Keep Austin weird, y'all.
The Funky Chicken Coop Tour is an event where creative chicken owners in Austin, Texas and the surrounding area open their yards for a self-guided tour. Attendees visit each of the properties at their own pace to see how home owners have utilized their oftentimes small spaces into sustainable urban farms.
Started in 2009 by the Urban Poultry Association of Texas, the Tour is an event where prospective urban farmers can talk with current chicken and other animal owners about species' ordinances, tips on raising animals like chickens, mini goats, and bees, and the best practices for creating a sustainable home within the city limits.
The Funky Chicken Coop Tour is an amazing event, always held on Easter weekend, that brings the creative Austin community together in their sustainability efforts. This year, 10 properties participated in the tour. While the yards are all different, each house features a funky chicken coop that is an impressive architectural feat!
Each of the coops have different species of chickens and the owners are always more than happy to talk about what they've learned, what they feed them, and of course, the chickens' personalities.
The creative ways these home owners utilize the space they have in their yards is commendable and inspiring for anyone who lives in a city but wants to be self-sustaining.
Each property has a unique coop that the home owner has built out of sustainable materials and their backyards have eco-friendly features including:
- rainwater collection
As a resident in Austin, this tour opened my eyes to what can be done with a small amount of space. I loved the fact that one of the homes had a beehive to provide fresh honey, while another had an entire chicken tunnel to allow the chickens to run across the yard to another enclosure. The creativity and the artistic touch these chicken owners put into their coops was inspiring.
Each of the homes has as unique owner who loves talking to budding chicken people, and I also heard people exchanging tips.
"Oh, you feed your chickens cabbage?"
I learned about chicken breeds I had never heard of like the beautiful Japanese Bantams and all the different Ameraucana mixes, and that crushed oyster shells help the chickens lay eggs with stronger shells due to the extra calcium.
It was a gorgeous Saturday and there was just such a sense of community in the air. The fact that these people allow the general public to pass through their backyards speaks to the tight-knit nature of a city like Austin, especially with those who want to promote healthy living and self-sustainability.
And now that Austin is paying residents to keep chickens, the Tour better prepare for a higher attendance next year!
What do you think of the Funky Chicken Coop Tour? Tell us in the comments below.
Photos via Mateja Lane and Funky Chicken Coop Tour Photo Gallery
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