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Chickens

Chickens can be raised in your backyard

We have experienced an overwhelming level of interest in our Backyard Chickens workshops this Spring. Our recent workshop in March sold out with 35 attendees--and a waiting list. When we presented at this year's Family Farmed Expo in Chicago, an estimated 150 were in attendance with standing room only. Everyone wants chickens!

 

In addition to hosting Backyard Chickens workshops, AOLC Chicago Program Director Martha Boyd also manages a Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts google group. The group brings together a flock of folks in and around Chicago to share stories and promote best practices in raising chickens. Many...

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Last fall, I was sent a link to an article describing European farmers who have set up vending machines for fresh foods straight from their farms.

 

It seemed like a good idea, perhaps, for our on-farm education programs.  I was ruminating on this as I headed out to feed the animals.  Then it struck me—a vending machine has a lot in common with a chicken nesting box—the same boxy dimensions, made of many chicken size compartments and filled with delicious treats.

 

My mind started spinning:  Why not just skip the egg carton altogether,...

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 Teachers often ask us about incubating eggs at school to teach students about biology, chickens, farming, and food. We asked Chicago chicken keepers if they would like to get their hens from classroom hatching projects. Reflections: 

  1. BIOLOGICAL REALITY IS: about half of the eggs will hatch out male chicks – and there’s no way to know which before they hatch (except a new method that measures estrogen levels inside the shell.) Right after hatching, sex-linked varieties can be distinguished (boys from girls) by color of certain feathers, for instance. Otherwise,
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