Photo by Baying Hound.

Urban chickens are an essentially free, organic, and local source of food, fertilizer, and pest control.

They eat cockroaches and mosquitoes and in return give you an unending supply of eggs. It used to be everybody with a backyard kept a backyard chicken coop, and as word of their benefits gets around again, more and more people are starting up the old practice. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to go green.

However, a lot of people think backyards should be reserved for perfectly manicured Kentucky Bluegrass and that actual nature, agriculture, or production shouldn’t come within several miles of their subdivision, for fear of what it might do to their property values.

More and more people in Gaithersburg are keeping backyard chickens, and as a result an increasing number of people are demanding the city put a stop to it. The city — Montgomery County’s long-time agricultural center — is officially considering a ban and will take up the issue at a public hearing on Monday.

Gaithersburg has the option of going green, or going NIMBY (or should it be NIYBY). Let’s hope they make the right decision and keep the chickens.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.