by Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher
Are you inspired to start your own flock? You're in luck: Many feed stores carry chicks in spring. (But, please, don't succumb to the lure of Easter chicks. Chickens need coops, proper feed, and years of care. Don't impulse buy!)
The West is rife with events happening all over to orient new chicken owners. Here are just a few of the many classes and workshops we're looking forward to in 2008:
Livingscape Nursery holds their ChickenFest withworkshops on coop-building and chicken care and selection,chicken-related film screenings, and displays of 20 different breedsMarch 26-28. (Details are still being finalized.)
Growing Gardens is holding an urban chicken-keeping workshop July 12.
Also sponsored by Growing Gardens: Portland's 5th annual Tour de Coopson Saturday, July 26. Tour urban chicken coops all over the city andchat with experienced chicken owners. In addition to all sorts ofpoultry-fabulous events, Growing Gardens also has good chicken resourceinformation on their website, so click away!
Wasatch Community Gardens holds a class on Urban chickens on June 25. And on June 28, they'll have their own Tour de Coops (a bargain at only $5!)
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco's Garden for the Environment has a class on city chickens (and ducks) March 29. (Registration required; the cost is $15.)
Seattle Tilth hosts a class on raising baby chicks March 8, covering everything from chicken health and behavior to poultry law and coop construction. (Registration is required; the cost is $32).
Readers, do you know of others? Leave a comment, and we'll add 'em!
For our Bay Area readers: The guru of ethical, omnivorous eating, Berkeley's own Michael Pollan, will be speaking at Stanford University at 7:30 p.m. March 3. If you haven't read our interview with Pollan in the February issue of Sunset, check it out! And, you can read the full, unedited interview here.
Ruby says: Don't buy chicks impulsively. We're cute, but we're trouble.