Archive for February, 2011

The Urban Chicken Consultant Recommends… Chicken Poop Lip Junk!

Yes, you heard it here first–Chicken Poop lip junk!*

Grandpa says,  “If ya got dry lips, put chicken poop on ’em so ya won’t lick ’em!” Yep, that will pretty much do it!

This is a great lip balm with a slight lavender scent. Makes a great gift for your favorite chicken enthusiast (or consultant)! It’s also just plain ol’ fun to pull out a tube of Chicken Poop and apply to lips!

Chicken Poop Lip Junk!

Chicken Poop Lip Junk!

Check out the ilovechickenpoop site to order!

*Contains no poop!

REMINDER: Sign up for the Backyard Chicken Basics Workshop

Chickens – you know you want some!

With a face like this, what’s not to love!?

Come join this new crazy urban trend! Get the scoop at the Backyard Chicken Basics Workshop on March 12! Check out the webpage for more information and to sign up!


Starve out, or “Why won’t my new chicks eat?”

Chicks sometimes need a little extra help eating and drinking!

Chicks need to learn to eat and drink – crucial first skills to master! When you get your new babies, you should gently dip their beaks in a chick waterer and watch their throats to make sure they swallow. You should also check to make sure they are happily pecking, scratching, and eating. Their little crops will be full after they’ve had a big meal.

But what if your chicks are not eating? Many times mail ordering delays chicks’ arrival and they’ve depleted their internal supply of yolk and are too weak to eat. This is called starve out. What do you do then?

First, it is crucial to separate the weak chicks from the strong ones. Weak chicks are easily trampled and may suffocate under a pile of their siblings. Keep food, water, and heat available to both groups of chicks.

To feed a chick that is a victim of starve out, follow these steps:

  1. Moisten the feed in water and make a thick gruel that is just thin enough to be pulled into a dropper or syringe.
  2. Pull the the gruel into the dropper or syringe, and place the tip of the chick’s beak inside.
  3. SLOWLY push on the syringe or squeeze the dropper so that food goes into the chick’s beak. Administer the food SLOWLY; if you go too fast, you can easily drown a chick with the food. The trachea and esophagus are very close in the throat.
  4. Watch the throat to make sure the chick swallows.

If you do not have a syringe or dropper, put a bit of the mixture on your finger and work it into the chick’s beak.

Once the chick has regained its strength, monitor it closely to make sure it is eating. Check the chick’s crop to make sure food is getting in, and watch it to make sure it is pecking. You can scatter food on the floor of the brooder box instead of placing it in the dish only; chicks peck at the ground naturally, and if food is in the way, all the better! Once it is past this crucial stage, reintroduce it to the rest of the flock. Congratulations!

April 16, 2011: Home to Roost at Green Metropolis

Celebrate Earth Month!

Home to Roost will attend the Green Metropolis Fair at the Irish-American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Chicago, IL, from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Come join this fun event with lots of great activities for kids and adults and learn about sustainable living!

The Green Metropolis page will keep you posted on events and vendors.

March 19, 2011: Home to Roost at Family Farmed Good Food Expo

Join Us for the Midwest’s Premier Good Food Event

March 17 – 19, 2011 UIC Forum — University of Illinois at Chicago

Good Food, Good Know-How, Good Fun: FamilyFarmed EXPO is a three-day conference, trade show, and food festival for farmers, businesses, the trade, individuals, and families.

Home to Roost will take part in a panel on Saturday, March 19, 2 PM – 3:15:

No Yolk! Chickens in Your Back Yard

Enjoy fresh eggs everyday by raising chickens in your own backyard. Sarah Elizabeth Ippel from the Academy for Global Citizenship will be the moderator of the panel:

  • Martha Boyd, Program Director, Urban Initiative, Angelic Organics Learning Center
  • John Emrich, Backyard Chicken Run
  • Jennifer Murtoff, Urban Chicken Consultant

For other events, see the Family Farmed Expo website.

Knife-Wielding Rooster Kills Man in California

Rooster with steel spurs

All right, so you’re at an illegal cockfight, and a rooster comes after you (probably because he’s sick of this whole cruel dog-and-pony show). He slices your calf with a knife, and you don’t get to the ER on time. You die.

Darwin award for 1) illegal activity 2) cruelty to animals and 3) being killed by a chicken.

