In Denver, Colorado you can have up to three barking 190-pound Mastiff dogs with fangs, without a permit—but if you want one egg laying chicken you must make multiple visits to pay a lot of money to Denver government agencies who send you through a series of mazes of paperwork. You must have your property inspected and also post big signs in your front yard to lobby approval from your neighbors who can complain to revoke your rights to have an egg-laying chicken whenever they want. But your Denver neighbors can each have up to 25 pigeons or any number of Boa Constrictors without a permit. Chicken and goat advocates who love their small food-bearing pets are not backing down from their backyard rights.
Denver Backyard Farms is Busting the Chicken Coop Wide Open
In Denver, Colorado, it now looks like more people could be busted for harboring chickens or goats than for hiding a pot plant. In the midst of so much red tape for green backyard practices, some people have been busted for keeping chickens and goats “underground.”
But Denver Backyard Farms is part of a fast growing movement of people who are working for the full right to raise food-producing animals in their backyard—or any reasonable part of their private property. In New York City, citizens can legally own chickens and goats, but in the backyard frontiers of Denver, Colorado it can be a crime to keep a hapless chick and a sixty-pound goat both eating weeds and pests out of your yard and providing eggs and milk for breakfast and dinner.
In northern Colorado, in the rural-like city of Fort Collins—known widely for its rich manure smell—backyard chickens just became legal in 2009.
The Dirt on Backyard Urban Agriculture and Chicken Poop
While Mastiff owners must pick up mounting piles of waste from their backyards, chicken owners revel in how chicken poop is the best natural fertilizer possible for lawn and garden. The chickens also eat small insects and pests. It ends up that chickens and goats are good for the local ecology and health of the environment.
It seems the worst things chickens and goats do is entertain and delight their owners with lovable antics. Owners rave about their fun backyard pets like passionate parents.
But owners also seriously appreciate what their animals give them. Mothers swear their children have not been sick since drinking the delicious goat milk and families can taste a significant difference in their backyard urban eggs from the ones raised in factories from commercial stores.
Even with the overwhelming, unruly maze it takes to get a permit for chickens and goats in Denver, Colorado, applications continue at a steady rate. The Denver Backyard Farm movement is part of a bigger American movement toward having food-producing animals in the family fold.