Urban farming craze begets chicken diapers

With more city folks adding small coops to their homes, the eggs are valued -- but the poop isn't.

By Aimee Picchi Jun 3, 2013 7:17AM
Chicken in a diaper (© Pampered Poultry via Facebook)The urban farming craze has spawned all sorts of interesting developments, from rooftop apiaries to vertical farming.

One big growth area is in urban poultry farming. City and suburban folks are adding small coops to their yards or rooftops, raising chickens for their eggs and as pets. Some locavore aficionados are skipping mass-produced eggs from giant producers such as Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), the largest producer of fresh eggs in the U.S., believing that home-grown eggs are healthier. 

But unlike cats and dogs, chickens aren't animals that can be potty trained. They might be fun to pick up, but getting pooped on isn't as enjoyable. Enter the chicken diaper.

A New Hampshire company called Pampered Poultry is selling small fabric diapers "for the fashion-obsessed hen." Owners can buy the $12 diapers for different size chickens (small for bantam chickens, for instance, and large for roosters and big breeds), in colors ranging from cloud blue to wine red.

The company, which also sells clothing for chickens (a tail coat is one option), is selling as many as 100 diapers a week to urban farmers, NPR reports.

Meanwhile, urban farming is expected to keep growing. 

Slightly less than 1% of all households in Denver, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City owned chickens, although almost 4% of residents without chickens said they plan to add some within the next five years, according to an April report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some chicken fanatics actually keep the birds in their houses in elaborate chicken condos, NPR adds.

But often the need for a diaper is sparked when a chicken is injured and the owner takes the bird inside for some TLC. "The diaper makes cleanup much, much easier," Traci Torres of MyPetChicken.com told NPR. 

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 

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Jun 3, 2013 10:37AM

This is too stupid, dumb, and airheaded to even think is true.  I swear.  All these Left and Right coast urban people, that act like they have discovered the wheel when they start doing things that people in the "flyover" regions of the USA have been doing all their lives, are the funniest, dim-witted, segment of people on this Earth.


Chicken diapers..............now I done seen all the stupid stuff Earthlings have to offer.  lol

Jun 3, 2013 12:07PM

As a backyard chicken keeper, I make it a point to clean up my patio & yard twice a day and my coop twice a week.  I can't imagine that takes up any more time than changing diapers on my chickens and I'm sure it is stressful and not sanitary for the chickens to wear those things. 

Jun 3, 2013 10:47AM
Yes this is very stupid but whoever came up with this ideal will probably make MILLIONS just like the pet rock.
Jun 3, 2013 9:30PM

I have a farm, with chickens running around outside in a paddock. Some of my chickens wear "aprons" that look something like the item the chicken in the picture a accompanying this article is wearing. While I don't doubt that some people are dumb enough to keep chickens in their homes and change their diapers, the useful "chicken apron" is a useful thing that farmer's have used for years to protect the hen's back during mating. A well designed "apron" allows the chicken complete movement  and access to dust baths per their typical behavior. An egg won't be any more healthy for you if you raise the chicken In a manner that does not allow it to live by it's instincts. 


I clean the henhouse every two weeks and use the compost in my garden. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to farm and eat eggs provided by their healthy, natural chickens. That does not make it ok to traumatize a chicken by making it adapt to an urban lifestyle.

Jun 3, 2013 12:05PM
OMG...chicken diapers???   ::face palm::
Jun 4, 2013 7:31PM
I have 3 pet chickens in our house...my oldest is 4 years .They also go on vacation with us ...riding in the truck .they ben to Montana,Wyoming,Minnesotta,N.Dakota,S.Dakota
Jun 3, 2013 1:01PM
Nothing makes most folks say "I'd sure like to buy a house in this neighborhood" more than a yard full of chickens. I am surprised that zoning regs would allow you to put a chicken coop in your back yard unless you are in a rural area.
Jun 3, 2013 12:41PM
Urban "chicken farmers" evidently have more money than brains. There is no way you can save money raising chickens for their eggs or meat. You can only eat so many eggs daily so for the most part freshness shouldn't be a reason. That being said I'm puzzled as to why they do it. Is it just to be different or is it just to annoy the neighbors with the cackling and odor?
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