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The Learning Center in Mindful Metropolis

Journalist Nic Halverson quotes the Learning Center's Chicago Urban Initiative Program Director Martha Boyd and the Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts in the recent cover story, "Thank You for Being a Hen," for Mindful Metropolis. 


"Riding high on the momentum of the local food movement’s ascent from the fringes into a more mainstream public consciousness, in the last few years, the renaissance of urban agriculture has cities nationwide revisiting old ordinances and drafting new laws to allow for small-scale backyard chicken keeping." writes Halverson.

The article provides an overview of the Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts, facilitated by the Learning Center, and their successful block an ordinance to ban raising chickens in Chicago in 2007. The Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts continue to have a presence in the city, sharing knowledge and hosting events, including the recent Hen-apalooza tour of coops event, attended by approximately 100 people last month. The group has over 250 members, and is "widely regarded as the nexus of Chicago's backyard chicken community."

Halverson quotes Martha Boyd: "There are people who belong to this group who really know a lot about chickens and their biology,"says Boyd. "People have really studied their birds' behavior and they're able to provide each other with a ton of information."  

Jen Murtoff, owner of Home to Roost, is one such enthusiast. “A lot of people I talk to love their chickens and enjoy their personalities and their quirks,” says Murtoff. “And you do get to know your hens. They do become beings in and of their own right. Plus, I think it’s a good learning experience for kids to see where eggs come from.”  

To get to know some hens, register for the Learning Center's upcoming Basic Backyard Chicago Care workshop on November 6th, led by Jen Murtoff. Visit the Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts Google site to stay abreast on all chicken related developments.

A workshop attendee holds a hen while another looks onA workshop attendee poses with a henAnother workshop attendee learns about hensA hen in the sunlightMartha Boyd with a few Chicken enthusiasts