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Do the Funky Chicken

Getting egg-cited for the Funky Chicken Coop Tour this Saturday
Margaret Shugart, 5:05pm, Tue. Mar. 26, 2013

Did you know that there is a hobbit home for chickens in town? That there is a breed of chicken called "PBR"? That you can use chickens to help support a hydroponic farm or to keep your goats company? That some breeds of chickens have mohawks? Come explore all things chicken with flocks of Austinites as we tour the coolest coops in town.

Artwork Courtesy of Lauren Scheuer

It all starts at Buck Moore Feed and Pet Supply (5237 North Lamar). The information center opens at 8:30am and tour time is between 10:00am and 4:00pm. Participants can buy maps (they function as tickets) ahead of time through the site, or at the starting point for $10.

There are fifteen colorful stops this year, each with different architectural style and design. Explore ideas for how to incorporate green building practices like rainwater collection and composting, and how to use a chicken coop as the center for your own backyard ecosystem, complete with a garden, aquaponic farm, or ducks. See all the different breeds of chickens and learn some of their names (but please don't pet them).

For the first time this year, there is a guided cycling portion of the tour, arranged by Bike Austin. Register online or starting at 11am from Buck Moore Feed and Pet Supply; wheels down at 11:30am. The tour covers eight miles and three coops, and will be led in groups based on riding experience. Safety is paramount: Bring your helmet, lights, lock, spare tube, and colorful clothing, and expect to follow all rules of the road. Refreshments for cyclists are provided along the way.

In addition to the tour, there is an information center at the store with experts on all things chicken. The day starts at 8:30am with a free talk on how to start your own coop by Cameron Molberg of Coyote Creek Farm and Organic Feed Mill. Founder of BackyardChickens.com, Rob Ludlow will be on hand from 9am-11am to talk about his new book Chicken Health for Dummies (John Wiley and Sons Inc., $19.99). Lauren Scheur, artist for this year's T-shirts and author of the Scratch and Peck Blog and book Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens (Atria Books, $22.99) will be around all day to visit and sign books. And Austin Backyard Poultry Meetup, Brazos Valley Poultry Club, and Fancy Feathers 4-H Club will have poultry exhibits at the information center and are available to answer your chicken questions.

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