Morning Poll: Chickens in Arlington?

by ARLnow.com May 13, 2011 at 9:45 am 8,212 168 Comments

Pike Wire reports that would-be chicken owners are organizing to try to convince the county to allow “small-scale backyard chicken-keeping in Arlington.”

Proponents say urban chicken ownership promotes sustainable, chemical-free egg production on a local level. Should Arlington follow the lead of Baltimore, Portland and Los Angeles in allowing homeowners to keep chickens in their backyards?

  • If you think a beer garden makes noise….. wait until the rooster cackles at 5 a.m. If you think human urine in your bushes smell, wait until you smell chicken waste.

    • dynaroo

      One word: dogs.

      • Dogs meaning noise and smell? Or, dogs to finish off the chickens?

        • dynaroo

          Depends on how loud the chickens are. Or the dogs.

          • Really what it depends on is how good of a pet owner the occupant of the house is. A properly exercised dog is going to be less likely to make nuisance noise. Plus, if you know noise is an issue in your neighborhood, you could get a lab instead of a hound to keep the barking down.

            I know one thing. A chicken isn’t going to be a deterrent of anyone trying to break into my house. My dog, on the other hand, will be. I can’t imagine a chicken being much of a companion either.

          • CW

            Right, like all the “properly exercised” dogs that lose their bowels in the elevators of my building.

          • Could be a sick dog, or maybe you just scared the dog! LOL. Imagine what keeping chickens in the elevator would do. We’re not talking about keeping a dog in your high rise vs. keeping chickens in your high rise. We’re talking about yards of homes. A dog can crap in a yard and a responsible owner will pick it up and it won’t be a huge odor or environmental issue. Chicken sh*t stinks horribly and no chicken owner is going to clean up more than once a day.

          • CW

            Right, and what I’m saying is that since no one is really even responsible enough to take care of the dogs that are crapping and peeing on every reachable surface in Clarendon, that no one is going to take proper care of those chickens. Besides, who is their target demographic anyhow? Anyone who can afford anything resembling a yard is not likely to want to spend their time out groveling in chicken sh*t.

          • Tooth Fairy

            Not necessarily the case. Chickens can be very affectionate. I had one hen who would follow me everywhere around the house and would hang out with me on the porch. They are very gentle and intelligent animals.

          • CW

            They are also very good when gently and affectionately roasted, as done best by the folks at El Pollo Rico.

          • BillHoo

            And dogs are very good gently and affectionately roasted, as done best by the folks at Sun Yap Kimchee Garden.

          • dynaroo

            All the kids in the area loved the chickens the neighbor had.

          • A dog is likely to lick your face. A chicken is likely to peck your face.

          • Sunny

            I live within city limits. I own one hound dog, one terrier dog, 1 rabbit, 4 doves, 4 roosters, and 2 hens. My yard doesnt stink. My dogs bark waaay less then the neighbor’s. And none of my surrounding neighbor’s have complained. In fact, just this morning my neighbor was telling me how he loves my rooster’s crow at 6:25 in the morning. That they let him know where he is and what time it is. (He lives in another county & usually gets up at 4 AM) Anyhow, it is my responsibility to keep everything clean & everyone healthy. I enjoy their company & different personalities..and especially the fresh organic eggs. =)

      • Curious Tweeter

        another word or two: foxes and coyotes.

    • Kristyn

      You must not know anything about keeping chickens. They are very easy to maintain, there is NO intrusive odor, and nothing says you have to keep a rooster. Most people only raise hens- there is no need for a rooster to be present for eggs to be laid. Chicken waste is also a fantastic fertilizer for your yard and garden. Lots of people opt for mobile coops because the waste is so beneficial. Do some research before you comment next time. And if chickens were SOOOO bad, there is no way cities like Austin would allow you to have a flock of 9 in your backyard!!

      • Sunny

        Right On Krystin!! Right On!

      • Della

        More people should use good old fashioned common sense! Thanks for your reply above.

    • pinkydee

      If you are doing just egg laying for eating, there is no rooster needed.

  • bockbock

    A neighbor used to have chickens. Kids would come to see them.

    Anyone who supports music at the beer garden should support chickens, or all their whiny arguments will be used against them.

