All jokes aside, Clark Andelin is seriously thinking about chickens. In late September, Andelin appeared before the Mexico City Council requesting an amendment to the current city ordinance governing specifically the keeping and raising of chickens within the city limits.
His reasoning: raising chickens teaches responsibility and can help people save money. "I want my children to have the experience of caring for live animals, to learn the responsibility of dealing with such an experience, to reap the benefits of such a task," Andelin said. "Chickens produce eggs and, eventually, meat. People can save money while creating a means whereby they can be self-sufficient."
The idea stems from the 'urban agriculture' movement currently steadily growing in several metropolitan areas. The movement encourages people in urban settings to grow or crops or raise small livestock or fowl, usually on parcels of land smaller than a standard house lot. The resulting harvests increase the amount of fresh vegetables, fruits and meat products available to people living in metropolitan areas.
While Mexico is far from a large metropolitan area, Andelin believes the ideas could work here as well. "I'd like the opportunity to do something beneficial for my family. Other places, even nearby places, are allowing residents to raise chickens," Andelin said. "Why can't people here in Mexico be able to do the same?"
He is not wanting a complete overhaul of the ordinance, only changes in the acre restriction and distance from border requirements. Currently, Mexico residents need at least an acre of property and 'any enclosure used to house livestock or fowl must be located at a distance of not less than two hundred (200) feet from any adjoining tract of land or property line.'
Andelin hopes the City Council will adopt requirements similar to that of Columbia which allow only up to six hens (no roosters) on any tract of land with enclosures setting at least 10 feet from the property line and 25 feet from any adjacent residence. "Not too many people living inside Mexico city limits have an acre lot," Andelin said. "This simple change will give those of us who want to do this the chance."