Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping — Virtual Event with Tinley Park Public Library, March 24, 2021


Are you new to chicken keeping, or thinking about getting your own birds? Join us for Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping — Online Class with Tinley Park Public Library on Wednesday, March 24 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm!

Registration information is located here.

This class is designed for curious folks who are considering getting chickens, as well as for those who already have their own birds. Learn how to find local laws about chicken keeping, choose and raise chicks, and care for adult birds. This online class is open to all, regardless of location.

NOTE: This class is geared to the Chicagoland area, including predators and climate.

Register Now for Chicken Health Class (Virtual) on April 5, 2021!


What are the common health issues chickens face, and how can you treat them? Better yet, how can you keep your flock healthy? This online class addresses chicken physiology, disease prevention and transmission, as well as chicken first aid. Join us on Monday, Apr 5, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM for this virtual class presented by Home to Roost and the Chicago Rebuilding Exchange!

Chicken Health Class (Virtual) Monday, Apr 5, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Registration information is available here.

NOTE: This class is geared to the Chicagoland area, including predators and climate.

Chicken
Learn how to keep your chickens healthy during this online class on April 5!

Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping — Online Class with Wauconda Area Library on March 6!


Are you new to chicken keeping, or thinking about getting your own birds? Join us for Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping — Online Class with Wauconda Area Library on Saturday, March 6, 2021 from 1:00pm – 2:30pm!

Registration information is located here.

This class is designed for curious folks who are considering getting chickens, as well as for those who already have their own birds. Learn how to find local laws about chicken keeping, choose and raise chicks, and care for adult birds. This online class is open to all, regardless of location.

NOTE: This class is geared to the Chicagoland area, including predators and climate.

Japanese Quail make delightful pets — learn more during “Quail: An Overview” on March 3!


“(Coturnix japonica #Japanese Quail)” by Lin Sun-Fong is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.

We know you all love chickens, but let’s hear it for quail!! Specifically, Japanese quail. These small birds are delightful and easy to care for. Find out more about the birds, their diet, and how to house them during “Quail: An Overview,” an online class presented by Home to Roost LLC and the Chicago Rebuilding Exchange.

Quail: An Overview (online class), $15

Wednesday, March 3, 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm

Registration info is located here.

Japanese quail eggs are small and adorable!
New best friends!

Register Now for “Bird Brains: Flock Psychology” (virtual) on February 22!


How do chickens think? They view the world differently from predatory mammals. Find out more about what goes on inside a chicken’s head and how it can help you understand your birds.

Register now for Bird Brains: Flock Psychology, February 22, 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm

Registration info is available here. This online class is presented by Home to Roost LLC and the Chicago Rebuilding Exchange.

While supplies last, we are pleased to offer a free copy of GRIT Backyard Chickens magazine to everyone who signs up for the class!

GRIT Backyard Chickens magazine provides helpful information on topics such as choosing the right chicken breed, nutrition, preventing frostbite, and shoring up your coop against predators. The latest issue includes several articles authored by Home to Roost: reasons to keep backyard chickens, the importance of gut health, and how to boost egg production.

Five Top Reasons to Keep Chickens


Are you thinking about getting chickens in 2021? Here are five top benefits that backyard chickens will bring into your life. We hope these reasons will encourage you to join the urban agriculture movement and keep backyard hens!


1. Delicious Eggs. Your hen’s eggs, with their delicious, deep-yellow yolks, will taste fresher and better than eggs from the grocery store. For those of you who have never had a really fresh egg, a pleasant experience awaits you!

2. Fun and Fascinating Pets. You will discover that, far from the TV portrayal of most chickens as loud and feisty, chickens are actually calm and have their own personalities. Your flock might include an extrovert, a singer, a clown, or a shy, sensitive type. It is always a joy to watch them grow from small, fluffy chicks into gangly teenagers, and finally into mature laying hens. The first egg is a huge milestone in your chicken keeping endeavor!

3. Humane Farming. Providing the right coop, feed, and care will help your backyard chickens thrive. Most eggs in the supermarket come from hens that are not able to scratch in the dirt, sit in the sun, or dust bathe. Hens that have the opportunity to engage in normal behaviors, including searching for food and soaking up the sun, lay better-tasting, more nutritious eggs. Your backyard coop will be part of the movement toward local, sustainable agriculture.

4. Nature Education. Raising chickens is an opportunity for you and your children to observe the life cycle up close. Caring for an animal helps children develop empathy and responsibility, and raising chickens for eggs will help your children learn about how food is produced.

5. Gardening Partners. Your chickens can actively contribute to your garden by scratching for worms, grubs, and other tiny critters. This will help till the soil in your garden plot and turn your compost heap. In addition, chicken droppings contain ammonia, which breaks down into nitrogen, a powerful natural fertilizer, in 6 to 8 months. You’ll need to age your chicken poop 6 to 8 months in a compost bin, however, to allow this natural process to take place.

As you’re thinking about getting chickens, consider these benefits. We hope these reasons will encourage you to get your own backyard hens.

