Brooklyn’s Backyard Chicken Keepers *food curated*

VideoBy Liza de Guia on Jan 6, 2010
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You don’t need a farm to raise chickens.

Meet Megan Paska and Katrina Mauro both Mother Hens to four curious egg-laying chickens in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. They decided to raise chickens for the first time in their tiny urban backyard as a way to live more sustainably. What they discovered is that raising chickens is easier than raising a dog…and just as rewarding.

Come take a peek into their backyard operation and see for yourself why keeping chickens should be something more urban dwellers (with a backyard, of course) should entertain.

**food. curated. is also happy to report that over the holidays, Megan and Katrina’s chickens laid their very first eggs! And, according to them, “it’s impossible to go back from truly fresh eggs!” We couldn’t agree more…**

To read up on or possibly purchase your future backyard egg-layer, visit My Pet Chicken:

Thanks for watching food. curated.


  1. Paulie Gee says:

    I’d be very interested in seeing if it is feasible to get some of those eggs to use on the pizzas that I plan on serving during Sunday brunch. Liza, can you please forward my email address to Megan and Katrina?

  2. I love the blond chicken with the well styled hair..who is her barber? i dont have to go to brooklyn do i?

  3. a people chicken!! love it!

  4. anna says:

    i grew up in greenpoint, and my friend used to have a chicken and a chick in her backyard. they were the best! if i had a backyard i would do something like this in a heartbeat. also, loving the chicken with the coiff!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Megan & Katrina mention that when they stop laying eggs, they may end up as dinner. How long can you expect a chicken to lay eggs for?

    [Another question I kept wondering: what about the poop? Is it a pain to clean up after?]

  6. Love backyard chickens! They’ve created quite a nice home for their ladies. Thanks for sharing, Liza!

  7. Kannan says:

    Your website is very good.

  8. Meg says:

    Hey guys!

    Chickens can lay eggs anywhere from 2 to sometimes up to 5 years. Granted, if we were to eat the chickens after that long they would probably require a good long stewing as they will be less tender as they are when young.

    Also, cleaning up after 4 hens is quite easy. we built a slatted floor in the coop with a catch tray underneath that is usually filled with straw hay and pine shavings. about twice a week we take the tray and dump it into our compost bin, sweep out the coop and put clean bedding inside before replacing the slatted floor again. The entire process takes about 5 minutes. Pretty easy!

  9. zenchef says:

    Do i dare to say that i grew up with chickens?
    I did and it’s probably why i’m picky and always on the quest for the perfect egg. I want to be friend with Megan, Katrina and their chicken family!

  10. jim says:

    I enjoy hatching eggs and I loved this article. Very informative. Keep up the good work!

  11. Practical says:

    They sell eggs at the store for next to nothing and you can avoid all this hassle.

  12. Meg says:

    You call it a “hassle” and I call it “a fun learning experience”. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Besides, the eggs at the store are old and anemic looking. These eggs are fresh and tasty!

  13. As I’m a fellow chicken fan – look forward to more.

  14. I live in Clinton Hill and have a backyard… I also have a troop of alley cats wondering the area. They are very aggressive (they chased a squirrel into our window guard and the squirrel was shreaking for help)! Would these guys hurt chickens if I had a coop? I would probably keep them in a chicken tractor for the day and then only let them really have full free range of the yard when I was home to supervise. Thanks for any advice!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Hi Christina! I contacted Megan in the piece. She’ll get back to you with an answer…as she too has a cat issue in Greenpoint. If you don’t hear from her, please let me know! Thanks

  15. Meg says:

    Hello Christina,

    I have some feral cats in my neighborhood as well and though they have shown some interest in the chickens early on, they have since lost interest. I have made certain that their run is secure enough to keep them safe from predators that roam free during the day. You may have an occasion where a cat gets close enough to frighten your birds but if the run is secure, it will quickly learn that “look but don’t touch” is the name of the game.

    Truthfully, I’d be more concerned about dogs that may share the yard.

  16. If you’re interested in eating more organic foods, one of the things that you may have trouble getting past is the price tag. After all, organics tend to be a lot more expensive than chemically treated products. The best solution to that, especially if you have the space, is to grow your own organic vegetable garden.

  17. Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else !!! The blog was absolutely fantastic! Several awesome information and also inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep ’em coming… you all do such a fantastic job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

  18. Jenny says:

    hey meg, liza, and katrina,
    thanks for the piece. i run the garden at automotive hs, live in bed-stuy, and have a half-finished coop in my backyard. hoping to get chickens soon. still have some questions about mice (do they get in?), feed and water, and predators. any chance i could stop by and check out your set up in the next week or two? you can email me at:

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Hi Jenny!

      I’ll make sure Meg gets back to you. I’ve been watching the progress of the Automotive HS Garden in Greenpoint and think it’s fab, especially since I live down the street. I must have seen you working there with your Greenmarket t-shirt on!
      Will the students be helping you with it all summer? What are you going to grow there?

    • Meg says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Feel free to email me at if you have any questions about getting started. I am a 5 minute walk from the school so it wouldn’t take me any time to get over there to have a chat!


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  21. Fromm says:

    Perhaps it might be easy for other peoples to raise a chicken than dogs. But as per my experience, I feel dogs can be raised better. Expenses could be big in the case of dogs and they don’t yield you any profit except some entertainment and security too. Chickens are good in both ways-either for having a chicken chilly or an omelet. HEHEHE.

  22. Coral Bells says:

    I just read that Grow Biointensive is the a growing trend. Has anyone heard anything about this trend?

  23. Great video I really like the Dog House conversion.
    Nice blog.

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  25. Allison Green says:

    In England everyone is allowed to keep hens. We got some lovely hens and great advice from

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