you do with them in the winter? The farm I grew up on was in the south, and if the weather was less than stellar, the chickens went into the barn, coops, or wherevre else they chose , but we never actually HAD to actively protect them from the cold. What would one do here in the arctic tundra that is sure to return one day?

  • That's the best part - you have to do virtually nothing! I read chickens are good to up to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit!! Just make sure they have enough roost room to cover their feet with their feathers when they sleep, and be vigilant about changing their water, as it will freeze. You could buy a water heater, but this first year we have skipped it. You should change the water daily anyway, so I just make it a little warmer so it lasts longer. The bigger problem is heat exhaustion. Just make sure their coop doesn't get too hot in the sumer and they have some shade! We didi literally nothing other than add a little extra bedding in the coop, and they are all still clucking away!

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