Archive for February 3rd, 2017

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!
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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.