The Workshop

On Saturday, the weather prediction was for a stifling hot day, but although it was humid, it was cloudy and the temperature didn’t rise above 90 degrees F. Perhaps it was this moderate weather that put all of the Backyard Chicken Keeping Workshop participants in a good mood. Or maybe it was the relaxing meandering around the gardens before we got started.

In any event, they seemed a content group while on the porch, listening to what I had to say about chicken keeping. Then again, maybe it was the iced tea and cookies.

After the lecture, I took the group out to the barns to see firsthand how I feed, water and care for the hens. The goats don’t understand why they’re not part of the class, and do their best to distract everyone, even head-butting to get attention.

The hens were let out to free-range so everyone could see how destructive helpful they are in the gardens. Next comes the favorite part of the class – I call the  hens back. They come running. And then whoever wants to, can hold a chicken.

The next workshop here is on Saturday, August 4 at 1 pm. Sign-up here (scroll down for the listing.)


  1. Looks like an absolutely wonderful day! Giving these workshops is such a great idea-and SO helpful to novice ‘chicken mamas’ like me…I feel in love with my neighbors hens, and knew I wanted some, but I’d never actually held a chicken, much less clipped a wing or knew what a healthy crop is supposed to feel like. My husband and I went to ‘chicken school’ here in England a couple of weeks ago, and we both learned so much. Keep teaching! There are so many of us just itching to learn!

  2. I watched the goings-on there and it looked like a good time, aside from the heat & humidity. Of course, the goats want a scratch or two & maybe a treat. After Candy was free to roam, she just sat at the top of her domain watching as the hens picked and ate. I may have to make a trip just to be part of this great experience. I’m sure all the participants were as impressed as I was and am. We don’t have anything like that out here so the east coast is quite lucky to have you!

    • I’ve already had one person from Utah come – she was in Boston on business and extended here stay. So, maybe one day you’ll have a chance.

  3. Brings back great memories of our day with you! Reilly and I still chat about our day with you and how much fun we had. I know we are much better chicken keepers from our day with you. Our flock continues to thrive, both egg layers(14 of them) and meat birds(40 to the butcher today). Part of the challenge with keeping chickens is just being prepared. You got us thinking in that frame of mind and that helps prevent illness, death and heart break. BUT, y ou don’t only teach people about chicken keeping. You bring people together and create wonderful memories. Thank you.

    • Kristine, it’s great to hear from you! Reilly deserves a shout-out for being such and awesome, responsible chicken keeper.

  4. lol toast coasters. I have seen those before in a store.

  5. Loved the pic of the goats trying to get everyone’s attention!

  6. How about a live podcast? We could all attend from afar!

  7. I think a lot of people would be amazed at how smart chickens are.

  8. I agree with the live podcast or some way to watch a class online. I am in Kansas and not able to get to your area but would love to have more of your knowledge of chickens. I enjoy watching the hen cams and love to watch the chickens peck around.

  9. My husband and I attended a workshop last month on June 10th which was awesome..I have 4 australorps and are now 13 weeks old… there a definite sign when they start to lay? 2 stayed up in the the higher part of our coop and 2 came down and there was so much cackling I don’t know why 2 wouldn’t join the other 2….BTW….they love the “crack”…..they split 1 TBSP between the 4 when I need to get them in and out and no one is here to help me!

    • You’ll have to wait awhile longer :) 18 to 22 weeks of age is when they’ll start. But all that cackling and talking is a good sign that they’re growing up.

      • Thank you so much….they all definitely have their own personalities…your such a help with tidbits of info…..wish I had more land cuz I would love to get a goat! Pip and caper are the bomb!