This weird ability of chickens will surprise you!


A while back, Mercedes-Benz came out with an ad campaign designed to emphasize the stability of its vehicles, featuring chickens:

Magic Body Control!

The weird “dance” that the chickens are doing in this video is based on their ability to stabilize their heads. In other words, chickens like to keep their heads in one place as they move around. This enables them to focus better on one area, so they are more likely to see the movement of predators or small, tasty bugs in their line of vision.

According to Mercedes Benz, this mesmerizing ability of chickens is similar to the “magic” ability of their vehicle to absorb bumps in the pavement and give a smoother riding sensation to the human passengers.

Jaguar responded to this ad campaign with their own chicken commercial, in which the magic dancing chicken meets a bad end:

Jaguar vs. Chicken

Although the focus of these commercials is supposed to be luxury cars, we at Home to Roost feel that the dancing chickens are the real stars!

The ability of chickens to keep their heads in one place has been the subject of scientific study in Cell and other academic publications, as well as a host of less scientific but quite entertaining articles. When you see a flock of chickens bobbing their heads while they walk, you will now know what they are up to!

Upcoming Chicken Classes at Chicago Rebuilding Exchange


Home to Roost will be teaching five online classes for the Chicago Rebuilding Exchange, including two classes that are new for 2021: “Bird Brains: Flock Psychology” and “Quail: An Overview.” This is an opportunity for you to increase your practical knowledge of how to raise backyard chickens and quail, build safe and comfortable homes for your birds, and understand common chicken health issues. All classes are online. Register now at the links below!

NOTE: All classes are geared to the Chicagoland area, including predators and climate.

Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping – Online, February 8, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Chicken Coop Basics – Online, February 11, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

NEW! Bird Brains: Flock Psychology – Online, February 22, 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm

NEW! Quail: An Overview – Online, March 3, 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm

Chicken Health – Online, April 5, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Christmas Message from Home to Roost


Photos and Design: Courtesy of Jennifer Gilstrap

We at Home to Roost want to wish all the chicken lovers out there a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! If you keep chickens, please hug a hen for us today, and make sure all your chickens are safe and warm. Here’s wishing good health to us all, chickens included, in 2021!


In need of a last-minute stocking stuffer gift for the chicken lover in your life? Home to Roost LLC is offering gift certificates for chicken consulting services! To begin the process, fill out this Google Form:

Purchase Home to Roost Gift Certificate

For the affordable price of $60 (convenience and mileage fees may apply), your friend gets a session of chicken consulting. Chicken consultant Jennifer Murtoff will help the chicken keeper with issues related to chicks, adult birds, coops, health, and nutrition. Purchase one or more sessions via PayPal.

Please note: Make sure to enter the email address murtoff@gmail.com in the “Send Money” field when paying by PayPal.

You or the gift recipient will receive a certificate stating the amount of the gift and instructions for redeeming it. Certificates can be sent by e-mail or regular mail.

Wishing you safe and happy holiday celebrations!

Chicken Art gifts for the holidays!


We are fortunate to have discovered some amazing artists who make the chicken their subject. Like many chicken keepers I could mention, these artists’ love for chickens apparently has no bounds, as is evident in their marvelous creations:

Folk Art Chicken Footstools

A small Missouri company makes these gorgeous footstools using traditional fiber art techniques–dyeing, felting, spinning, and knitting. This is Little Nancy P., and her feathers are fashioned with hand-spun 100% Merino wool. Made by The City Girl Farm, these chicken footstools may be on the higher end pricewise, but they elevate the humble footstool into a work of art. And their heads even bob! In fact, if I had one of these I would never put my feet on it.

The Rainbow Rooster

The Rainbow Rooster features “Prismatic Chicks Bearing Special Gifts Just for You,” painted by artist Alicia Zenobia. And what gifts they are: birds with marvelous plumage, each feather painted with care. Each of her paintings holds a special energy; see which one resonates with you!

Chicken Portraits by Photographer Liz McCrory

Photographer Liz McCrory of Kosmic Studio has embarked on an unusual project that caught our attention here at Home to Roost — portraits of pet chickens! We think the results are quite impressive, presenting these birds as little works of art and capturing their unique personalities. Liz is offering an end-of-year special: She will create pet portraits for $100 during the month of January! If you have ever wanted to immortalize your pet in a special portrait, now is the time.

The Electrifying Chicken Art of Heid in My World

Digital artist Heide Royer calls her unusual chicken portraits “kinetic art.” Others might call them stunning, arresting, choose your adjective: there is no question, her chicks demand attention. Heide also creates portraits of dogs and other animals, and accepts commissions from pet owners. View her work at Heidinmyworld.com.

“Laid in the USA” by Mercedese Bantz

On the lighter side, Mercedese Bantz is an artist who creates incredibly fun paintings and sculptures, not only of chickens. But I am definitely biased in favor of her imaginative and fun birds! Mercedese will consider custom order requests. I asked her to paint a picture of the chickens I had as a kid, and I absolutely love the result!