The people behind the Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour sent me a note as a comment to a previous entry. Thought I’d repost, as I’m excited about this tour and hope other people will be, too.
Thank you for writing about the upcoming Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour. We thought you and your readers might want to hear more about this year’s tour, which we think will be better than ever. We are one of the first and (we think) most fun urban chicken coop tours in the country. As with last year’s tour, we are a nonprofit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers, that organizes a self-guided chicken coop tour every Spring in the city of Austin, Texas. The purpose of this tour is to encourage city residents to raise chickens at home by demonstrating the many ways that chicken (and other poultry) housing can be incorporated into a city residence without violating city ordinances or creating a nuisance. Many of the homes on the tour have featured various alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, along with other environmentally sound practices such as rainwater harvesting and xeriscaping. We think this year’s tour will be especially interesting: a lot of the coops on the tour also unusual features; for example, one of our tour hosts on this year’s tour keeps dairy goats along with chickens and another has a chandelier inside the coop!
We also like to show Austin residents that chickens and their manure are readily incorporated into a household gardening and composting regimen that results in inexpensive, healthy and sustainable food, even in relatively small spaces. Encouraging people of all income levels to produce their own food is, in our opinion, a means of advancing “social and community welfare.” Since this local production of foodstuffs (and nothing is more “local” than one’s own backyard!) replaces food produced on commercial farms and trucked into supermarkets, we also believe that our organization promotes the “advancement of the natural environment.” Another benefit of our tour is to raise awareness of heritage breeds of poultry, many of which have been in danger of disappearing as factory poultry farming has come to dominate most commercial production; local chicken enthusiasts have been responsible for the resurgence in interest in various poultry breeds, some of which are better adapted to Austin’s hot climate and which represent an important part of historic American farming culture.
If you would like to know more about us, please visit our website www.austincooptour.org and visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Austin-Funky-Chicken-Coop-Tour/148228950019.
Our organization, Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour, operates in association with another local organization, The Sustainable Food Center, http://www.sustainablefoodcenter.org .The tour will be a fundraiser for the first time this year, with all proceeds (after expenses) to be donated to the SFC.
We would like to invite both you and your readers to join us on April 23, 2011, and please let us know if you write about us so we can mention you on our Facebook and Webpage.