    • Burger

      except beer gardens are not dirty and pollute the water.

      • y8s

        I think you’re arguing for backyard chickens here, right?

        Maryland is notorious for the sheer amount of concentrated chicken sh–feces that flows like a river into the Chesapeake.

        If it were spread out and distributed in small, unconcentrated locations, the ground would be able to absorb the nutrients instead of the droppings piling up in a confined factory chicken house.

        In other words, your lawn would look spectacular and you could still eat crab.

        • But your yard and neighborhood would smell like ammonia, which is what chicken sh*t smells like.

        • Burger

          You misunderstand me. I like living in the 21st century. There is a reason we, as a society, moved away from the farm when most people died at young ages, to the current technological level we see today.

          Someone having live chickens in their yard is not an enticement for me to relive the days when my great-grandparents lived on a farm in Ireland and came here as FOBs to start a new life away from the crap – literally.

          And for your “small” concentration to work would require almost everyone to have chickens and take the necessary steps to clean up after them. A lot of people have a hard time cleaning up after their dog but multiple chickens will do…yeah, sure.

        • Kristyn

          You’re totally right. What people are most likely thinking of are mass chicken facilities. Those operations are the ones that produce the massive run off waste, contamination of the watershed, and the stench. Backyard chickens are GREAT!!! There is none of the downside that others have mentioned

      • dynaroo

        Nobody made any such distinctions about the beer garden though, they just wailed about curmudgeons, etc.

  • JamesE

    What about goats?

    • Tooth Fairy

      Goats should be welcome too. It would be wise for Arlington to think long-term and realize that energy resource depletion will lead and topsoil depletion are going to lead to serious problems down the road with food production. The more local we can make our subsistence, the better.

      • Goats could mow the few lawns we have in a sustainable manner as well.

        • y8s

          This is how Northern California handles the grasslands surrounding Silicon Valley.

        • madisonmanor

          AND they are tasty – we even have a local butcher in Westover that could process them for us. . .

        • CW

          Back when I lived in FL they would put goats or cows in certain fenced-in retention ponds and runoff areas to keep the grass under control.

        • Della

          They hired/rented goats last year in Denver CO from a local farmer to keep the lawn down; good idea.

    • Kristyn

      We can have goats in the city limits of San Antonio(mi casa), but the restrictions regarding their living quarters, make it nearly impossible to have one. You’d have to have a pretty good size lot to meet the distance from other structures requirements. 🙁 Austin, I believe, is more lenient with the restrictions on goats in the city, and you’re also allowed a flock of around 9 chickens. God, I love Austin!! KEEP SAN ANTONIO LAME!!!

  • Tooth Fairy

    Chickens are wonderful. Hearing a rooster cock-a-doodle-doo each morning sure beats hearing the leaf blowers, weed eaters and lawnmowers of the landscape crews in our neighborood.

    We had chickens growing and they didn’t stink, although we were conscientious about cleaning up their crap every day.

    I’m impressed that the readers of ArlNow are voting in favor of chickens in Arlington. More chickens and live music in beer gardens, and less high-rise office and condo building construction.

    • Westover

      I say chicken coops on the tops of the High-rise Condos!

    • Kirk

      The problem is that the cock-a-doodle-do starts at 4AM. No leaf blowers/lawnmowers going at that hour.

      • cj

        So they can wake up the soldiers who fire off the cannons at 6.

      • dynaroo

        I’d trade a few chickens at 4 am over leaflbowers at 7, or any time.

        • dk


      • Tooth Fairy

        Our roosters would start crowing just a couple minutes before sunrise. So, on the longest day of the year, in June, maybe the crowing would begin between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m. As the days got shorter, the crowing would gradually start later and sometimes not before the leafblowing would begin at 7 a.m., although no one used leaf blowers back then. Rakes were still in fashion.

    • mimi


  • SArl

    Fresh eggs are sold at the farmers markets. Since Arlington is “urban not suburban” I can’t imagine the people who complain about noise from cannons, revelry and taps and outdoor music venues enjoying the noise from a rooster!

    • TheTruth

      And therein lies the issue. The fight over Arlington remaining suburban.

