2017 Urban Livestock Expo

Come out for the Urban Livestock Expo, Feb 18, 10-1, at the Chicago High School For Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W 111th St, Chicago, Illinois 60655.

Ever considered how to keep bees, goats, chickens, ducks or quails in your backyard? Join AUA’s winter gathering for free, fun workshops on daily care, ideal breeds, how to troubleshoot common problems, and professionals’ tips for being a good neighbor with animals in the city!

All levels of expertise and interest welcome, from the experienced to the curious! In addition to these great workshops, students will guide us on behind-the-scenes tours of their livestock barn and aquaponics center!

Area urban livestock groups and businesses will also staff resource tables with information on further learning opportunities, support networks, sources of supplies and equipment, and more.

To power all that learning, we’ll have tasty local food and beverage vendors with us as well! Don’t miss this fun opportunity to expand your knowledge, connect with other practitioners, and get close to a goat. Spread the word to your networks, send questions to info@auachicago.org, and see you then!

**Unfortunately, Home to Roost will not able to attend this year due to chicken-keeping classes at the Morton Arboretum. 


Home to Roost’s 2017 event schedule is posted.

Check out my 2017 event schedule. Hope to see you in a class or at an event. If you’re interested in a class but have conflicts with the dates it is offered, I can do an in-home session. Just drop me a note!

To refrigerate or not refrigerate, that is the question.

Did you ever wonder why Europeans and other cultures don’t refrigerate their eggs?

Long story short, if you wash your eggs after you collect them, they must be refrigerated. If you don’t wash the eggs, they can be kept at room temperature.

An egg shell is naturally porous to allow an exchange of gases during incubation. When a hen lays an egg, her body secretes a protective coating that prevents bacteria from entering through the pores of the shell and water and oxygen from leaving the egg. This coating is called the cuticle, or bloom. When you wash an egg, you remove the protective coating, you are opening the egg up to bacterial contamination, which can be prevented by refrigeration. Once you wash and refrigerate the egg, however, it must stay refrigerated to prevent contamination. In addition to protecting eggs from bacteria, refrigeration also prolongs shelf life.

If you want to keep your eggs at room temperature, collect them and simply brush off dried fecal matter or gently sand any that is stuck to the shell. If you choose to display them at room temperature in an pretty basket or spiral egg holder, such as this one. When you are ready to use an egg, wash it an proceed with cooking.

If you’re interested in reading more about this topic, check out this article or this one.

Riverside announces hen and bee pilot programs

Hen & Beekeeping Pilot Programs

The Village of Riverside has approved a pilot program for 2017 to allow the keeping of hens and beekeeping. The village will begin accepting applications for a license for keeping hens or bees. The Village will only be issuing 15 licenses for beekeeping and 15 licenses for keeping of hens. On January 1, 2017 the Village will begin to accept applications, if the number of applications exceed 15 by January 15, 2017 a lottery will be used to determine the order the applications will be considered by the Village.

Beekeeping Application and Regulations

Keeping of Hens Application and Regulations

From http://www.riverside.il.us/civicalerts.aspx?AID=50

Happy New Year from Home to Roost! (and a note on rates)

Happy 2017, the year of the rooster! This will be Home to Roost’s eighth year in operation (ninth, if you count 2008, when I first put my business cards together and had my first client).

I enjoy every minute of caring for the chickens of Chicagoland, as well as developing chicken-keeping programs and providing educational opportunities for kids, adults, and seniors. Thank you for your trust in me and your willingness to welcome me into your homes (and coops).

My business manager and office staff are long overdue for a raise, however, and they’ve been threatening to walk out. In order to appease them*, Home to Roost’s hourly consulting rates will increase in 2017. (*This is, of course, tongue in cheek; there’s nobody here but us chickens… I mean, me.)

  • Non-emergency house call: $68/hour (1-hr minimum, billed in 1/4 hr increments thereafter). Mileage fee may apply.
  • Emergency house call: $80  (1-hr minimum, billed in 1/4 hr increments thereafter). Mileage fee may apply.
  • Phone consultation: $25 for 20 minutes
  • Classes/presentations/misc.: Call for pricing.

If you find that these rates will be a financial hardship, please let me know. We can try to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Thanks for making Home to Roost a successful microbusiness over the last 8 years. Enjoy some pictures from the last eight years below!


2017 is the Year of the Rooster!

Interested in celebration the Chinese New Year in style? 2017 is the Year of the Rooster! Home to Roost brings chickens (roosters included!) to events. We’ll be at the Garfield Park Conservatory on Jan. 21 and at the Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park on Jan. 28 — with roosters!

A Good Day for Chickens in Riverside, IL

Congratulations to the Village of Riverside, IL. Last night, the village board authorized a draft ordiance for hen keeping. A pilot program will likely follow.