What the cluck? An urban chicken coop comes to Toronto
A Canadian company is helping city dwellers get farm-fresh eggs by building urban chicken coops. They celebrated their arrival in Toronto by hosting a party with some special guests: two hens. (One of them even laid an egg while I was there.)
The modern coop is the brainchild of Alveole, a Montreal-based company dedicated to bringing nature back to cities. Their coop can house two hens who produce up to one egg a day. The maintenance is similar to cleaning out a litter box for a cat, and takes about 10 minutes a day, they told me. The hens will lay eggs for a couple years and can live to be 10 years old. But when they stop laying eggs, they can be kept as pets. (The meat would be tough and unappetizing, so most people do end up keeping them.)
Unlike roosters, they don't make much noise and are pretty intelligent. They can recognize people and have different personalities. The hens can survive Canadian winters with a heating lamp and by adding some insulation so they can stay warm at night.
At the event on May 11, a local chef served up egg dishes while the hens hung out in their coop. If you have a backyard, and you like your eggs fresh, this could be the thing for you.