      • KalashniKEV

        That fight was lost long ago…

  • Brock

    There could easily be a ban on roosters to allow only hens.

    People can already have a bassett hound in their backyard, and there is nothing more noisy or annoying in the world than that.

    • NorArl

      This is how it was done in Portland, chickens yes, roosters no. Anyone who has been around roosters knows they crow at all hours of the night and are agressive.

      • Tabby

        They’re total cocks.

    • Wasn’t Flash from the Dukes of Hazzard a bassett hound? I don’t recall them being particularly loud. I find the little terrier dogs that are so yappy and suffer from small dog syndrome to be particularly annoying.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        “I find the little terrier dogs that are so yappy and suffer from small dog syndrome to be particularly annoying. ”

        +100, Overgrown Bush

  • BoredHouseWife

    No roosters.

    • TGEoA


    • Aaron

      This statement causes me to question everything I thought I knew about bored house wives and the things they crave.

  • SouthArlJD

    My neighbor once decided to get a couple of chickens. One was a rooster. He got rid of that one right away due to neighbor complaints, but had the chicken for a several months before the County showed up one day and told him she had to go. Thing used to escape his yard all the time and come into my yard, where it scared the hell out of my cat. I had a lot of fun watching the cat freak out when she’d find that thing in the back yard. I think there could be chickens as long as it’s regulated.

    • dynaroo

      Funny, cats come in my yard and terrorize the birds at the feeder. So it goes both ways. If we allow noisy, crap-spewing dogs and bird-eating cats (running free), we can allow a few chickens.

      • Geez. Why are you feeding the birds? Don’t you know that seed attracts rats? Next thing you know we will be allowing them too! That’s worse than crap-spewing dogs or predator cats! LOL

        • dynaroo

          There you go.

  • NOVApologist

    The foxes in my neighborhood are literally salivating at the prospect of this.

    • Tooth Fairy

      Good point. We lost several of our free-range chickens (and several ducks) to foxes. But I think it’s a net benefit to have the chickens despite the risks, although we should do whatever we can to protect the chickens.

    • FrenchyB

      Good point, the foxes are around here. Just saw one while I was biking to work through Lyon Park on Tuesday.

    • Burger

      I’m sure the coyotes will be waiting in line, too.

    • Tooth Fairy

      High-quality chicken coops should be able to keep out the foxes and coyotes, although you may have an occasional hen who flies the coop.

  • QPGirl

    We had a place on the Eastern Shore when I was a kid, where all the farmers used chicken manure for fertilizer. It is one of the rankest, most amoniac-smelling things I’ve ever experienced. If people are diligent about cleaning up, fine, but it they aren’t….

  • brendan

    having lived in cities where this does occur, i highly recommend against it. Someone always ends up getting a rooster, chickens attract foxes, feral cats, raccoons and they start to stink pretty bad when it gets hot out.

    Buy your eggs from the farmers market or wherever, but Arlington is way to urbanized for chickens.

    • Burger

      This is the right answer.

    • Tooth Fairy

      Perhaps we can reach a compromise. We can allow chickens and goats at residences with at least a quarter acre of open land. the more tightly packed areas of Arlington would be banned from having chickens.

      And, instead of redeveloping the East Falls Church Metro area to include office buildings, condos, townhouses, retail, why don’t we convert the whole area into a the farmland, like it was back in the early 20th century. There’d be enough of a buffer between the farmland and the neighborhoods.

      Great way to make Arlington at least somewhat self-sufficient.

      • KalashniKEV

        Here’s the compromise- if you want to be a farmer, go buy a farm… or just play Farmville like all those fools on my FB. This is the stupidest thing yet.

        • KalashniKEV

          I changed my mind. Urban farming is a great idea. I see the county board’s vision now- You’ll stalk elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Clarendon Metro. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Turnberry Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying stripes of venison on the empty bike lane of the abandoned Wilson Blvd.

          • dynaroo

            I forgot today is National Slippery Slope Day.

          • JoshR

            Someone missed the Fight Club reference.

          • KalashniKEV

            Something about the perverse, retrograde mindset on this thread tells me we probably don’t share the same tastes in literature…

        • dynaroo

          Any change whatsoever is ridiculous. Everyone should live the same as everyone else and do everything the same, for no reason except that’s how everyone does it now. This is true even when it’s logically inconsistent. Cats and dogs living with people is just fine because we’re used to it. No critical thought is allowed.

