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July 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM

The five best cities to be a chicken

File photo by Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times

File photo by Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times

Remember when we told you all those reasons to avoid keeping backyard chickens? Sounds like some of you disagreed.

Seattle landed on Redfin’s “Top Five Cities To Be A Chicken,” a list the online real estate brokerage drew up by analyzing home listings over the past three months that included chicken enclosures as a feature.

Portlandia — we mean, Portland — was number one, followed by three California cities (Ventura, San Diego, and Sacramento) and then Seattle.

Contrary to assumptions, urban chicken owners don’t necessarily own large plots, according to Redfin. “(O)n average, listings with chicken coops have smaller homes and smaller lots, but larger price tags. It appears some buyers are willing to pay a little more for a home with a henhouse.”

Along with the Redfin survey comes a timely but shrill NBC report blaming “stupid foodies” and “hipsters” who “can’t cope” for large numbers of abandoned urban chickens. Take away the gibes and it’s mostly a reminder of these issues.

The usual don’t-take-this-as-scientific-proof-survey-caveats: Redfin’s analysis only looked at markets it covers nationwide, so it’s not all-inclusive. The numbers weren’t calculated per capita, which makes it all the more impressive that Ventura, pop. 107,514, did so well against Seattle, which is nearly six times the size.

Keeping all that in mind, we asked the Redfin folks what the worst place would be to be a chicken. The surprising answer by their metrics was San Jose, which is generally thought to be chicken friendly. Other low scorers were Las Vegas, Boston, and Miami.

From the chicken’s perspective, I wonder if the best place to be a chicken might be Austin, TX — that’s the vegan capitol of the country.

0 Comments | Topics: backyard chickens, coops, foodies

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