This commentary in "Poultry USA" caught my eye. Editor Gary Thornton states, "Backyard poultry keeping will influence consumer views and possibly, at some point, buying behavior for retail poultry products."
I think he makes some excellent points. At the Westminster Farmers' Market we can clearly see a consumer preference for local eggs.
I am a person with a foot in each camp. I was a commercial egg producer for over 25 years. Our family is now involved in backyard egg production. There is a joke that made the rounds a while ago that a chicken is involved in breakfast (the eggs), but the pig is committed (the bacon). OK, so maybe we are committed to chickens.
In my opinion, the backyard chicken movement isn't anywhere near peaking. Every month I hear about more friends and acquaintances starting a flock of backyard birds for the first time. There is an interest in local food, but it's more than that. People seem to want to take some personal responsibility for putting food on their table. I see the same interest growing in backyard gardening. It is a real DIY revolution.