Should the White House Install a Chicken Coop?

Chickens who don't live in the White HouseThe White House has decided not to raise chickens on its grounds — it'll stick to vegetable gardening only. Image: b_karloff/iStockphoto

Urban farming fans have asked the White House to raise chickens. What do you think?

The White House is respectfully declining to jump on the urban livestock bandwagon and will not add a chicken coop to its 1,100 sq. ft. vegetable spread on the mansion’s south lawn.

White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, who recently led a garden tour for food journalists, says he’d love to have fresh eggs. But he fears that would thrust the White House into an animal rights debate about keeping chickens cooped up. Although it is interesting to note that livestock have been on the south lawn before: President Woodrow Wilson used sheep to reduce landscaping costs during World War I.

But those were different times. Today neighbors often debate about the rising urban farming movement.

And it looks like the White House wants to avoid that debate. The Obamas will be sticking to non-controversial okra, tomatillos, and other vegetables, herbs, and fruit.

Should the White House include chickens in its urban farming efforts?