Phoenix Tour de Coops: How to Join the Flock

Get out and do the funky chicken -- or at least talk about a few this Saturday, November 6, at a lively discussion on

Urban Poultry

and kick-off event to the

Tour de Coops 2010


The self-guided tour of the Valley's coolest chicken set-ups, sponsored by the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, will tromp through local coops on Saturday, December 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..

We caught up with Permaculture Guild member, Bryan White, to talk about Tour de Coops and raising hens. Bryan and his wife, Miro Chun -- whose backyard coop will be featured on the tour -- have five chickens: Tweetie, Sweetie, Brownie, Spotty-Dotty and her sister, Polka-Dotty.

More coop and event details after the jump ...

Raising chickens in an urban environment is possible because chickens typically adapt to their environments, according to White. Of course, chickens (like humans) can still have a hard time in the desert, so providing water and shade is key. The gals in White's backyard coop have an added bit of luxury -- an evaporative cooling system. 

White says each bird needs three to four square feet of enclosure space, though the set-ups on this year's tour run the gamut from small coops created from salvaged materials to spaces that are much bigger and quite roomy. (Check out tips from coop participant and local artist Rachel Bess here.)

There are currently 19 stops on this year's tour -- blame the doubled amount from last year on grassroots enthusiasm for urban gardening and backyard livestock care or increased interest in self-sufficient city living. 

Event coordinators encourage the public to come armed with fowl questions and to feel free to take their time along the tour in December, as coops will be scattered throughout the Valley.

This Saturday's panel from 7 to 9 p.m. is at ASU Downtown's Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL), 234 N. Central Ave, and is open and free to the public.

Tickets for the Tour de Coops can be purchased online for $10 at TourdeCoops.org or at the Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery and Wine Bar at 14 E Pierce Street in Phoenix. Each $10 admission includes two adults, and children under 12 years of age are free.

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