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SF South Bay event to promote chicken ownership

Discussion in 'Chickenstocks, Shows, Meet-Ups' started by JennyRobertson, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. JennyRobertson

    JennyRobertson Hatching

    Jan 5, 2009
    Los Altos, CA
    Hi all,
    It's not exactly chickenstock, but I'd like to hold some sort of event to promote backyard chicken ownership. I know Portland has had a "Tour de Coop," and we at the SVChickens Yahoo group have had several coop tours for people in the group who wanted to see some coops.

    The small coop tours (10-12 people, 4-6 coops) went fine. It really helps to see some actual coops when thinking about building your own.

    When I suggested having an event that we'd publicize to the general public to our group, several people pointed out that having visitors traipse around to different coops is the perfect way to spread disease. Yow. Not good.

    So, I'm wondering if anybody else out there has run an event like a coop tour. I'm thinking that several hundred non-owners would get a map, maybe for a small fee, of coops of varying sizes and costs that would be shown by the owners for several hours one weekend. Nobody would go in the coops, and the birds would not be handled.

    Any creative ideas on how to address the biosecurity issue, yet still let people see some coops?

  2. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member 11 Years

    I'm in the East Bay, but I'd be interested in coming. Would be even more powerful and probably effective to get some news / press involved.
  3. JennyRobertson

    JennyRobertson Hatching

    Jan 5, 2009
    Los Altos, CA
    Yes, I'd like to get the Mercury News to run a story.

    First, there's a bunch of work to do pulling together information like:

    - List of poultry laws, by city
    - How to raise chicks (easy to get)
    - Where to get chicks (pretty easy)
    - Where to get supplies (local vendors!)
    - Coop ideas
    - Avian vets
    - Places to get help with problems (here! svchickens!)

    And, of course, getting friendly people to volunteer to hang out and chat at their coop for an afternoon.

    Around here, a native plant society has a similar event. You have to sign up (although I can't remember if there's a fee), and they send you a map of local gardeners who feature native plants at their houses. This is a little step to try to keep kooks from showing up. Or, at least know who they are.

    That sort of format would mean someone would have to gather the names, print the maps, and send them out in a timely manner. It's a bigger deal.

    I'm not convinced that having people look at coops is safe, although it seems if nobody goes within a few feet of them (or wears medical scrub booties) that it would be a problem. Still, it seems like the most useful part of such an event, as the coop is the biggest investment in having chickens.

  4. SoupMaker

    SoupMaker In the Brooder

    Dec 7, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    Great idea! I live in San Jose, and I'd love to get involved.

    As far as disease spreading...if all the visitors stay outside the coops themselves and we make sure that the area around them is all clean, I think disease wouldn't really be a problem. For my part, I have a brick walkway around my coop, I can make sure it's swept all clean. My coop isn't really a coop that can be walked inside of, anyway...It has a low ceiling. Best seen from the outside, and a peek inside the nesting boxes.

    It's a pretty good-looking coop, to be honest, and the best part is that it was homemade in just one weekend. I think it's a good example of DIY budget chicken ownership.

    And whether I'm on the tour or not, I'd love to help gather info, make flyers, gather names, etc...PM me if you want some help!
  5. plot_thickens

    plot_thickens Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    Fascinating! You know, this sounds kind of like the Garden Tours that the East Bay does up here. Houses in different cities from Richmond to San Leandro do one weekend of open-gardens, where there's a little writeup about each in the local paper, and interested folks drive to the house and do a walk-through and talk to the owner, who's usually sipping a drink with their feet up.

    Wouldn't having everyone walk through a bleach solution help fix the bio issue?
  6. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member 11 Years

    I love it! I think this could be huge for chickens and the community.

    I don't think it would be too much to require everyone to wear rubber boots before they come and have each location have a scrub station with a bleach solution!
  7. JennyRobertson

    JennyRobertson Hatching

    Jan 5, 2009
    Los Altos, CA
    So, we have word from a vet at UC Davis that it's not a good idea to have people visiting coops. There's some chicken virus that's carried in people's nostrils.

    But, we could still have a big "Chicken Chat" or several small ones throughout the region. People could bring pictures of their coops and birds, and we could hand out information.

    My energy for this comes and goes (as it does generally), but planning would probably happen on the svchickens Yahoo group. So, join up if you want!

    [email protected]

  8. starshrike

    starshrike Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    We should also include a list of less chicken friendly cities, and hope they will look into changing their ordinances to reflect more on what neighboring cities have been doing successfully!

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