Archive for July, 2013

Home to Roost Consults to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Today Home to Roost, LLC, assisted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office with moving 30 hens into the Cook County Jail. Home to Roost consulted with the Sheriff’s Office to assist in selecting birds, designing a coop, and creating a chicken-keeping program for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. The lovely chickens and supplies were supplied by Belmont Feed and Seed. 

The goals of the program are

  • Create marketable products (eggs, coops) for CCSO;
  • Provide inmates with marketable skills/experience (animal husbandry, carpentry, management);
  • Provide inmates with discipline, respect for nature;
  • Implement a “green,” ecofriendly program at CCSO; and
  • Integrate with existing gardening program.

Home to Roost is very happy to participate in this project!

Chickens and Hot, Humid Weather

As the temperatures and humidity soar, you’ll want to help your hens keep cool. A few tips for helping your hens beat the heat!

As the temperatures hit the mid-80s, your birds will probably start panting. If temperatures hit above 100, your birds may suffer heatstroke. Here are some tips, excerpted from my class on chickens and heat, to prevent that.

1) Provide fresh, clean water – and lots of it.

2) Freeze 2-liter bottles and put them in the coop to cool it down.

3) Remove excess bedding, which traps heat.

4) Feed a crumble feed, rather than a whole-grain food. Grains generate heat as they are metabolized.

5) Provide shade.

6) Mist their favorite dustbath areas so that the soil is damp (but not muddy).

7) Provide shallow pans of cool water that they can stand in.

8) Create air movement.

If you notice that the birds are listless and lethargic (signs of heat stress), consider bringing them into a cool basement or to an airconditioned mudroom (in a dog crate or portable cage). Make the transition gradually (don’t bring them directly in to a room that is 20 degrees cooler). Help cool birds down by applying cool (not cold) compresses to comb, wattles, and feet.

As always, keep an eye on your birds and know what’s normal for them. This will help you catch problems before they become life threatening.

SAVE THE DATE: Windy City Coop Tour

SAVE THE DATE for the 2013 Windy City Coop Tour on September 21-22, from 10AM to 2PM both days.

This is a great way to see what other chicken keepers are doing in Chicago.

Planning for the Tour starts SOON: If you want to Host, Plan, or Help, contact Martha Boyd:



Nov. 9, 2013: Chicken-Keeping Workshop in Chicago

The next Basic Backyard Chicken Care workshop will take place on Saturday, November 9, from 10AM to 1PM.

Now in its 11th offering, this workshop for prospective and new chicken keepers offers 3 packed hours of comprehensive info about raising city chickens.



July 18, 2013: Chicken Health Workshop

REGISTER NOW for the first Urban Chicken Health Care workshop on Thursday July 18 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Wellington Ave United Church of Christ, 615 W Wellington Ave in Chicago.

Developed and taught by Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consultant Jen Murtoff, the workshop will cover prevention, basic troubleshooting, and care for common chicken health issues and injuries.

This workshop is for backyard chicken keepers who are already experienced in basic care, and who want to advance their knowledge and skills.

– See more at:

This is an *advanced workshop* for chicken keepers who are already experienced in basic care, and who want to advance their knowledge and skills.

Video about the inherent dangers of raising backyard chickens