Archive for the ‘Urban agriculture’ Category

Listen to Home to Roost, live on WBEZ, Nov. 2 2021!


Home to Roost will be LIVE on WBEZ tomorrow, November 2 at 12:45 pm. Tune in to 91.5 FM or listen on the WBEZ website.


I will be live with chicken keeper Tim Norris on WBEZ’s Reset program, talking about raising chickens in Chicago. I teamed up with Tim and his flock of 25 chickens during the Windy City Coop Tour in September, and am looking forward to talking chickens with him once again!

Visit my booth at the Green Living Expo, held online Nov. 6!


If you’re interested in learning how to live more sustainably, join us for the 14th annual Green Living Expo, held online on November 6! Come anytime betweeen 10am and 5pm. I will have a virtual booth at the Expo and also speak about chicken keeping at 3:30pm. When you visit the Home to Roost booth, download our coupon for 25% off a 1-hour session of chicken consulting!

Yes, this will be an adventure, both for us and anyone who attends! We have never participated in an online expo before.

Visit www.mchenry.edu/greenexpo to register and view the agenda for the expo. There will be four unique tracks:

Renewable Energy
Waste Reduction
Food and Farming
Fun and Recreation

Plus, sessions throughout the day focusing on areas of importance to our audience. Hope to see you there!

Fun at the Windy City Coop Tour, Part II


Other coop owners have shared their Windy City Coop Tour photos with us, displaying their fabulous coops and birds! Here are some highlights:

Elizabeth of Chicago says: “I have learned a lot in past years from going to the coup tour. It’s fun to see everyone’s set-ups. This is the first year we hosted and it was rewarding having people come through. I think the general consensus is that we have some spectacularly spoiled hens.”

#1 accessory for the stylish chicken mom: a chicken stroller!

No wonder, given that they have a chicken stroller! Elizabeth’s husband Art made the stroller, which has a yellow plastic bin for chicken snacks and a hole in the clear plastic panel for the chicken to poke its head through. Sounds like a fun way to give your hens a change of scenery (and show off your flock to the neighbors) when you go out for a walk.

Melissa in Darien, IL enjoyed giving tours of her totally redesigned and improved coop to visitors who ventured out to the Southwest suburb. “This was our second year being a host of the windy city coop tour,” she said. “We have young boys who really love showing the guests around the coop and how they collect the eggs every day. They even enjoyed showing off some of the essential chicken health care items we keep on hand in case any of our hens get injured… We really enjoyed sharing our knowledge and hearing from other chicken enthusiasts alike.”

Redesigned coop in Darien, IL, complete with decorative shrubs and outdoor lights! See more photos at: Instagram.com/adventure_awaits_mom

What a beautiful coop. We especially love the landscaping in front of the run!

As you probably know by now, I spent my Saturday at a coop with 25 chickens, located in the backyard of a Chicago bungalow.

Tim the owner said “I get to share my chickens and my garden with others… it’s pretty great! This year a young woman came by to say Hi and report on some asters and goldenrod I dug up for her garden last year. They’re doing great! Another woman will come by soon to dig up some Althea – Rose of Sharon for her garden.”

Tim has an eco-yard for his 25 chickens, who were roaming around providing photo ops for the many visitors who came to see his coop. One of the most photogenic was Buffy the rooster, who can be seen strutting his stuff in the photo below:

Look who’s cock of the walk at the Windy City Coop Tour!

All day Saturday visitors came through, ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. I can’t resist sharing this video of two kids who were having a great time during the Coop Tour, following the hens who were wandering around the yard. I showed them the different feather types on a chicken’s wing and gave them some grain for the chickens. Children and chickens get along so well!

I am showing these kids the different feather types on a chicken’s wing!

Fun at the Windy City Coop Tour, starring 25 chickens and a box of blueberries [VIDEO]


I spent Saturday talking to folks about chicken keeping, ably assisted by the 25 chickens roaming around the Coop Tour location where I was stationed! We had lots of visitors, ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. I was there mainly to answer questions, but I went into Chicken Consultant mode when I noticed one of the roosters had a foot injury.

One of the scales on the rooster’s foot had lifted up and was bleeding. That can happen with these feather-footed varieties! I treated the wound by stopping the bleeding with a little cornstarch and pressure. Missy the rooster was happy to be released and get back to his hens.

A group of Spanish-speaking visitors stopped by, and I answered their questions about the coop and translated while Tim, the coop owner, talked about the chickens’ love for blueberries:

I’m so glad that I got to combine two of my favorite things, chickens and speaking Spanish! Yes, the chickens at this site really love their blueberries. We watched them jump for their favorite treat when Tim called each chicken over by name!

