Like just about every other middle class American, my wife and I feel like we need some chickens. I don’t know what is going on with people and chickens right now, but these fluffy egg producers seem to be about the hottest thing going. Sally and I have talked about getting chickens for a while now. However, talk is as far as it has gone. We mentioned our chicken desires to our friend Linda Lemusvirta and she suggested that we attend the Funky Chicken Coop Tour in Austin. So, two weeks ago, that is exactly what we did.
Austin’s Funky Chicken Coop Tour started in 2009. Over the years it has grown into one of the most successful events of its kind anywhere. The tour is designed to educate people in the whys and how tos of keeping backyard chickens. Austin is at the forefront of backyard chicken raising movement. In fact, it has the second highest number of backyard, urban chickens in the US. Since there are so many chicken coops in Austin and a whole bunch of people who like things that are a little bit weird, Austin is the perfect place for this event.
The tour started at the Buck Moore Feed Store in central Austin. There, tour goers picked up their maps, registered for a really sweet grand prize and had the opportunity to visit with a host of vendors that were selling just about everything you could ever imagine related to chickens. The weather was great and everyone was so friendly. I almost hate to say this, but I think I had more fun at Buck Moore’s than I did one the rest of the tour.
The tour consists of several coops scattered all across Austin. You pay a $10 fee for a map and then you, and as many people as you can squeeze in your car, use that map to drive around and visit with the people that are successfully raising chickens in their backyards. The coops come in all flavors; large, small, beautiful and humble. Each of the hosts that we visited with seemed genuinely happy that you and about 1000 other people had come to walk through their yard and admire their birds and coops.
Despite the large number of attendees and limited parking, it was everything it was advertised to be; fun and entertaining (I learned that chickens love raw hamburger. Who knew?). I had so much fun that I am certain I will be back again next year. If you are interested in keeping a few chickens of your own, I suggest you stop “brooding” and “laying” around, get off your “tail” and start checking out the zoning laws in your areas. Then, mark your calendar for next year’s tour. The Funky Chicken Coop tour is an “egg-ceptionally” good time for you and your whole “brood”!
(Sorry for the bad chicken jokes but I couldn’t resist)!