Coalition Says “Modernize Chicken Laws”

On Earth Day, Sacramento residents decided to take action in their yards, both front and back.  In Oak Park, Environment and Agriculture Taskforce (EAT) Sacramento, a network of activists and organizations, issued a report and called on the city to "modernize" chicken laws by allowing residents to keep a limited number of egg-laying hens. The group also layed out part of a roadmap for achieving greater food security, as well as adressing global warming.


The group also suggested that the city could do more to support and encourage more "green thumbs" through continued gardening trainings, zoning changes, and better use of vacant lands. Citing the need to "fix", or capture carbon dioxide pollution, the group called for more Carbon Gardens and Carbon Farms throughout the city and county. The movement is definitely catching on. First Lady Maria Shriver and First Lady Michelle Obama have planted their organic, or Carbon Gardens, in the last month.

Members of EAT Sacramento have already begun discussions with councilmembers, hoping to build support for a practical chicken law by summer.

“Creating a local environment that allows people to feed their families will make Sacramento a much more sustainable city,” said Sacramento Councilmember Rob Fong.

The report, "The Kitchen Sink: Building a Healthy Food Community", suggests that local governments, in tandem with residents and an existing network of organizations need to:

(1) Help residents reclaim their yards through updating outdated ordinances on water use, animals, and land use.

(2) Build more community food networks through continued support and incentives.

(3) Make Sacramento the carbon capital by piloting projects throughout the city and county, and supporting gardening and composting trainings.

For more information about efforts to modernize chicken laws, visit

George Jackson is an intern with Pesticide-Free Sacramento

Photos courtesy of Katie Towers

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April 23, 2009 | 7:58 AM

You know I would love to have some chickens to mow ,weed, aireate and fertilize my lawn,AND give me great eggs iin the morning! They eat pests and you can feed them table scraps! Plus they are so cute!

Thanks Sacpress!

April 23, 2009 | 9:43 AM

If raised with people, chickens can be very cuddly. A teenaged chicken appeared on my doorstep one year. She was so sweet and friendly! She loved to sit on my head. She would roost on my night stand and would come cuddle on my chest in the morning. She now lives with a bunch of chickens on a nice lady’s farm.

April 23, 2009 | 11:20 AM

I need to join the EAT effort so my little chicks will be legal and not have to be deported to a farm. Outstanding.

April 30, 2009 | 10:06 AM

Silkies are an adorable breed of chickens.
We always had fresh eggs growing up in Roseville. Different breeds produce different sizes, colors and frequency of eggs so it’s good to have more than one type.
Fresh eggs taste so much better than store bought.

Profile photo of ivy
May 14, 2009 | 6:33 PM

Can anyone update on the EAT effort? We have a situtation here in the neighborhood, where a landlord complained about the backyard chickens kept by homeowners on the street. I would like to know if I should stand and “fight” or run away till another day. The neighbor said he was being fined $500.00. because he had 10 chickens.

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