Thursday, August 08, 2013

Garden Tour with a Twist

I love me a good garden tour, so when I heard about the Chicks on the Ridge tour in my own little city/suburb of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, I was pretty excited. I have a couple of neighbors that live close enough that I can occasionally hear the buck-buck-buck of their small flocks, but I was curious to see what the trends were — if any — in the new era of chicken owners. (As a kid, I spent many enjoyable hours feeding, chasing, gathering eggs etc., of chickens, ducks, and other fowl on my grandmother's farm. So, I do "get" it.)
She's a classy classic --- Rhode Island Red

A total of eight homeowners opened their backyards for the tour and were excited to share their chickeny passion.  Most of them had built their own chicken coops and chicken runs, many choosing to repurpose materials, including this headed-for-the-dump armoire:

the rectangular door in the back slides open for access to the enclosed run area during the day
Most of the owners view their chickens as family pets, and chicken-keeping as a good activity to share with their children.  They enjoy owning a variety of different chicken breeds, like this fancy, feather-footed dame:
Who needs a feather boa when you can have feathered feet?

With a couple of exceptions, egg production to supplement the family food cupboard was the goal, not sales.
these "Easter eggs" are from Amerucanas

My favorite chicken abode was this one; an all-in-one, covered and enclosed unit for coop and run.  It's nicely finished — not too big, and not too small:

It features easy access to the nesting boxes, and a large back door for airing the coop and cleaning.

All of the chicken owners that I visited understand the connection between chickens and gardens; they're actively raising veggies and putting their chicken waste to good use as part of their compost/soil improvement regime.
Isn't this Barnevelder a beauty?

I was surprised to hear most of the tour participants say that they consider their chickens to be low maintenance and easier to care for than they'd anticipated.  But I suppose if one is chasing around after young children all day, taking care of a few birds would be a piece of cake!

Thanks, again, to all the chicken wranglers who welcomed us to their coops, and Wheat Ridge 2020/Live Local  for their sponsorship.


David Cristiani said...

That's great you get it, and showed others who do, too. Maybe when it's something desired and embraced, then it is a great part of the day...just like having a garden, growing food, etc! Always seems to be some lightheartedness with having chickens, too.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

So true, David. Several people mentioned how fun and entertaining their chickens are.