Central Indiana chicken farms boom

Families raise chickens in neighborhoods

INDIANAPOLIS - You would normally see them on the farm, but these days, thousands of your neighbors in the city have them, maybe even on your block.

Eggs are always on the menu at the Collins' house in Indianapolis' Meridian Kessler neighborhood on the city's north side because of the chickens found in the family's back yard.

The family of five bought their first chicks three years ago and is now up to 10 clucking companions of various colors and sizes.

For Anne Collins, a highlight is that her three children are able to grasp where their food comes from.

"(The chickens) all have names. The kids love them," she said.

Just down the street, the Brake household has its own flock.

"My wife and I bought the house. She asked me to install a garbage disposal, and so being the loving and abiding husband that I am, I just got chickens," Brake said.

Chickens will eat almost anything, including leftovers from a weekend party, which the chickens devoured in a couple hours.

The Collins and Brake families are the faces of what some consider a feathery fad. More families and schools, such as Northside Montessori, are raising chickens.

Urban chicken farming has become so popular in central Indiana that Brake opened a business, Agrarian Urban Homestead and Supply, at 49th Street and College Avenue to profit from the growing trend.

The business sells coops, chicken feed, baby chicks and other supplies -- everything needed to get started.

Collins encouraged people who like their eggs with a side of education to farm chickens.

"I always say that if I have three young kids and I can do it, anybody can do it," she said.

Before building a chicken farm, residents should make sure their neighborhood or city allows it.

Watch reporter Anne Kelly's video extra on chicken farming 101 in the video player.

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