Check out the coverage here: Tulare County man dies after being cut by knife attached to cockfighting rooster’s leg

Smart rooster. Maybe the rest of the ones involved in this nasty “sport” should take some lessons from him!

Traveling Chicks Land in Illinois

The call of the day was FedEx at OHare – with a box of chicks that had been there since Saturday. They were on their way to Arizona and got stuck in IL. I picked them up this AM.

There were eight (out of 13) still alive and healthy when I got them. I had to teach them to eat and drink, though. They were from McMurray Hatchery, hatched 2/4, and the label said barred cochin bantams (5), light Brahma bantams (1), Araucana bantams (2), Rhode Island red bantams (5). The hatchery sent a replacement shipment to AZ, so these guys are now Illini! They now have a great home on the south side!

Fight Rising Healthcare Costs with Chickens

A tongue-in-cheek, slightly snarky article about an improbable but amusing way to battle the woes of navigating your medical bills. Maybe health care would be easier if we just cut out the middle man and dealt directly with doctors – in chickens.

Senate candidate Lowden proposes bartering chickens for health care

March 12, 2011: Backyard Chicken Basics Workshop with Home to Roost

It’s that time again!

Come join Angelic Organics and Home to Roost for a class on raising chickens!

Basic Backyard Chicken Care

    March 12, 2011 10:00am – 1:00pm


    Farm fresh eggs from your own back yard?


    Please join us for a workshop on best practices for Basic Backyard Chicken Care in Chicago and surrounding communities.

    Raising chickens as pets and for eggs is LEGAL in Chicago – and part of our growing local food and urban agriculture scene.

    Keep yourself, your chickens, AND your neighbors happy – from daily needs and year-round care to relevant city regulations.

    Our instructor is the informative and engaging Jen Murtoff of Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consulting.

    You will leave the workshop with the knowledge, recommendations, and resources you need for your own home flock – and you’ll make connections with other chicken enthusiasts in Chicago.

    For more info, visit our Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts Google site, moderated by Learning Center staff.

    For more information about the Learning Center’s registration & refund policies – click here. If the workshop fee presents a barrier to your participation, please inquire about limited work-exchange scholarships. For Chicago workshops, contact

    Actual costs of workshops are close to double our workshop fees. If you are able, please consider making an additional donation to help cover the full cost of your workshop.

    Price: $35.00

    Angelic Organics Learning Center
    6400 S Kimbark Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60637 US
    First Presbyterian Church of Chicago

    Go to the Angelic Organics site page to register.

    Home to Roost Lays a Golden Egg – A California Chicken Consulting Business!

    Sometimes the oddest things happen at the oddest times. On Sept. 21, 2010, at around 10 AM, my phone rang.

    That in and of itself was not odd, but the person on the other end was a woman from California, wanting advice on starting a chicken consulting business. Yes, that’s odd.

    But it gets odder. Sept. 21, 2010, was the day of my WCIU appearance, which featured female entrepreneurs doing battle against a tough economy by following their passions.

    The woman on the phone introduced herself as Cherie. She had found my phone number on AOL’s Wallet Pop article and wanted to talk to me about my urban chicken business.

    When I told her that I had been sitting in a TV studio that morning, doing a live show on chickens, female entrepreneurs, and following our passions, we both had a long hearty laugh at the coincidence.

    Cherie, it turns out, was a woman who was, like me, a little entrepreneurial! Her grandfather had introduced her to chickens as a kid, and she rediscovered them when her son was a toddler through a 4-H  project. She learned a lot in the process and became a 4-H poultry project leader. Following a layoff, she decided to pursue chicken consulting in California. Via email, Cherie told me

    My husband didn’t know anything about chickens until he met me – then he tried to convince me that I should make a business of it. I thought he was crazy of course, but after being laid off and having days turn into months with few substantial job offers, I needed to start exploring other options. “Do what you know!” he told me, and when the article about you and “Urban Chicken Consulting” popped on my computer screen, I finally accepted that he might be right! Your story inspired me to go for it, so here I am!

    Cherie and I talked about some of the services I offer the Chicagoland area: workshops, classes, consultations, presentations, etc. and some of the lessons learned from my experience.

    It was a great conversation, and I am proud to have helped hatch another business in a tough economy!

    Check out Cherie’s site:

    Cherie of Chickens for Eggs