Sure Foot Adventures recently co-sponsored a class on raising chickens with Homeschool Excursions and Wind, Water & Wisdom. Roughly 20 people participated, and the participants got to know our 13 backyard chickens, learned about what it takes to raise chickens, and visited other families’ coops.
Though Atlanta had be inundated by rain for days, the skies cleared for our class. Despite the inevitable mosquitos, we were able to comfortably sit in the backyard, hold & pet the chickens, and learn. This class was primarily for kids as part of the Homeschool Excursions program, but parents and several other adults participated.
So, what happens in a chicken class? We “met” the chickens–Fatty White, Spilly, Bully Hawk, Jackie Joyner Clucker, Mr. Whiskers, etc. We learned how to hold chickens and we looked at their anatomy–waddle, feet, spurs, comb, wings, and so on. We also talked some about why one might want to raise chickens: for food (eggs and meat), as pets, for fertilizer, etc.
Though much of the class was “lecture,” we regularly took breaks from listening to catch and hold chickens, learn how to built waterers and feeders, and generally interact with the birds. I was amazed to see how much of a connection the kids developed with the chickens in such a short period of time. One young man told me that he made it a point to pick up and hold every one of the 13 birds!
Another experiment we did was to crack store-bought eggs (the carton claimed they were “fresh from the farm”) alongside some of our backyard eggs. The difference was amazing–large, viscous yolks (backyard) versus small, tight yolks (store), and of course backyard eggs have yolks with such a vibrant orange color!
Finally, our group hopped into vehicles and carpooled to four chicken coups in Decatur. We saw new breeds, interesting coop designs, and even a pet rabbit that co-habitated with chickens!
After the class was over, some families chose to stay and participate in the slaughter and processing of a rooster–a painful task that starkly demonstrates where our food comes from.
Many adults contacted me before this class and lamented that they were unable to come because it was held on a weekday. We plan to offer another Raising City Chickens class on one Saturday in the next couple months. If you are interested, please tell us!