Attendees of Growing Hope’s Chicken Workshop this past Saturday, were given a special behind the scenes glimpse into the daily world of keeping backyard chickens. The class was hosted at the home of Donald Wilson, a volunteer coordinator with the group, who showed attendees his backyard chicken set-up.
Wilson shared with the class information about coop building, resources to buy chickens and poultry supplies, how to deal with mites and illness and the overall benefits of keeping hens in the yard. Wilson shared useful tips for newbie chicken owners, such as a 4 foot fence will not keep chickens in a yard (remember chickens can fly when the spirit moves them to do so) and that spent beer-brewing mash makes terrific feed for your flock helping with the chickens’ digestive systems.
The most interesting parts of Wilson’s workshop was the demonstrations of verbal commands for his chickens. Wilson’s flock responded to his verbal directions of, “Coop – Coop,” the command for the birds to get inside their home. The hens also obey his verbal order, “Ka-Ka,” which means to go or get out. Wilson’s demonstration only goes to show that chickens can understand what you’re saying – at least sometimes.