We had such an exciting Sunday this past weekend–our first Chicken Chicks meeting!! Nine girls, one chicken champion, one guest chicken farmer, three GS staff members, one Heiffer Int. Volunteer and two chickens=awesomeness.
This was our first meeting of four, so there was a lot of planning and learning to be done. The girls played a game introducing the concept of a pecking order (it was enough to make me be happy I’m not a chicken…if you’re at the bottom of the barrel in chicken society, there is close to no hope!) and spent time learning the anatomy of our two chicken guests, Bonnie and Clyde (Bonnie was very well-behaved, Clyde was a bit on the noisy side).
Afterwards, they had the opportunity to ask Allie Gaither-Banchofs, our 14 yr. old chicken champion, all about the trials and tribulations of raising chickens. Her advice? Be prepared to spend time with your chickens! It means they’ll know you and like having you around. I have to give a thank you shout out for Allie to joining us–she has a huge amount of experience and motivation in raising her chickens, and we really appreciate her help in our program! Elliot DuMont–owner of Bonnie and Clyde and co-manager of the Tucson Green Art and Farmers’ Market–was also a huge help in answering girls’ questions about the challenges and joys of raising chickens. He advised the girls on what the best things to keep in mind when planning a coop are (protection from the wild desert beasts!), what to feed chickens, and what different varieties are bred for.
Next the girls were on to the plot where they will be building their chicken coop. Judy has graciously allowed us to have the chickens in her backyard, where she can keep an eye on them and collect their eggs, once they are of laying age. They girls checked out the area and then sat down to go over a few different coop designs and decide what would work best in the given space. After some discussion, they decided upon a blend of two different designs, in order to incorporate the best elements of each.
Our next meeting is March 6th, where we will be working on actual coop and garden bed construction! Stay posted for updates and pictures.
Chicken love to all,
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