3rd Annual Local Chicken Coop Tour
Has your family ever thought of keeping chickens but you’re just not sure where to begin? A great place to start is the Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association listserv, started in 2008 by Meg Taylor of Williamsburg, MA. The listserv is an excellent place to bounce around questions and concerns, or to just lurk and glean information about keeping your own backyard flock.
If you want to get out and see how other families are housing their girls, the Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association will be hosting their 3rd Annual Pioneer Valley Coop Tour on Sunday, April 11th, 2010. Coops of various sizes and designs and the feathered friends that inhabit them will be featured in Amherst, Sunderland, Montague, Whately, Haydenville, and Northampton from 12:30 to 6 pm. See how families in Western MA manage their flocks for fresh eggs, meat, garden compost, and entertainment. This is a FREE tour and a great way to learn about the art and science of keeping a backyard flock. Beginners and children welcome! (No dogs please.)
2010 Coop Tour Schedule:
- 12:30-1:15 pm in Amherst, MA at Old Friends Farm with Missy Bahret and Casey Steinberg (599 South Pleasant St.). Missy and Casey have been keeping chicken for three years and currently have 200 chickens. Breads include: Barred Rocks, Black Australorps and Auracanas and are incorporated into part of the farms fertility management system. They use a mobile coop on trailer running gear (extended) to manage their flock. 253-9182; email@example.com
- 1:45-2:15 pm in Montague, MA at the home of Chris and Greg Pellerin (482 Turners Falls Rd.). Enjoying fresh eggs and fertilzer, Chris and Greg (and their son) have just completed their first year raising 13 chickens in a 4’ x 10’ addition to their barn. Come see their set up and meet their chicken breeds: White Leghorn/Dominique mix, Dominique, Black Australorp, Ameraucana, and Golden Laced Wyandotte. firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2:30-3:00pm in Sunderland, MA at the home of Laura and David Grace (47 Howard Hepburn Dr.). Laura and David have five Rhode Island Red and Speckled Sussex’s and they too have just finished their first hear raising a backyard flock. The keep their girls in an Amish style free standing coop- home made with portable fencing, and enjoy the fresh eggs and fun of keeping hens.
- 3:15-3:45pm in Whately, MA at the home of Cris Coffin and Yo Kinsman (34 Christian Lane). Cris and Yo keep their chickens in a retrofitted wooden playhouse and a run built around a former swing set. They have nine chickens of mixed breeds and have persuaded their daughter that chickens would be more fun and functional than a second dog! 665-9337; email@example.com
- 4:00-4:30pm in Whatley, MA at the home of Margaret Christie and Nicholas Jones (175 Chestnut Plain Rd.). Margaret and Nicholas have been keeping chickens for 20 years and have 12 birds they house in a coop/run or chicken tractor. The raise a batch of meat birds every year and will have their slaughter set-up available for people to see. Breeds include Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, and Black Australorps. firstname.lastname@example.org
- 4:45-5:15pm in Haydenville, MA at the home of Madge Evers (5 Cider Mill Road). Madge’s flock has been with her for just under a year. She has four hens (Barred Rock & Plymouth Rock) she houses in a 9′ A-frame movable ark for eggs, fertilizer and pure enjoyment. 268-2038; email@example.com
- 5:30-6:00pm in Northampton, MA at the home of Elissa Alford (50 Fairview Ave.). Elissa has also been keeping birds for just under a year. She has five chickens, including a Buff Orpington, Barred Rock and a few Easter Eggers
she houses in a 5 x 4 “playhouse” coop. 587-9954
For more information, contact Meg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: (c) Sienna Wildfield