My neighborhood and peer group has embraced the local farming/gardening/slow food movement. I think this is a good thing. The truth is, local food tastes better. Food that hasn't traveled across the country (thinking specifically of tomatoes) tastes better. And it's better for local farmers and the environment (less carbon spent in transportation).
Some of my neighbors in my urban area have now branched out to chicken hutches. Personally, I have no qualms with tomato plants, or even large backyard gardens. We grew tomatoes in our front yard some years back.
I also have no problems with people who want to raise chickens in this urban/suburban area. But for me, this is one thing I am NOT doing.
For me, it is exhausting to keep up with everything that I already keep up with (if I don't kvetch about this enough already!). A job, raising kids, a marriage, keeping up with the house/yard, friends. That's not counting community involvement or volunteer work. I figure that for me, it's successful that my kids get fed, we get homework done and I keep a job. And that my house looks passable every once in awhile.
My friends keep trying to tell me that the chickens take care of themselves, that it's not a big deal.
I am highly skeptical of this claim.
I think there's this gene or affinity in some people who either:
1 - enjoy cleaning and organizing
2- are good at it and do it effortlessly.
Despite any evidence to the contrary, I am not that person.
It's just not a priority for me. So the chickens are the same way.
I wish my friends the best of luck. Frankly, I may even give them money for extra eggs. But when I think of the things I am grateful for (and projects I will not be taking on while my kids are under 18 or possibly ever), raising chickens in the backyard is one of them.