Let's see if we can get an overview of the backyard flocks nationwide

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Carolyn252, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    I'll be talking to my Village Board/Mayor/Code Enforcement Officers, etc in the near future and I'd like to be able to impress them with information as to just how popular backyard-chicken keeping has become throughout the fifty states. I know that determining exact numbers isn't feasible for some of my questions, but if you could offer up your best guess estimates in answer to these questions, I think the information will be useful to all of us as we each go through our own particular negotiations with our municipalities. Or useful to us when chatting with concerned neighbors, or when interviewed for your local newspapers, etc.

    1- Any best guess estimates as to how many people are currently members of backyardchickens.com?

    2- Any best guess estimates as to how many of the BYC members live in the U.S.?

    3- Any best guess estimates as to how many backyard flocks there are in the U.S.? (Whenever I say backyard flocks, I mean any non-commercial flocks, so please include not only flocks kept in backyards but also in garages, porches, basements, alleyways, driveways, front yards, side yards, barns, apartment building courtyards, skyscraper condo balconies, alleyway sidewalks, etc. In essence, I'm talking about flocks of pet chickens.) (Note: the answer to question 3 is not necessarily the same as the answer to question 2. A family may have three people in the family who are each a BYC member, but there's only one flock for that family's backyard.) (Note also, that I'm not sure myself what the definition of a "commercial" flock is. Just because a family sells their backyard chickens' eggs, for the purposes of this inquiry, it doesn't mean that they're a commercial enterprise. Maybe the best way to define the parameters is to include only flocks that are considered as pets by their owners, or flocks that are no larger than one-hundred chickens in the flock. What do you think? Probably best to include only flocks of 100 or fewer chickens. That's a nice objective parameter, and so we needn't be bogged down by conflicting opinions of, "what is a "pet?". [Some people would automatically disallow meat birds from the pet definition, so that would unfortunately limit the overview to layers only.]

    4- Any best guess estimates as to what the percentage breakdown is of the flock size in all the backyard flocks in the U.S.? I'm wondering what percent of our USA flocks of backyard chickens (hens and roos) are flocks of say, ten or fewer chickens, and what percentage are flocks of between eleven and twenty chickens; and are of flocks of between twenty-one and fifty chickens; and are of flocks of more than fifty chickens?

    5- Any best guess estimates of how many US backyard chicken flocks are in districts called urban, suburban, and rural areas?

    6- Any best guess estimates of the flock size breakdown (by numbers or by percentages) for US urban, US suburban and US rural areas? For example: Best guess is that there are XXX number of backyard flocks in the US; 75% are in rural areas; 20% are in suburbia and 5% are in urban areas; Of those in rural area, xxx number of them (or blank percent of them) are of flock size of ten or fewer chickens, and xxx number of them ( or blank percentage of them) are of flock size of 11-20 chickens, etc., etc., ?

    7- Any best guess estimates of the breakdown ( by size, and by district type) of flocks that are kept as meat birds for eventual eating, and flocks that are layers (whether they're currently laying or are retired from laying). I'm ignoring all the young chicks. Let's just count adult and "teenage" hens and roos. Not sure how many months old they should be for them to be included in the breakdown. Should we say the chickens have to be at least 5 months old perhaps?

    8- And in contrast to all of the above, how does the current picture look, compared to say, five years ago and ten years ago, here in the United States?

    Hope we get lots of responses from the BYC members, and then, hoping some of you reading this are perhaps statisticians, or other number-crunching specialists who can make sense of it all. I'm analytic enough to pose the questions, but nowhere near skilled enough to integrate the answers into an understandable overview in plain English.
  2. Thundrr-Chicken

    Thundrr-Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2010
    Dover, Ohio
    the answer to #1 is Board stats: 66032 users

    #2 im in the US

    #4 i have about 35 right now... and i live on a normal sized residential lot with neighbors on all sides

    #7 all dual purpose

    cant help you with the big picture of things.. this is just me

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