        • Bringmetheyuppies

          here I go agreeing with Kev again.

      • dynaroo

        That’s basically the law now. Chickens are allowed in Arlington as long as they’re a certain distances from a property line. We could change that distance a little, and given exceptions for people who live on parks or non-residential spaces too.

      • Burger

        Go move out to Gainsville if you want to live with chickens. I prefer where I live to be slightly more urban.

        And do realize how much farm land would be needed to make Arlington somewhat more self-sufficient.

    • dynaroo

      Not all of Arlington.

      I believe chickens are actually legal in Arlington as long as they are kept 200 yards from a property line. That makes them illegal on most lots, but not all. You can have reasonable restrictions that fix the problems without it being an either/or.

      Kinda like the compromise for the beer garden.

      • Burger

        Except a beer garden can’t start a pandemic like the avian flu when people do not clean up after their fowls.

        • dynaroo

          Go to the grocery and buy raw chicken and get salmonella instead.

          • Burger

            You do see the difference between buying and handling a dead chicken and you neighbor not cleaning up after a live one?

            Right, it aint rock science.

          • dynaroo

            You do see the difference between you personally touching and eating a dead chicken and being several feet away from your neighbor’s right?

            I’d fear disease from a dead chicken dripping its bloody juices in my kitchen over a live one next door any day.

          • Burger

            Go look up pictures of the avian flu from back in the early part of this decade. Those people wearing facemask for a reason…you do not need to handle the chicken but inhale the disease (via virus). you know like second hand smoke.

            Again, you also miss the aspect of you voluntarily picking a chicken from the store, inappropriately storing the chicken, then not washing your hands and then not cooking the chicken to the proper time and temperatures.


            your neighbor not cleaning up chicken crap.

            See the difference – you take steps v. something completely out of your control.

  • If we allow chickens, the next thing we’ll be blogging about are cock-fighting rings in Arlington or chickens used in underground religious sacrifices. No thanks. I’ll take the time to drive to a farmers market in one of our neighboring counties.

    • dynaroo

      Nice slippery slope there.

      • gadzooks!

        Y’all are slow on the progress in town. Lotta cock-fighting rings already in the basements of some bars in Clarendon, and the ritual sacrifices are happening out in Dominion Hills.

    • Eponymous Coward

      If we allow the HOT lanes, the next thing we’ll be blogging about are demolition derbies and monster trucks on 395.

      • dynaroo

        Hey look, a guy named “coward” posting about chickens! That doesn’t happen every day.

        • LOL. Too funny.

          • Eponymous Coward

            Takes one to know one! What’s the matter, Colonel Sanders….. chicken?!

          • dynaroo

            I’m General Tso, so I outrank Col. Sanders, and you too.

          • Col. Sanders is only #1 in China.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            I’m with dynaroo and Overgrown Bush!

          • dynaroo

            That’s what he thinks.

            BTW I’m also a breast man, though I do like wings too.

  • Let’s also allow cows and pigs. We could use some fresh milk, beef, and pork around here. It would also be entertaining to watch folks walk their cow down the street on a leash. Just make sure you bring a 32 gallon garbage bag with you to clean up after them.

    • y8s

      There is currently a county ban on slippery slopes.

      • dynaroo

        Hey, beat me to it on that one!

      • thanks for the giggle. =)

  • DT

    There is a lot more to this than just a noise concern. If the chickens are not cared for, it invites other problems. We had a neighbor who had hens and a rooster and didn’t clean up and we ended up with rats. Also, there is zero comparison between a rooster crowing everyday and a dog barking now and then. The dog can be put inside.

    • dynaroo

      We had a dog on the next street who was left INSIDE all weekend alone and barked day and night, so it’s not that simple either.

      If dogs or cats aren’t cared for they invite problems too. And cats decimate wild birds.

      • Irresponsible dog owner, just as there will be irresponsible chicken owners.

        • dynaroo


    • Burger

      Wow…. they have a facebook page. Clearly they are a legitimate organization and the effort to start a facebook page really demonstrates their effort in this drive.

      wait, where is the sarcasm.

