Dried calendula flowers are a useful items in your natural chicken keeping toolbox. Learn more from our friend Dalia from Welcome to Chickenlandia.
As a follow up to our article, Changing Local Backyard Chicken Ordinances, we wanted to provide you with more information that might sway those in your community who might be wary about allowing backyard flocks.
Myth 1. Chickens carry diseases communicable to humans.
Fact: The truth is that small flocks have literally no risk of avian flu transmission to humans. The 2006 Grain Report states: “When it comes to bird flu, diverse small-scale poultry is the solution, not the problem.” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states on their website: “There is no need at present to remove a (family) flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian flu.”
Myth 2. Chickens are too noisy.
Fact: Laying hens—at their loudest—have about the same decibel level as human conversation (60 to 70 decibels). Hens are so quiet that there have been cases of family flocks being kept for years without the next door neighbors knowing it.
To some, noise is a concern with roosters and their early-morning crowing. Many urban codes ban roosters, or only allow them to be kept with special permits. The noise level of a rooster’s crow is about the same as a barking dog; 90 decibels.
Myth 3. Chickens cause waste and odor.
Fact: A 40-pound dog generates more solid waste than 10 chickens. To be more specific, one 40-pound dog generates about .75 pounds of poop every day. Ten chickens generate about .66 pounds daily poop.
The advantage to chicken poop is that it can be used as valuable, high-nitrogen fertilizer. Unlike dog or cat poop, chicken poop can be combined with yard and leaf waste to create compost. Just as valuable, about 40% of the chicken manure is organic matter necessary for building fertile, healthy topsoil.
Myth 4. Chickens attract predators, pests and rodents.
Fact: Predators and rodents are already living in urban areas. Wild bird feeders, pet food, gardens, fish ponds, bird baths and trash waiting to be collected all attract raccoons, foxes, rodents and flies. Chickens are voracious carnivores and will seek out and eat just about anything that moves including ticks (think Lyme disease), fleas, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, stink bugs, slugs, and even mice, baby rats and small snakes.
Myth 5. Property values will decrease.
Fact: There is not one single documented case that we know of about a next door family flock that has decreased the value of real estate. On the contrary, local foods and living green is so fashionable, that some realtors and home sellers are offering a free chicken coop with every sale.
Myth 6. Coops are ugly.
Fact: Micro-flock coop designs can be totally charming, upscale and even whimsical. Common design features include blending in with the local architectural style, matching the slope of the roof and complementing color schemes.
Myth 7. My neighbors will think I’m nuts.
Fact: You can’t control what anyone thinks, much less your neighbor.
Once folks gain more experience with the advantages and charms of chickens, most prejudice and fear evaporates; especially when you share some of those fresh, heart-healthy, good-for-you eggs from your family flock.
There is one huge advantage to family flocks that is often overlooked during chicken debates. That is their role and value in solid waste management systems. Chickens, as clucking civic workers, are biomass recyclers and can divert tons of organic matter from the trash collection and landfills.
Chickens will eat just about all kitchen “waste.” They love people food, even those “gone-by” leftovers that have seasoned in the refrigerator. Combine their manure with grass clippings, fallen leaves and garden waste, and you create compost. Composting with chicken helpers keeps tons of biomass out of municipal trash collection systems.
All this can save big time taxpayer dollars, which is especially valuable in these times of stressed municipal budgets.
Once you successfully change the hearts and minds of your community members, consider a Henny+Roo subscription for monthly deliveries of treats, supplies, and gifts. Learn more at: hennyandroo.com
We’re thrilled to send Jessi Bloom’s book, Free Range Chicken Gardens, to all current subscribers this June!
If you’re not an active subscriber, it’s a good time to start or reactivate your past subscription. Free Range Chicken Gardens is a beautiful book that inspires chicken keepers to create a functional and beautiful outdoor space while providing a safe environment for chickens to free range. It starts with basic chicken keeping info and goes on to explain fence and hardscape selections, chicken-friendly plants, sample garden designs, innovative coops, and predator prevention.
We know you’re going to love the gorgeous photos of our favorite pets enjoying lovely garden spaces. 🌸 Not a subscriber? Order now, and save 10% on your first subscription with code: SPRING10 at hennyandroo.com.