A yard with 25 chickens provides endless entertainment. The birds dustbathe, sun themselves, engage in chicken play, and announce the momentous occasion of egg laying. The three roosters made a raucous chorus at 8:30 in the morning and crowed occasionally throughout the day. This Chicago bungalow has a small farm in the backyard, with beehives on the roof. It’s amazing to see what is possible in a smallish backyard when you are really comitted to urban agriculture, or at least to the joy of chickens!

Visit my station at the Windy City Coop Tour on Saturday, Sept. 25!


During the 2021 Windy City Coop Tour I will be at the following tour location:

3717 N Kenneth Ave, Chicago IL 60641

Stop by anytime between 10am – 4pm on Saturday, Sept. 25! I will be talking about chickens and chicken keeping. The coop owner has 25 chickens, ranging in age from 15 weeks to nearly 8 years. Three of them are roosters, each with distinct roles in the flock.

I was at this same location last year. In the video below I am showing Coop Tour visitors how to locate a chicken’s crop. When it is filled with grain it feels like a beanbag or hackysack. We had a lot of visitors last year and are looking forward to an amazing experience again this year!

Save the Date: Windy City Coop Tour, Sept. 25 & 26, 2021!


It’s that time of year again: visit the chicken coops of Chicagoland and see what is possible in terms of raising chickens and other urban livestock in your backyard!

The Coop Tour is a self-guided tour of backyard coops and eco-spaces, presented by Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts in partnership with Advocates for Urban Agriculture. The Tour also showcases other sustainability practices (intensive food production, rain gardens, pollinator habitat, composting, solar and other renewable energy…)

More information about the 2021 Tour is available HERE!

2021 Windy City Coop & Eco-Yard Tour
Saturday Sept. 25 & Sunday Sept. 26

Register to become a tour host!

Do you enjoy raising chickens and think you have a great coop? Do you love talking to people about your birds? Consider applying to become a host of the 2021 Windy City Coop Tour and invite participants to see your coop!

Host Registration deadline is August 27! The registration form is located HERE.

Visit Home to Roost at SCARCE Growin’ Green Garden Market this Saturday, May 1!


I will have a booth at the Growin’ Green Garden Market this Saturday, May 1, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. I hope to see you there, up close and in person! (Or at least as up close as we can get at this time…)

This market is presented by SCARCE, featuring all manner of gardening supplies, seedlings, compost and more. I will bring a chicken and and give a short talk on the main points of chicken keeping. It is a family-friendly event, with lots of advice and vendors for green gardening!

LOCATION: SCARCE, 800 S Rohlwing Rd (IL Rt 53), Addison, IL

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance and Call to Action


If you’re a Chicago resident, please read the following statement and take action using the template and call script below. You can also download this information: Livestock-Joint-Statement-9.26.19-1.

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance
(O2019-7576)
September 26, 2019

Right now, Aldermen Lopez (15th ward) and Napolitano (41st ward) are pushing an ordinance to severely limit livestock in your backyards and neighborhood farms. This ordinance – introduced without meaningful community input – hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock. Together as urban agriculture and animal welfare advocates, we oppose the Chicago Livestock Ordinance, O2019-7576. Join us in contacting your Alderman, as well as Ald. Lopez and Ald. Napolitano, to oppose this ordinance.

Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farmed animals. The ordinance will create unnecessary regulation by banning roosters, capping the total number of fowl at six and other livestock at two, only allowing single-family or two-flat residences to keep livestock, and levying fines up to $500 per day for permit violations – all without
consideration for lot size.

If enacted, this ordinance will threaten the ability of many of our city’s residents and urban farmers to raise their own food and put them at financial risk with costly fees and fines. I n addition, the ordinance infringes on the rights of residents by unduly limiting what animals they can keep. These animals are critical community members, offer hands-on ways to learn about ecology and food (in homes, schools and daycare centers), and provide organic pest control and fertilizer, companionship, and other environmental benefits.

We have worked together for years to create a supportive system for Chicago’s thriving home and community gardens, urban farms, and livestock keeping. These activities are critical to healthy food access, ecological health, and workforce development in our city.

Community education and networking is often more effective than blanket regulation to prevent and solve potential problems. We look forward to collaborating with the Lightfoot administration on our major priorities, including equitable land access, affordable water access, ecological resilience, stronger animal protections, and clear business licensing for urban farms.

Please contact your Alderman today to oppose the proposed ordinance O2019-7576.

Please use the letter below as a template and tell your Alderman to VOTE NO on these proposed changes and to support community-developed urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions.

