Alaska's chicken population skyrockets
More Alaskans than ever own chickens. According to Alaska Grown in 2015 about 30,000 chickens were imported to the state, last year it was about 126,000. So why such a dramatic increase? Chicken owners point to their desires to know where their food comes from and how it was raised, they also say chickens are a fun, easy animal for people with children.
Most people order their chickens from hatcheries in the Lower 48 and chicken coupes can be bought in most home and garden stores for as little as a few hundred dollars.
"When we first got chickens I just liked them cause their cute and fuzzy," Aidan Siegel a 4H kid said, "and as they've grown they've just been like dear to my heart."
The birds are fluffy, colorful and usually full of personality.
But, it is those eggs — with yolks often darker than you find in a store that chicken owners like to talk about the most.
"Probably the best part of raising chickens is the eggs," Dorothy Jacobson a chicken owner said, "and we let them free range. They go out they eat the bugs, they eat weeds in the yard, so we get these awesome deep-orange yolks. Such tasty eggs and they're always fresh."