April 2009 issue: Urban Chickens In 19th century Manhattan, hogs roamed the streets and cattle grazed in the public parks. Today, chickens are the urban livestock of choice, and not just in New York. City dwellers across the U.S. are adding hens to their yards and gardens, garnering fresh eggs, fertilizer, and community ties, with localities debating and updating their ordinances accordingly. Urban chickens fell out of favor in the last century because of industrialization and other factors. In the 1990s though, they enjoyed a renaissance in the local-food-loving Pacific Northwest. The current recession and farm-to-table movement have taken the trend further still. "Just get a few chickens and you can feed yourself," says Abu Talib of the Bronx's Taqwa Community Farm. "He who controls your breadbasket controls your destiny." There is a big pic of Talib holding a bird that looks like my BJ roo, high rise building behind him.