Good Food Festival this Saturday, March 18


Come out to the Good Food Festival at the UIC Forum this Saturday for a great time meeting folks who sell, grow, process, and raise good food and livestock.Register here.

Home to Roost will be participating in the Organic Valley Good Food Commons: Cultivate your curiosity and learn new skills at informal, 20-minute micro-workshops. Check out the full line-up of workshops, from vegan cheese making to urban beekeeping!

Here are some other reasons to attend the Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Free Admission: Let’s start with the breaking news… for the first time, admission to the Good Food Festival is free! All you have to do is register. Donations will be welcome, of course, but in keeping with our motto of Good Food on Every Table, we want to make sure everyone with an interest in better eating can attend.
  • Chef Demos: As always, our Chefs at Play stage will feature some of Chicago’s biggest culinary stars. Already lined up are Rick Bayless of the Frontera restaurant group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; Rob Levitt, the award-winning head butcher at The Butcher & Larder at Local Foods; and Paul Haney of Hoosier Mama Pie Company. Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken are the co-recipients of FamilyFarmed’s 2017 Good Food Chef of the Year Award.
  • Food and Health: With the medical community taking bigger steps to integrate food and nutrition into their thinking on health care, we will present great panels on Good Food is Good Medicine and Mood and Food including Nationally recognized Health and Fitness Expert and Creator of SHRED POP, Dr. Ian Smith.
  • Urban Farm Bus Tour: For a ticket charge, you can go offsite and visit three new cutting-edge urban farms. This year’s tour will be led by Breanne Heath, certified organic farm owner, certified horticulturist, Edible Garden educator and garden manager.

Oak Parkers: Are you missing a chicken?


Are you missing a chicken?

MARCH 6: A mature Ameraucana hen showed up last night at a house last night close to Taylor and Washington. Hoping to get her reunited with her family.
 
Contact me, and I’ll put you in touch with the person who sent this info on to me. 

Chicken Participates in Democratic Process


It seems with all that’s going on in Washington, folks are wanting some answers from their elected officials – who are rather “chicken.” See this story on how one Michigan community tried to get the attention of their representative.

Chicken Tuesdays Short Film Screening Tonight


Home to Roost and chicken owner Tim Norris provided chicken wrangling for a short film, Chicken Tuesdays, last year. Tonight is the private film screening. Lots of luck to director and writer Brandon Daley! See this post for pix from the filming.

Seeking proposal topics for Good Food Fest on March 18


We’re again recruiting presenters for short (20 mins) workshops in the Festival’s Good Food Commons, between 10:30AM and 4PM. 

The event is at the Good Food Festival, Sat March 18, at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL).

As in the past couple years, ChiChickEns is coordinating the “Raise Your Own” section, seeking presenters on all livestock topics. You can cover the basics, and/or you can discuss a special skill or interest. Ideally you bring a demonstration critter (or two) and some supplies/equipment for show and tell.
Presentations are just 20 mins long and start every half-hour, from 10:30AM and ending at 4PM.
There’s a short form to fill out (and more info about the event) at this LINK. The button for the application is at the bottom of that page. The deadline for filling out the application is Feb 20.
Presenters get access to this fun and busy event (Sat), and you can also reserve a table to display your stuff on Fri (see the link for more on that.)
Feel free also to propose teaching a workshop in another Resource Area (Growing, Composting, Making, or Community Building), as you wish.
Event guidelines mention needing proof of insurance to display live animals — if you are not a small biz or organization with your own liability insurance, we can arrange for event coverage — please contact me, and I can point you in the right direction.
Also, if you have other questions, let me know!

Chicken Patriotism


Even chickens are feeling love of country these days. Jokgu the Brahma hen plays “America the Beautiful” on the piano – no, really!

Converting Chickens to a New Diet


I’ve gotten several calls lately about chickens who aren’t eating their (new) food. Here’s what’s likely going on.

Birds are persnickety creatures, and any change to routine or environment can upset the applecart: construction noises may cause them to stop laying, a new object in the cage/coop may be avoided at all costs out of fear, it may take a while to get used to a new coop.

Diets are no different. If you switch from a crumble to a pelleted diet, for example, your birds may avoid the new food completely.

Chicken feed comes in several forms: mash (finely ground), crumble (looks like Grape Nuts), pellets (the name gives it away!), and a mix of grains with pellets, grit, etc. If you are changing to a different form of food, your birds may not recognize the new stuff as food.

Not to worry – here’s what to do. For the first week or two, mix 25% new feed and 75% old feed. Then switch to 50% new 50% old for a week or two, followed by 75% new, 25% old for a week or two. Finally, you should be able to feed them the new diet at 100%.

During this process, observe the chickens and check their crops to make sure they are eating the new food. Birds have been known to starve themselves during a diet change.