USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released a new report from the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) that for the first time studied the urban chicken population in the United States. The report, entitled “Reference of Health Management of Chicken Flocks in Urban Settings in Four U.S. Cities, 2010” focused on four major cities: Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and New York City, New York.  Following are some key highlights from the study, which is available at

  • Most flocks in Denver and New York City (68.0 and 81.8 percent, respectively) had fewer than 10 chickens.  Most flocks in Los Angeles and Miami (57.7 and 78.6 percent, respectively) had 10 or more chickens.
  • The majority of flocks in all four cities were located at single-family homes.  However, in New York City, nearly one fourth of flocks were located at a community coop and one third were located at multi-family dwellings.
  • Only 8.0 percent of flocks rated income as a very or extremely important reason for having chickens.  Over one-half of flocks rated fun-hobby, food source, food quality, and animal welfare as very or extremely important.
  • About one half of respondents were aware of a connection between poultry and Salmonella infection in people.