      • dynaroo

        Wow, you’re really flailing today Burger.

  • Allan

    I have to say; the idea is pretty neat. Unfortunately, too many of the people who would do it here in Arlington would do it for the eggs – and probably not think much about the chickens.

    They’ll need a safe place to live; fully protected from cats and foxes. A clean place to live, which means daily maintenance of their living area. And, they’ll need veterinary care – and that might be a long drive to find one with experience with chickens.

    There are too many people here already that don’t have the basics of animal care down for cats and dogs – if this happens, the shelter will have to be prepared for chicken catching and sheltering.

  • 1. Local food is important to our elected officials, local organizations, and residents. Local foods, like our wonderful farmers markets, support reduced energy intensity through deceased greenhouse gas emissions from associated transportation. Raising backyard chickens fits perfectly into the County’s Community Energy Plan.

    2. The ability for Arlingtonians to raise backyard chickens fits perfectly with CANN – Children and Nature Network. Help connect our kids to where food ACTUALLY comes from!

    3. Backyard hens nearly always have more space and better conditions than those poor factory chickens; hence less animal suffering and higher karma.

    2. Backyard hens produce healthier eggs (research available), which benefits the health of Arlingtonians in general, and especially the poor. The County Board heavily supports affordable housing — but what about AFFORDABLE HEALTHY EATING?!

    3. Hens (unlike roosters) are quiet and well-behaved; much more quiet than many of the dogs in my neighborhood and more safe than the attack dogs that many of my neighbors keep (legally) locked behind their fences. A small flock of hens (six or less) does not create a smell (unlike large-scale commercial flocks).

    4. Backyard hens allow Arlingtonians to produce their own, good quality food at home, saving them money, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and in general strengthening all those pioneer qualities that made this country great.

    5. Backyard hens eat bugs of all sorts, providing organic pest control. They eat up vegetable scraps which reduces the amount of waste hauled to the incinerator in Alexandria.

    • Burger

      I’m just going to say…Wow, just wow!

      Could there be more buzz words that mean nothing thrown in this post.

      • dynaroo

        They mean things, even if you don’ t know what they mean.

        • gringo

          But if we let kids know where their food actually comes from, pretty soon everyone will want to know.

    • YaddaYadda

      That chicken looks so… HUMAN.

  • bb

    I find it odd that people think that Arlington is too urbanized for chickens, yet Baltimore, Portland, and Los Angeles are not?

    A rooster ban I would agree with. I’d say if I were to keep chickens, any roosters would be turned into pot pie pretty quickly. I’d also agree that any free roaming chickens should probably subject their owners to fines. A proper henhouse and a movable cage to move the flock around the yard should be standard practice. There are way too many racoons, foxes, opossums and feral cats to not give them some measure of protection (and containment).

    • Burger

      All three have higher crime rates…being allowed to have chickens…coincidence, I think not.

  • T. J. Sullivan

    There’s a two square block park in downtown Dublin called St. Stephen’s Green. Surrounded by the center city. At dawn the cocks crow as they have for hundreds of years. The chickens mingle with the ducks and joggers in the park. Perhaps the homeless gather the eggs. Irish sensibility.

  • JohnW

    ACTUALLY, Arlington does allow chickens. But the regulations are pretty strict on the size of the lot, setbacks, etc. that the vast majority of homes do not qualify.

    • JohnW

      Perhaps the poll question should be worded differently to say something like should the county relax or loosen its regulations on chicken …

  • Lou

    I saw some chickens milling about in a yard on King Street up the hill just west of the train station.

  • GoVegArlington

    I loooooove this idea. Raising your own chickens is fun and rewarding. The eggs are fresh and chemical-free and, unlike with the eggs you buy from the grocery store, you aren’t contributing to animal suffering. Egg-laying chickens are the animals who have it the absolute worst in agribusiness (aka factory farms). So I encourage anyone to raise their own chickens and share the eggs with friends and family.

    Like many other people stated, there is a lot of noise pollution in Arlington. I, for one, would gladly listen to a rooster crowing over horn honking, drunks yelling and landscaping machines in the morning.

