Our chickens and ducks provide one example of small livestock that you can have in a city. Our birds are fed non-GMO feed and organically grown weeds from the garden. The eggs they produce are given to volunteers and sold at events.
Chickens are very important to our farm's ecosystem. Our farm is located on what used to be a switching yard for trains and thus the soil is toxic. This is why all of our food is in raised beds. As the chickens scratch and poop in the soil, they are helping us heal the land and provide a nitrogen source for our compost. We have many different breeds of chickens on our farm and each breed has a unique egg! This makes our eggs beautiful in addition to their great taste!
The comb and wattle regulate the chicken's temperature so it doesn't get too hot. The rooster's comb and wattle is much larger and used to attract hens. The eyes and ears of chickens are more sensitive than humans--chickens can detect danger from far away and have better eyesight to see insects in the ground. Just like dinosaurs, chickens swallow rocks and store them in their crop for crushing the food they swallow whole. The rocks emulate teeth to break down the food.
The embryo of a chick does not begin to form until after the egg leaves the hen. We take our eggs from our hens daily, before embryos begin to form. The diagram below shows the formation of the chick embryo in the egg. After 22-25 days, the chick hatches!