February 4th, 2014
09:27 AM ET
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Brian Maloof knows it sounds crazy. Why would a small business build a chicken coop on its roof?

Maloof’s father, Manuel Maloof, opened his namesake watering hole in 1956. Manuel’s Tavern has been an Atlanta institution for decades, a place where journalists and cops rub elbows with legislators, carpenters and college students as they belly up to the wooden bar. The same portrait of JFK has hung over the bar since the days when “unaccompanied women” were not welcome. It's surrounded by pennants of Atlanta sports franchises, past and present

But things haven’t been easy lately. So Maloof “put it out there in prayer” and waited.

“I just said, ‘Father, I don’t know what it is that you want me to do, but it sure has been tough. I need some help here,’” said Maloof, who left his paramedic job in 2001 to work at Manuel’s.

The response he got back was "chickens.”

Stop touching that chicken!
June 1st, 2012
10:15 AM ET
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You've probably heard a lot about salmonella in reference to food poisoning, but the latest outbreak isn't about eating cooked animals – it's about touching live ones.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 93 people in a total of 23 states have been infected with strains of salmonella: specifically, strains known as Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille. Of those affected, 18 patients have been hospitalized and one death may be related to the outbreak under investigation too.

A large portion – 37% – of the those infected are 10 years old or younger, according to the CDC.

Read - CDC: Salmonella outbreak tied to live poultry

April 13th, 2012
05:45 PM ET
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Caught up in the backyard chicken craze? Broadcast journalism major and iReporter Kayla O'Brien cracked the underground chicken culture ruffling feathers in Winter Park, Florida. Her report follows.

The Backyard Chicken Initiative is making an impact in Winter Park.

Some Winter Park residents want to keep chickens as pets. However due to an ordinance in the city it is currently forbidden. The Backyard Yard Chicken Initiative project wants Winter Park to follow the 500 other cities in the United States that have overturned similar laws in recent years.

The project president Rachel Whited is a chicken owner herself. She keeps her chickens in hiding to dodge any possible punishments from city code enforcers. As the leader of the group she is asking for people with an open mind to get involved with their cause.

"We are looking for people to come with us to the City Commission Meeting because physical people look even better than ink on paper," Whited said.

Read the rest at iReport and read our F.A.Q. on getting started with backyard chickens

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Filed under: Backyard Chickens • Buzz • iReport • Local Food

F.A.Q. about the backyard chicken boom
April 11th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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We chatted about backyard chickens live on CNN Newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux this afternoon. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the growing trend.

Q: Will having a backyard chicken reduce the cost of eggs for my family and me?

A: This varies wildly depending on the way you decide to house them (a do-it-yourself coop or pen versus a fancy Egglu) and if you decide to feed them chicken feed, organic chicken feed, kitchen scraps or allow them to be free-range. You should also factor in how many chickens you or your neighbors have, since buying bulk can reduce the cost a tremendous amount.

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