Chicken keeping classes at the Morton Arboretum – April 21, 2018

Come out to the Morton Arboretum to learn more about keeping chickens!

I’m giving my basic chicken keeping class, followed by my coops class.

Learn the essential skills and knowledge for raising happy, healthy backyard chickens. Whether you’re exploring the possibility of chicken-keeping or already have your own birds, join local chicken expert Jen Murtoff to find out about best practices for raising chicks, caring for adult birds, and keeping your neighbors happy!Continue your learning by signing up for Backyard Chickens 102: Chicken Coop Basics that afternoon.

Instructor: Jen Murtoff, owner, Home to Roost LLC
Notes: Limit 20

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Thornhill Education Center

$29.00 member
$34.00 nonmember

CALL: 630-719-2468 (or to be wait listed)
IN PERSON: Stop by the Visitor Center during open hours.





All in a day’s work

Today’s chicken consulting duties involved advising a new chicken momma on keeping her babies warm – but not too warm!

I also went to see a client whose bird had a respiratory infection, and we discussed options for her chicken, who also has an issue with her leg. I’m also working on finding a home for the other chicken, who’ll be alone when her sister is gone. The owner does not plan on getting more chickens.

My last call for the day was an emergency visit for torticollis, or wry neck. I think the bird will be just fine with some vitamins and TLC!

Silkie looking for home

Hi, everyone! I have a chicken client in Oak Park who has two silkie hens. One has a respiratory infection and a broken or possibly dislocated leg. My client is likely going to put down the sick/injured one, and she’d like to rehome the other one.
She has taken the one with the respiratory infection to Niles Animal Hospital and the bird is on antibiotics.
Would anyone be interested in adopting a silkie hen? Or, even better, rehabbing her sister, too?
If you’d be interested in them, contact Katie at 773 two six three 7639.

Call for Proposals at Good Food Fest, March 24, 2018

Want to present your preserving process? Wax eloquent about the wonders of worm composting? Crow about your kombucha? Brag on your beautiful homebrew?

The Good Food Fest is asking for presentation topic proposals for 2018. Deadline is Feb. 2, 2018.

Event Date: Saturday, March 24, 2018
Event Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Event Location: UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL
Workshops Hours: 10:30am – 4:00pm
Length of Workshops: 30 minutes
Workshops Location: Level 1 of UIC Forum in combined Rooms D-E-F

Workshop presenters should focus on skills-based topics that can be delivered in a concise 30-minute format to a small group. Audience engagement is critical and a format that fosters direct interaction and time for questions is essential. Each Resource Center will seat 6-12 attendees with standing room for a small group. Your proposal should include a description of your presentation format to help us understand how it will integrate into this environment.


COMPOST IT: includes soil topics, vermiculture, compost teas, troubleshooting, best practices, or anything else related to composting practices.

GROW YOUR OWN: includes urban growing, container gardening, season extension, harvesting & handling, and other DIY gardening skills.

MAKE YOUR OWN: includes kitchen skills, keeping cultures (kombucha and sourdough), culinary curiosities, special diets, preserving, fermenting and other creative cooking topics.

RAISE YOUR OWN: includes livestock, raising urban animals, bees, chickens, goats, or anything else of interest to backyard livestock enthusiasts.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to seeing the creative ideas our great Good Food community comes up with! Please e-mail questions to Nick Lucas at


Join my Facebook page!

It’s a long time coming. Home to Roost now has a Facebook page! Join in the discussion, connect with other chicken peeps, ask a question, or post a comment here!


Urban Livestock Expo, Feb. 3, 2018 – additional info

On February 3rd, 2018, 11am-2pm, AUA and Southside Occupational Academy warmly invite you to the 6th Annual Urban Livestock Expo: FREE, fun, family-friendly workshops on raising bees, goats, chickens, ducks and more in your yard!

All levels of expertise and interest welcome, from the experienced to the curious! Workshops will cover daily care, ideal breeds, how to troubleshoot common problems, and professionals’ tips for being a good neighbor with animals in the city. Also get a chance to explore the amazing urban agriculture program at our host site, Southside Occupational Academy!

Additionally, area urban livestock groups and businesses will staff resource tables with information on further learning opportunities, support networks, sources of supplies, equipment, and more.

Don’t miss this fun opportunity to expand your knowledge, connect with other practitioners, and bond with a goat! Further details here:, and detailed workshop topics to follow. Reach out to AUA with questions at or 773-850-0428. We hope you’ll join us!

6th Annual Urban Livestock Expo
Organized by Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) and Southside Occupational Academy
Saturday, February 3rd, 11am-2pm
Southside Occupational Academy
7432 S. Hoyne Ave
Free parking and public transit accessible!

Download the poster here.

AUA Urban Livestock Expo Feb 3

UPDATE: I’ve updated the link and location below. 

Join urban livestock aficionados for this exciting event on Feb 3, 2018!

Learn more about keeping chickens, ducks, quail, goats, and bees; and connect with seasoned urban ag people as well as those who are interested in urban ag.

The event is held at the Southside Occupational Academy.  I’ll be staffing a table and doing short presentations. I’ll be able to field questions. You can learn more here and log the topics you’d like to learn more about here.