We love celebrating Spring with you! As always, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Spring is a time when many people wish to start a backyard flock, but their local laws prevent them from doing so. The good news is, lots of people have been successful in changing their local laws and ordinances. Here are some tips for changing the law where you live:
1. Find out exactly what your local ordinances are and make sure they are sufficiently specific. Some ordinances may be vague enough for you take advantage of, for example one that prohibits “barn animals,” but doesn’t specify poultry. However, some ordinances state that anything not addressed in the ordinance is assumed prohibited. Get your information directly from the city, in writing.
2. Ask around and check Facebook for groups of people in your town who are already busy trying to change your local laws. If not, invite others from your area and create a support group. There is strength in numbers and the more people sign on, the better your chances of success will be. Environmental or hunger organizations can help by writing a letter in support of backyard chicken keeping that you may present to your local government.
3. Contact one of the chicken-friendly towns near you. Ask about their policies, how it works and if it has been successful. Then draft an ordinance that is appropriate to your town. You can use the ordinance of a neighboring town as a template.
4. Assemble an informational packet, based on the information you get. State facts, cite your references, include maps charts, photographs and letters of support.
5. Once you’ve got all the information you need, contact your city council and request the issue be placed on the council meeting agenda. Find out how your council meetings work and when public comments are allowed. Learn the protocol for submitting an item for discussion with your public officials.
6. Expect for this to take months. Changing city ordinances is neither easy nor quick, but it can be done. Stay polite, friendly, firm and persistent. This will help win your council’s favor and show them you are serious.
We wish you the best of success in making a difference and helping your community experience the wonderful hobby of chicken keeping. When you do get your flock started, consider signing up for Henny+Roo, the first and only subscription box for chicken keepers, sending treats, supplies and gifts monthly. Learn more at: hennyandroo.com
Subscribers, we hope you’re enjoying the May Henny+Roo box! We love introducing you to new products like:
New! Chubby Mealworms Dried Calci-Worms: US-grown and high in calcium, increasing general health, stronger bones, and shiny feathers.
Dry Cider Vinegar from BVS: Supplemental source of vinegar and a mild acidifier for poultry water.
Vanilla Fly Repellant from Henny+Roo: Did you know pests hate the smell of vanilla? A safe means of fly control for your coop.
Espoma Odor Control from Espoma Naturals: Helps control odors worsened by heat – naturally.
Mealworm Pie from Hentastic Treats: A great source of fat and protein, while keeping your flock interested and occupied.
Apricot Herb Solid Perfume from Orglamix Cosmetics: A fresh springtime scent.
Absorbent Stone Coasters from Henny+Roo: Fits inside car cup holders!
Hen Bottle Opener from Goodrich Metal Works: A truly unique way to open summer beverages.
Nesting Box Liner: In every box!
If you missed it, we have just a few left in our Shop at hennyandroo.com!
Our Henny+Roo Brand Representatives not only share how they use our monthly boxes, but introduce you to their flocks and homes through gorgeous photography and insight. We are grateful to our most recent group of brand reps:
@5rfarmoregon, @theharvesttrailjourney, and @finally_a_farmgirl
If you haven’t checked out their pages yet, you won’t be disappointed.
We are happy to be working with @littlefarmstead, @portlandchickens, @wildfeatherfarm,
@jeaniegreenhens, and @cupofjoelene! Please follow their pages to experience their unique approaches to chicken keeping, and their thoughts on the upcoming Henny+Roo boxes.
Henny+Roo’s owner keeps passion for philanthropy alive.
In a previous post, we talked about how Tina Koral, owner of Henny+Roo started the first subscription box for backyard chicken keepers back in 2015. But it wasn’t her first time starting something that was new to many people.
Back in 2010, after years of work in the nonprofit public health sector, Tina decided to head back to school, this time for a horticulture degree. She’d always loved gardening, and thought that starting a landscape design business would be a great way to help support her family while staying home with her two kids. “I loved learning about plants, the soil, and design concepts,” said Koral, “but studying plants ended up leading me in an unexpected direction.”
Koral was strolling her local library with the kids, and made her usual pass through the gardening section. One book caught her eye – Reclaiming Our Food, by Tanya Denckla Cobb.
