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Picking Up Chicks, And Raising Them in Bayside

With the regional trend of backyard hen raising growing more popular, people may be keeping fowl as pets.

A family in Great Neck was sorely disappointed earlier this month when they were told they had to get rid of their pets, who were also, the source of their breakfast.

Albert and Stella Basal were keeping six chickens in their Great Neck Village yard, according to the Great Neck Record, which drew the complaints of neighbors, and a summons. A hearing was held by Village trustees, and the law banning chickens, or any pet that cause a "nuisance," was upheld.

It's unlucky for the Basals that their backyard wasn't located just a few miles west, in Queens, where raising hens is a totally legal practice, according to of the Queens Farm Museum, who is also a Patch .

Roosters, which are noisier, are not.

A group called Just Food City Chicken Meetup NYC has monthly events in Brooklyn, and WNYC reports that chickens are also being raised in The Bronx.

But that's not all. Allocco says that she knows people who have raised chickens right in Bayside. "It's wonderful because they have access to fresh eggs, but there are a few things to consider," said Allocco.

Working at the Farm Museum isn't the only place she's encountered barnyard animals. Allocco says a few years ago, she opened her front door in Bayside and found a Rhode Island Red chicken on her front lawn.

The popularity of raising clucking pets may be due to the trend towards organic living. In an opinion piece published yesterday on Patch, Jeff and Emer Moore, a couple that distributes Long Island farmed food to Bayside residents, revealed that are fed arsenic, benadryl and other chemicals.

But not everybody should be building coops on their urban land. "If someone is concerned about the aesthetic quality of their yard, I wouldn't recommend raising chickens," said Allocco, explaining that they love to peck at grass. It's also time consuming work, and a daily commitment to care for the winged pets. 

Allocco said she wouldn't experiment with raising chickens now because her schedule doesn't allow for it—and her neighbors wouldn't be crazy about it either.

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