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Chickens In The City

One of Khrysti Smyth's Mille Fleur-colored Belgian Bearded d'Uccle hen, Miss Fleur (Courtesy Khrysti Smyth

One of Khrysti Smyth's Mille Fleur-colored Belgian Bearded d'Uccle hen, Miss Fleur (Courtesy Khrysti Smyth)

Meet Khrysti Smyth.

She lives in Somerville, a few blocks from Porter Square and is known affectionately as “The Chicken Lady.”

Probably because in her backyard, in the most densely populated city in New England, she keeps fifteen chickens. Or, as she calls them, “the girls.”

Smyth has been raising backyard chickens for two years. Her brood consists of beautiful heritage breeds such as the Belgian Bearded d’Uccle and the Chinese Silkie.

Backyard chickens Mrs. Fluffy Pantss, Fleur, and Tribble enjoying some nibbles on a spring day. (Courtesy Khrysti Smyth)

Backyard chickens Mrs. Fluffy Pantss, Fleur, and Tribble enjoying some nibbles on a spring day. (Courtesy Khrysti Smyth)

Before you consign Smith to the ever growing band of urban-bound-back-to-the-landers, know that what Smyth is doing is entirely legal in Somerville.

Also consider that she is but one of the 98,000-plus members of BackyardChickens.com; one of more than 40,000 people who regularly watch a Carlisle woman’s backyard “hencam”, and one of the hundred thousand readers of “Backyard Poultry” magazine.

TreeHugger.com, a site that monitors environmental trends, calls the popular embrace of backyard chickens “a movement across North America”  A movement, with all its attendant joys and conflicts, which has  come home to roost in greater Boston.

Today, we will be talking backyard chickens and the growing urban poultry movement.

Do you raise chickens? Why do you do it? Maybe your neighbors raise chickens and you’re not so hot on it? Tell us your chicken stories: the good, the bad, and yes, the plucky.

Guests:

  • Audra Karp, resident of Roslindale
  • Patricia Forman, author, “City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers”

Other stories from this show:

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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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