Backyard chickens are a natural curiosity, especially in urban areas. Chicken clubs in many cities are hosting tours where people can visit several chicken coops in a day and learn all about them. Visitors can drive, walk, even ride their bicycles on a mapped out tour-de-coop.
Andy Schneider is the national spokesperson for the USDA’s Biosecurity for Birds Program, and also known around the country as the "Chicken Whisperer”. He says coop tours are a great way for people who are enthusiastic about backyard poultry to share it with others.
"It works both ways. A lot of people might be interested in keeping some backyard poultry, but they’re just not real sure about it, you can only do so much real-world research online," says Schneider. "So, it’s a way for people who are interested to come out and see what it’s all about, and it’s a way for people who are already in the hobby, in the lifestyle, to show folks what they’ve done and their creative ideas."
Don’t feel like you have to have the Taj Mahal of chicken houses to be a stop on the tour. Coops run the gamut from no expense spared, to folks who didn’t spend a dime.
No matter how posh the poultry living quarters, the spread of avian diseases is a real threat. Schneider says when you open your yard to the public, you have to implement biosecurity measures to protect your flock’s health.
"Limit folks going into the safe area where your birds are, i.e. the run and then the coop. And then of course we recommend restricting people handling the birds," he says. "We also recommend either having a foot bath that people step in as they approach your property or right at the edge of your property where they can sanitize their footwear, or even having the surgical booties that you can get for a very reasonable cost and have the people on the tour put those on."
Add Your Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login