    But (again as others stated) people need to be responsible and TAKE CARE of these pets, just as they should a dog or cat. People need to do some research and not blindly buy some cute little chicks and set them in the backyard. If done responsibly, awesome idea.

    • You bring up a good point about chicken suffering. Let’s allow “free range” chicken farming in Arlington. We should allow them to wander as they do in nature.

      • madisonmanor

        If we do that, then the bikers, walkers and joggers will complain that they have no business on the road/bike trail/sidewalk. But it would give the drivers a brand new set of targets.

        • GoVegArlington

          “Free range” = not crammed in a cage where they can’t even open their wings.
          I’m not advocating to let chickens wander the streets. They should be in an enclosed area in the owner’s yard where other animals (foxes, dogs, cats) can’t attack them.

        • bb

          And then we’ll have a push to put in special “chicken lanes” and “chicken traffic calming” measures. Oh the humanity!

          • Bluemontsince1961

            ROFL! Good one!

          • Tre

            Where’s Gary Larson when you need him?

          • Here you go!

  • dynaroo

    This is the article I remember:


    It says Arlington allows chickens 100 feet away from a property line.

    • Westover

      So there are maybe two dozen yards in the county where this will work?

  • chickenswantbeer

    why can’t the chickens live at the beer garden? *shaking head* I should have just moved to DC. I thought Arlington was a city, cities have noise – it’s amazing that the Metro was allowed to pass through Arlington……..

    • The Westover Free Range Chicken Garden.

      • …and petting zoo for those 6-year olds.

      • JamesE

        Beer + live band + cockfights

        • Great idea. We can get the alternative band Jimmie’s Chicken Shack to play a gig there.

          • Lew

            Hey! Don’t mess with “Ha Ha” Davies. I’ll have you know that he would have chickens IF he had a bigger yard — but he’s working on that. I’ll personally pass on the message when I see him later this morning 🙂

      • dynaroo


        And they have open fires at the beer garden. Perfect for making…beer can chicken.

  • Wendy

    Last year my husband and I rented a house in downtown Austin for the music festival and the owner had a breed of chicken (hens not roosters) in her small backyard that seemed very sweet.


    I think they only had 3 hens & had plenty of eggs each day. Then hens were housed in a fully enclosed wire pen with shelter and an egg laying nest.

  • Rebecca

    Anyone see that episode of animal hoarding where they hoarded chickens? Great.

    • dynaroo

      People hoard cats and dogs and paper and everything else too.

    • GoVegArlington

      Wow. That was amazing. Nice find!

  • NoVapologist

    I am not a breeding expert, but don’t you need roosters to…you know…inseminate the hens?

    • pretty sure you do, if you want to make baby chickens. those aren’t the eggs we eat, though…

    • At least one.

    • dk

      not for eating. Only for growing.

  • Lacey Forest

    Hens, yes. Roosters, no.

  • Micah

    YES – let’s do it!

  • Margaritaville

    Just back from Key West, where chickens cats and dogs seem to co-exist quite nicely.

    • No chicken will survive around my dog.

    • Lee & Glebe

      That’s tongue in cheek, right? Key West is literally overrun with feral chickens. It’s disgusting. Chickens in Arlington – they will get out, they will breed. We will have flocks / bands / groups / gaggles / herds / pods (whatever the right terminology is) of chickens roaming around.

      That’s not a slippery slope conclusion – it’s a very, very likely scenario.

  • Lee & Glebe

    See Key West. Or Hawaii.

    No chickens.

  • The Native

    Having raised chickens I can tell you a few things:
    1. They are relatively low maintenance, vets, coops, etc.
    2. There feces is a great source of fertilizer. Yard fertilizer is a leading source of contamination in the Chesapeake Bay. This would be a great way to reduce this type of contamination.
    3. They don’t smell as bad as people seem to believe
    4. Roosters should NOT be allowed. They are loud at all hours
    5. Local, sustainable eggs and meat
    It is a great idea! Let’s do it.

    • Lucy

      Agreed! Thanks for pointing out roosters – a lot of people’s biases against chickens are just about roosters. Hens are quiet and relatively docile. So much so that you can sit and pet them. Of course, this is depending on the breed. Hopefully Arlington County will hear us on this one.

