Subsidizing Backyard Chickens?

There are a lot of really bad food policy proposals.  But, this one take the cake.  Apparently the city of Austin, TX is subsidizing backyard chicken coops.  

The city announced Thursday that as a part of Austin Resource Recovery’s Home Composting Rebate Program, Austinites can attend one of five “chicken keeping classes,” buy a chicken coop, submit a rebate application online and receive a $75 check from the city.

Austin Resource Recovery is promoting the program as a way for Austinites to help reach the city’s Zero Waste goal by keeping food waste out of the landfill.

A few questions come to mind.  What happens to the waste that comes out of the chickens?  Does this waste (and the smell and the sound) impose externalities on neighbors?  What happens to the hens who have reached the end of their egg-laying life?  What happens to the hens who, whoops, turn out to be roosters.  Bird flu?  Will the chickens be protected from preditors and extreme weather conditions?  How much does it cost to maintain the chickens and how expensive is supplemental feed and veterinary care?

I'm not necessarily trying to discourage backyard chickens.  I just want to know why taxpayer A should be required to pay for person B's chickens?  If the problem is food waste, and supposing it causes some unmentioned externalities, why not just increase the price of garbage pick-up?  Then households can respond in whatever ways they find most effective and convenient.  I doubt, for most, that chickens are the optimal solution.