Archive for February 2nd, 2011

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

    The Urban Chicken Consultant Recommends… the Chicken Ark

    If you’re getting backyard birds this year, consider the Catawba Coop Chicken Ark. Several of my clients have these, and they are a nice set up for your backyard hens!

    This coop features a roomy bottom for free-ranging fun and a secure upper section with pull-up ramp for nighttime safety. Roosts are included in the top section, and there are nest boxes on either end. Suitable for 2 to 3 hens. The coop can be picked up and moved around the yard.

    Consider running hardware cloth (a heavy gauge wire mesh) down from the sides and under the ground, across the bottom, to keep rodents from digging up into the coop. (However, if you do this, you will lose the mobility.)

    NOTE: ALWAYS let the ramp down in the morning during the summer. Otherwise you will roast your hens – literally – and heatstroke is not a pretty death. 

    Assembly required! For those of you who are not handy with lumber, hammer, and nails, you’ll need a hand (and a few extra thumbs!)!

    Wilkes’ Chicken Ark in Oak Park
    Caughan’s Chicken Ark in Oak Park


    What kind of coop do you have or recommend? Please post below!