February 4th, 2014
09:27 AM ET
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Brian Maloof knows it sounds crazy. Why would a small business build a chicken coop on its roof?

Maloof’s father, Manuel Maloof, opened his namesake watering hole in 1956. Manuel’s Tavern has been an Atlanta institution for decades, a place where journalists and cops rub elbows with legislators, carpenters and college students as they belly up to the wooden bar. The same portrait of JFK has hung over the bar since the days when “unaccompanied women” were not welcome. It's surrounded by pennants of Atlanta sports franchises, past and present

But things haven’t been easy lately. So Maloof “put it out there in prayer” and waited.

“I just said, ‘Father, I don’t know what it is that you want me to do, but it sure has been tough. I need some help here,’” said Maloof, who left his paramedic job in 2001 to work at Manuel’s.

The response he got back was "chickens.”

Stop touching that chicken!
June 1st, 2012
10:15 AM ET
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You've probably heard a lot about salmonella in reference to food poisoning, but the latest outbreak isn't about eating cooked animals – it's about touching live ones.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 93 people in a total of 23 states have been infected with strains of salmonella: specifically, strains known as Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille. Of those affected, 18 patients have been hospitalized and one death may be related to the outbreak under investigation too.

A large portion – 37% – of the those infected are 10 years old or younger, according to the CDC.

Read - CDC: Salmonella outbreak tied to live poultry

April 13th, 2012
05:45 PM ET
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Caught up in the backyard chicken craze? Broadcast journalism major and iReporter Kayla O'Brien cracked the underground chicken culture ruffling feathers in Winter Park, Florida. Her report follows.

The Backyard Chicken Initiative is making an impact in Winter Park.

Some Winter Park residents want to keep chickens as pets. However due to an ordinance in the city it is currently forbidden. The Backyard Yard Chicken Initiative project wants Winter Park to follow the 500 other cities in the United States that have overturned similar laws in recent years.

The project president Rachel Whited is a chicken owner herself. She keeps her chickens in hiding to dodge any possible punishments from city code enforcers. As the leader of the group she is asking for people with an open mind to get involved with their cause.

"We are looking for people to come with us to the City Commission Meeting because physical people look even better than ink on paper," Whited said.

Read the rest at iReport and read our F.A.Q. on getting started with backyard chickens

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Filed under: Backyard Chickens • Buzz • iReport • Local Food

F.A.Q. about the backyard chicken boom
April 11th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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We chatted about backyard chickens live on CNN Newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux this afternoon. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the growing trend.

Q: Will having a backyard chicken reduce the cost of eggs for my family and me?

A: This varies wildly depending on the way you decide to house them (a do-it-yourself coop or pen versus a fancy Egglu) and if you decide to feed them chicken feed, organic chicken feed, kitchen scraps or allow them to be free-range. You should also factor in how many chickens you or your neighbors have, since buying bulk can reduce the cost a tremendous amount.

April 19th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Watch the Green Solutions in Focus: Eatocracy Edition hour-long special hosted by Tom Foreman on Saturday, April 23rd at 3pm ET and see all Earth Day coverage at eatocracy.com/infocus

What do terms like "free-range," "organic," and "cage-free" actually mean?

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Filed under: Backyard Chickens • Business and Farming News • Earth Day • Events • Farms • Farmstands • Feature • In Focus • Local Food • Organic

March 15th, 2011
04:30 PM ET
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Eatocracy is in Austin for SXSW and the third installment of the Secret Supper. Live blog coverage begins at 7:30.

"You got to hang out with Toesy? I'm jealous! She's so cool..."

Toesy, as it happens, is a chicken. Mention her name in a throng of Austin food bloggers or chefs, and everyone knows exactly where you spent your morning.

A scant two miles from the beep and thrum of the 25th annual South by Southwest music, film, and interactive conference and festival, a couple of farmers - and their celebrity livestock - are changing the way the city eats, one egg at a time.

August 26th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: Michele Jay-Russell is a food safety and security specialist, and Michael Payne is the Outreach Program Coordinator, both at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS), a program of the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California at Davis.

With more than half a billion eggs recalled and at least 1,300 salmonellosis illnesses linked to eggs in an ongoing investigation this summer, consumers are worried and wondering, "What went wrong, and what can I do to protect myself and my family?"

We study food safety for a living, so our own family members have been quizzing us about which eggs are safest to buy.

August 25th, 2010
12:00 AM ET
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The "eat local" movement has driven more Americans to seek out their local farmers' markets, instead of the nearby supermarket chain, for everything from eggs, produce, even meat.

There are a variety of reasons that more people are turning to local food: some just want to support local business, while others have concerns over food safety – from pesticides in produce to the way animals are treated on large farms.

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Filed under: Animal Rights • Backyard Chickens • Business and Farming News • Eggs • Farms • Food Politics • Local Food • News • Recalls

Egg farming: Industrial vs. organic
August 24th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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In the wake of an outbreak that has left an estimated 1,300 people sick with salmonella infections, and the recall of more than half a billion eggs, a debate is brewing over whether modern farming methods pose a health risk.

According to the United Egg Producers, about 95 percent of all chickens are raised in an industrial setting. These chickens are confined in small cages, in closely monitored conditions, with tens of thousands of birds in a huge warehouse.

Are free-roaming chickens less prone to salmonella? Is organic safer than inorganic? Did the strain that caused the recent outbreak arise because of factory farms?

CNN Health has the FULL STORY

See all egg recall information on Eatocracy and full coverage on CNN Health

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Filed under: Animal Rights • Backyard Chickens • Business and Farming News • Eggs • Farms • Food Politics • Health News • Local Food • News • Organic • Recalls • Tainted Food

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