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Urban Livestock Expo

By Martha Boyd, Program Director, Urban Initiative (Chicago)

On February 16th, over 200 visitors convened at the Garfield Park Conservatory to learn about caring for livestock in the city. 

Many people helped make the first annual Urban Livestock Expo a success – the organizers: Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), Angelic Organics Learning Center, Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts, the hosts, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, the 15 presenters, 20+ volunteers AND the standing room only crowd who came to learn from experienced practitioners about keeping chickens, ducks, bees, goats,...

Spring-like weather has brought rounds of kids (human and goat!) to the Learning Center over the past two weeks.  Our grand total of goats for the season is now 40: 10 mothers, 23 kids, 3 yearling does, 2 bucks, 2 angoras.  Nearly 40 children joined those 40 goats over the past three weeks for our spring break Kids with Kids day camps.  We gave the last group of campers the challenge of learning as many names as possible for all of the goats. 

I’m glad to announce our winner: camper Dorie, who did an outstanding job identifying over...

Dear Friends,

I'm glad to let you know that we have yet 2 more new arrivals today on the farm!!!

At 10:45AM, I (Deb) found that Aphrodite had given birth to Zoe, an all white doeling with short ears.  I ran to tell the rest of the staff, who  joined me in welcoming Aphrodite's 2nd baby girl, Zinnia!  Zinnia is smaller than Zoe, and has a very light tan coat much like Lily.   She also has short ears (and wattles).

The birthing process was very smooth for all involved.  Aphrodite and...

Baby Lily

By Nellie Conover-Crockett, Age 11, Livestock crew

I was at home with my mom when we were called by Suzanne at about 2:30 in the afternoon.  She told us that one of the goats, Thalia, had some mucus and looked like she would have her baby soon.  We hurried out to the farm to find Thalia pacing and panting.  We decided to stay with her for a while. 

It seemed like it was taking a LONG time. 

Myles and Myles

Learning Center day-camper Myles (pictured above) turned 8 this week, and received an unusual birthday present: a newborn goat as a namesake! 

 

Spring is kidding season at the Learning Center, and on March 23, our first three baby goats were born during our popular Kids with Kids daycamp! The camp group present on the day of a goat birth gets the priviledge of naming the new kids.

 
Program Director Deb Crockett reports that everyone was a bit disappointed after the first day of camp, as none of the goats had given birth yet. "But this morning, when...

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A group of (people) kids joined us this week to welcome our newest (goat) kids to the farm. Overnight on March 23, goat goddess Thalia gave birth to two beautiful, healthy doelings. When we found them in the morning, the kids were up: walking, nursing, and ready to explore!

 

Meanwhile, we have a dozen children here for our first week of Kids with Kids Day Camp. The (people) kids are all assigned to their own goat mamas, and have the responsibility this week of checking the moms for signs of labor. Our junior farmers give frequent reports, “I...

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A family recently returned to the farm for the first time since 2004, the year when Sylvia, the three-legged goat, was born.   Their young daughter was so enchanted by Sylvia’s sweet disposition that she insisted that people address her as Sylvia, and, eventually, her parents made Sylvia her middle name.   This child growing up in Chicago had a goat as an important childhood friend!

 
Thousands of people visit the farm and Learning Center every year; I believe that the most powerful aspect of their visits is not the skills or information that they return home with, but...

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