      • Burger

        Actually, everyone’s bias is about not wanting the disease and dirt and smell that comes with chickens. This is an urban area and the need to chickens and eggs can be picked up at your local farmer’s market.

  • Tre

    FTFY: Morning Pollo: Chickens in Arlington?

  • Dumb Cluck

    Arlington is soooo behind the times. See http://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html
    and many other websites oriented towards urban chicken husbandry. And why stop with chickens? Forget overpriced, hormone tainted beef, rabbit is the new red meat, http://www.rudolphsrabbitranch.com/rrrpt1.htm.

  • Joe

    Call it multiculturalism or being sensitive to how things are in other parts of the world and it’ll go through with no problems.

  • It appears from the survey that readers are overwhelmingly open to this idea since a majority of people responded with YES or MAYBE.


  • jjbug

    Huh – no one mentioned the need to recognize religious beliefs that require meat to be freshly killed on the day eaten. When your Bangladeshi relatives and friends come to Arlington, it might be nice to know where you can go to buy dinner freshly killed for your table! Some citizens with these beliefs are uncomfortable by the demands urban areas are supporting.

    Certainly there could be room for a henhouse on every public school campus (near its vegetable garden!), if we want people to know and respect the animals who feed us!

    And if the fox – the dog – the homeless view the contents of the chicken coop as a meal awaiting, that can be dealt with as well. Police: are you ready for this?

    • Kemon Aacho


  • MC

    I already smell too many chickens in Arlington in the form of the numerous Peruvian rotisserie chicken joints that belch smoke into the air.

  • ladylaw

    didn’t Arlington have a platoon of Sentinel Chickens at one time, in secure undisclosed locations, to check for malaria or something?

  • Garden Guy

    Garden Girl has some great how-to videos on urban sustainable gardening and chicken keeping among other things.


  • Johnny Q. Taxpayer

    Chickens in Arlington sums up everything wrong with the liberal population that lives here– The same kooks that call the Police every time their neighbor’s dog barks are now probably the same kooks overwhelmingly in favor of chickens according to the poll. As if that won’t cause a larger noise problem. Throw the word “sustainable” in there, and everyone throws common sense out the f’ing window. What’s wrong with you people, buy your chicken and eggs at the grocery store like everyone else. If you really want fancy organic eggs and fancy chicken, circle the block for 2 hrs to get a parking spot at Whole Foods and burn 3 gallons of gas to get your sustainable chicken. Ponderous.

  • Maria

    Roosters aren’t needed for eggs, I free range my chickens and there is literally no smell considering the size of the yard they have access to. I think the oppurtunity should be available to anyone who is willing to take proper care of them. (by the way, my yard has never looked better)

    • The fecal coliform measurement in your nearest stream likely has never been higher either.

  • Kaconradb

    Current Arlington law says only the chickens must not be allowed to run free on public land

    Current Arlington County zoning says that chickens must be kept no closer than 200 feet of nearest property line.

  • mr. Ed

    There are only about 30-50 properties that meet the zoning requirements to allow for chickens.

  • jinushaun

    Yes to chickens (hens).
    No to roosters.

    I recently moved from Seattle, where chickens are allowed and knew people that raised them for eggs. In fact, my parents owned some as well. Chickens are really not that smelly compared to other pets. I thought rabbits and cats are worse in terms of odor.

  • jinushaun

    And for people using the “urban” argument against chickens, Austin, Seattle and Portland are all a lot more “urban” than Arlington and they have chickens. I consider Arlington sub-urban, but it’s getting there. The Ballston to Rosslyn strip is so under-developed. There should be a lot more condos, apts, stores, bars, restaurants, and non-Starbucks coffee there. I moved here in Feb and talking to people that have been here a while, it sounded like that strip was pretty much empty until Feb of this year! We’re finally getting a Trader Joe’s this summer in Clarendon. Kudos to the local govt for actually trying to make Arlington a place people will actually PREFER to live in, instead of simply being the city where people move to because that can’t afford to live in DC. 

    Chickens will not harm the city’s goal of making Arlington more urban and a fantastic place to live, because there are so many other more important factors that make Arlington suburban in my eyes. 

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