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Chickens In Your Own Backyard

Photo taken by Jayden Ponsford

Many soon to be chicken keepers attended a class at the Denver Botanic Gardens to learn about a popular trend, “Backyard Chicken Keeping”. Everyone had so much fun listening to Sundari Kraft and learning about these fascinating animals. There were so many questions to be answered and Kraft answered them all!
One of the first things she talked about was why people choose to raise chickens? There are many reasons.  The main reason people choose to keep a backyard flock is for their eggs. Fresh eggs have less cholesterol and more Omega 3 than store bought eggs. They contain 3-6 times more vitamin D and are high in folic acid and B12. The yolk color is more intense due to high contents of beta carotene found in the food the chickens eat. All of this makes fresh eggs a much healthier choice. Many keep chickens in their backyards to help control their weeds, while others keep them for pets because they are great with children.
Kraft has raised several of her own flocks from baby chicks to retired egg layers. The Backyard Chicken Keeping class is a seasonal offering by the Denver Botanic Gardens in partnership with Heirloom Gardens LLC. “I have taught Backyard Chicken Keeping about 25 times and I love teaching people who are excited about living a sustainable life by growing their own food,” commented Kraft.
Kraft has something for everyone. She shares many resources for choosing your chickens from local breeders, feed stores and online hatcheries. She shared important “chick care” information such as heat, lighting, housing, food and water, bedding and diseases. For someone brand new to this idea of chicken keeping, she shares start up costs and legal information regarding how many chickens are allowed in each county in Colorado.
For the attendees who have already purchased a flock, she offered more advanced chicken keeping information such as using chicken droppings as a compost for gardening, egg production, molting, winter care, wing clipping and protecting from predators.
The highlight of the class was the hands on experience Kraft provided by bringing 2 of her own chickens to the class. She brought a Rhode Island Red and a Brahma, two popular choices when choosing a hen. After learning from Kraft, raising your own chickens seems easy and rewarding.
For more information visit Krafts website at www.eatwhereUlive.com and be sure to check out the seasonal listings for the next Backyard Chicken Keeping class at