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Backyard Chicken Farming? Arlington Egg Project Says Yes, And Yum (PHOTOS)

Arlington Egg Project

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 02/13/2012 5:02 pm Updated: 02/13/2012 11:18 pm

VIENNA, Va. -- Why keep backyard chickens? In one word: brunch.

Ed Fendley is co-founder of the Arlington Egg Project, a group trying to bring backyard chickens to Arlington County for a variety of reasons, including tasty, fresh eggs for home consumption.

The group -- which is holding an event, "I [Heart] Hens," at the Arlington Drafthouse on Thursday -- is starting out with some fairly modest goals.

During a visit to a Vienna home that keeps chickens, Fendley told The Huffington Post that to start, he's hoping Arlington County will begin a "community dialogue" on the issue of backyard chicken-keeping, eventually moving toward loosening up zoning restrictions so that most residents will be able to keep some hens. (Fendley is fairly convinced that any roosters in the dense, urban county would be a bad idea. Roosters are loud.)

The group has support in some high places. In January, J. Walter Tejada, vice chairman of the Arlington County Board, announced an urban agriculture initiative for Arlington. Tejada's initiative, which has the support of board member Jay Fisette, includes chickens. (Tejada told HuffPost that chickens are a small part of the initiative; the bigger parts concern food for low-income Arlingtonians.)

With questions about backyard chickens' suitability as pets and just how delicious fresh eggs actually are, HuffPost recently joined Fendley and fellow chicken aficionado Tom Carter in Vienna where their friends, hen-owners Chad and Heather Blevins, showed their brood and cooked some eggs, as seen in the slideshow below.

What Kind Of Chickens Do You Have?
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Chad Blevins: It's a mix between a Buff Orpington and Red Star. It's 75 percent Red Star, which is a good brown egg producer. And 25 percent Buff Orpington, a breed from England that's good in cold weather. A hardy bird.

Heather Blevins: We found them on Craigslist.

RELATED VIDEO: Trailer for the documentary "Mad City Chickens."

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