In the book, she learned about The Home Gardening Program led by Dan Barker, which was building food gardens for families in need in the Portland, OR area. She was intrigued, and knew that nothing like it existed where she lived in DuPage County, IL, yet there was a large population of food-insecure families. Tina had a strong desire to help supplement the shelf-stable food that these families were receiving from food pantries with fresh, organic, homegrown produce, and in the process teach her young kids the value of philanthropy and helping others. Working closely with Barker and the Home Gardening Program, she began planning how she could serve these families using the HGP model. She connected with her local food pantry to find four families who were both in need of food, and wanted to learn how to grow their own food at home. Alongside these families, she and her husband and kids built these families a 4′ x 8′ raised bed garden, filled it with soil, and planted it with the vegetable seedlings that the families selected. The GardenWorks Project was born.
After a writeup in a local paper, more people wanted to get involved, and the organization grew. To date, Gardenworks has built close to 400 vegetable gardens for families in need with the help of over 200 volunteers, and the impact continues to grow each year.
Tina’s role has changed over the years, from founder, to executive director, to board member. But if you’ve ever tried to turn your passion into a business (or in this case, a nonprofit), you know how disillusionment can set in as you move further away from the passion that lead you to start the business in the first place. If you’ve read the popular book, The E-Myth, by Michael Gerber, you know what we’re talking about. Tina was spending more time doing paperwork than building gardens and serving families. She stepped down from The GardenWorks Project Board of Directors in 2018 in order to have the time to get back to what she loved about the organization – the hands-on work – and now serves as a garden builder.
This leaves her more time to dedicate to connecting pet chicken keepers with the poultry product companies that care about the health and wellness of your flock. Through Henny+Roo, she is also able to support awesome programs like Coops for Troops, and Adopt a Bird Network with our Glory and Hazel fundraiser pins.
Leave a comment and let us know what you’re doing in your community to help people and animals in need!
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The We Drink & We Farm Things podcast is a Henny+Roo favorite, so we invited them to the blog to share how and why they do what they do. Take it away, ladies!
We’re Bev & Sam from the podcast, We Drink & We Farm Things. We host a weekly farm comedy podcast where we drink adult beverages, farm, and give zero clucks about having the perfect farm life. Not that we don’t want our farms to be full of good things all the time, but the realities of farm life aren’t always rainbows and sunshine. We like to keep it real with you and have discussions that include the mistakes we make, new knowledge we gain, entertainment, and sometimes we go off on tangents that are non-farming related.
We started the podcast because we wanted to share farming stories and knowledge for those into chicken keeping, hobby farming, or homesteading life that needed a happy hour style chat they could listen to whenever and wherever. Whether you’re a farm newbie or a seasoned homesteader, you’ll love our podcast if you enjoy casual learning and don’t mind some slightly inappropriate humor along the way.
Bev Ross is a new(ish) homesteader that moved her family from the desert suburbs of Phoenix to rural Ohio in 2017. Her beverage of choice is beer, and she has 11 chickens and counting, plus goats, and is trying to be really good so Santa will bring her a donkey someday.
Sam Bolton is the accidental hobby farmer at Chickens & Wine. Her beverage of choice is, wine, and she has 70 chickens and counting, plus goats, ducks, and a mini pig. She hosts #chickenselfiesunday over on Instagram.
If you’re totally new to listening to podcasts and want to check us out, we suggest you head to our website and listen to the latest episode. Then, be sure to check out our interview with Tina from Henny+Roo. She was awesome enough to be our 2nd interview EVER!
Find yourself hooked? New episodes are released every Friday on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app. They are also always published on our website. You can follow us on Instagram @drinkandfarm or Facebook, and join our Facebook group.
Download the podcast, grab your ear buds and your favorite drink, and head outside. Bev and Sam are bringing the fun back to farm chores!
Our February Henny+Roo susbcribers will receive our new Watercolor Hen Tote when we ship on February 5! The tote is made of heavy cotton canvas and features a snap closure to keep your treasures safe.
Not a subscriber? Sign up now to start your monthly deliveries of chicken keeping supplies and gifts, and save 15% at checkout with code: CHICKENLOVE