Signed,
Advocates for Urban Agriculture
Chicago Animal Save
Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Chicago Roo Crew
Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts
Home to Roost
Illinois Environmental Council
Urban Growers Collective

As of 9/26/19
TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Alderman to Oppose Ordinance O2019-7576

Help us track the citywide opposition by filling out this brief form after your interaction

FIND YOUR WARD AND ALDERMAN BY STREET ADDRESS

Call Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I’m calling to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, burdens residents who keep roosters, chickens and other livestock with fees, fines, and unnecessary regulations. I urge my alderman to vote no on this ordinance and to support community-led urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions. Thank you very much.

FIND YOUR ALDERMAN’S EMAIL ADDRESS
Email Script:
Dear Alderman _________,
My name is __________ and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I am writing to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock.
Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farm animals.
There are better ways to address concerns around the treatment of these animals, as well as the communities that keep them. I respectfully request that you oppose the proposed legislation and meet with members of the animal rescue and urban farming community to consider alternatives to this regulation.

Sincerely,
_____________

TAKE ACTION: Contact Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano to Express Your Opposition
Alderman Raymond A. Lopez (15th)
Ward Office: (773) 823-1539
City Hall: (312) 744-4321
Email: Ward15@cityofchicago.org
Alderman Anthony V. Napolitano (41st)
Ward Office: (773) 631-2241
City Hall: (312) 744-3942
Email: Ward41@cityofchicago.org

Additional Ordinance Details:
The proposed ordinance (O2019-7576) would amend Municipal Code Titles 4 and 7 to regulate backyard livestock, roosters and urban farms. It outlines the following:
● Require those possessing fowl or livestock to obtain a “livestock permit” from the Commissioner of Health for $25 per animal, which must be renewed annually.
● Applies only to single-family home or two-flats. All other residential properties would be BANNED from obtaining a permit.
● Cap the total number of fowl at 6 and other livestock at 2, regardless of the size of the livestock and of the property where they would reside.
● Require anyone applying for a permit to contact all residents within 500 feet of their property line to inform them of the proposed keeping of fowl or livestock. If 51% or more of those contacted object, the City must not issue the permit,
regardless of reason for objections.
● Levy fines of up to $500 for each animal every day until the animals were removed. This would apply to anyone in violation of this ordinance, even those operating within the law before its adoption.
● Ban roosters within the city, even though existing nuisance ordinances are more than adequate in addressing any sound or nuisance complaint a rooster may cause.
● Require those selling any products from livestock or fowl (i.e. eggs, milk, butter, etc.) to obtain an “Urban Farm” business license. Currently, no clear urban farm business license exists within the City of Chicago.
● Require the Commissioner of Health to immediately notify the appropriate alderman when an urban farm license is requested in his or her ward.

New Chicago Ordinance Proposed to Affect Chickens: What to Do


For anyone asking what to do about the new proposed ordinance going before the Committee on License and Consumer Protection:

READ the proposed ordinance and Alderman Lopez’s summary post:

Then:

Contact your alderman, whether on the License committee or not. To find your ward and alderman, use this link.

  • Encourage them to go on the Coop Tour this weekend!
  • Explain your reaction to the proposed ordinance as a responsible chicken/livestock keeper.
  • Inform them about backyard chickens and other livestock, and how you manage yours to prevent problems they may have heard about.
  • Invite them to meet you and your animals – assuming you have a good example to show them – if not, work on that! So important!

We encourage people to build relationships with their Alder and Ward staff ahead of urgent issues – so they know you and can go to you for more info. Be among the people they are glad are in the ward making it a better place to live.

 

Learn about sustainability from local vendors at Oak Park’s Go Green Days, May 18 and 25


The Oak Park Farmers’ Market has programmed two special Go Green Days to kick off the season on May 18 and 25!

Organizations and businesses that contribute to the greening of Oak Park will be on hand during the first two Saturdays of the 2019 Farmers’ Market. Learn about various environmental initiatives and discuss local sustainability efforts with members of the Village’s Environment & Energy Commission. Other organizations slated to be on hand include West Cook Wild Ones, Sun Run Solar, Deep Roots Project, Cook County Forest Preserve and FFA. Home to Roost will be there both days, so bring your chicken-related questions and check out my new booth!

  • Childrens’ activity: Seed potting
  • Bake sale: Girl Scout Troop 40879
  • Alternating vendor: Sitka Salmon Shares
The farmers’ market is held every Saturday from opening day through October in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot at 460 Lake Street.

For more information on this event, click here and here.