Last year, two parents living in the city of Madison, Wisconsin decided it was time to get their kids a pet. But they didn't want a cat. Not a dog, either. Not even a rabbit. They wanted a chicken. Twenty-five chickens, actually. All were shipped at one day old, and arrived in a tiny, cheeping package delivered by their mailman."A big part of our motivation came from our friends who had chickens in [their] backyard, and we saw them do it, and the eggs they got. We thought it was neat," says mom Elizabeth Arth. "We try to eat locally grown foods, and also, this is a way for our kids to understand where eggs come from."
Now Arth and her husband Dan McAlvanah are part of Mad City Chickens, a Madison organization chicken owners formed just three years ago. Like most others in the group, this family ordered...

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