Chickens have been a game changer for our school garden program. They are the “Rock Stars” on our school farm, but when we set out to get them, we first heard the word “No”.
When we began our journey in school gardening, we knew that we wanted chickens incorporated into the program. Our school district, on the other hand, had no interest in having them on our campus. So, since we are in the business of education, we came up with a fine feathered lesson plan, loaded with data and research. We went to the City of Dallas to learn about the codes. We searched out chicken experts in our community and joined forces with the Texas A & M Agrilife Extension folks. We gathered information and educated ourselves on best practice, what can go wrong and what we could do to manage a flock in our garden. Then we went back to our District with a plan. They were impressed with our fact checking and happily signed off on our plan.
We just finished our third year with chickens at our school and we continue to grow and build the program. In the Spring, we hatched 18 chicks. They are enjoying summer camp at a local farm and when school starts up in August, the girls will come back to Moss Haven Farm to get some schooling from our kids. We can’t wait!
You can easily find chicken supporters in your community. Check with a feed store or an organic garden center and they can lead you to chicken allies. Since chickens and schools aren’t the norm, you will most likely ruffle a few feathers when you approach the subject of chickens at your school.
Don’t give up. Chickens teach amazing lessons in all acadmic areas. They also teach our kids about love, compassion, pecking order and who rules the roost. For more information, visit http://www.backyardchickens.com
-Famer Kim Aman
Moss Haven Farm
Moss Haven Elementary
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Join Farmer Aman Tuesday July 28th at 1 PM EST for the July School Garden Webinar all about how she got chickens at Moss Haven Elementary!