Alright, so I can’t let Adriano have all the fun with his beekeeping adventures.  While he’s been busy with his bees, I’ve decided to get a little action of my own by joining a chicken co-op. That’s right.  You’re looking at the shared owner of 35 hens.

For quite some time, I’ve managed to get local eggs from an ever-changing group of about 3-4 contacts I’ve put together over the years.  Anytime I needed a dozen, I would rotate through the group until I got what I wanted.  It’s an unreliable method, time consuming and didn’t always result in eggs when I needed them.  So I finally asked Steve Green to let me in on his chicken collective.

Steve is our local food hero.  He has started initiatives like the chicken co-op, local food boxes, the Ford City Community Garden, and the Windsor Essex Community Supported Agriculture, just to name a few.  He loves good, local food.

Located in the county, the co-op is home to, not only our lovely ladies, but WECSA as well. It is fantastic and seriously organized. A testament to the dedication and commitment of everyone involved.  The group of 11 has a scheduled rotation, ensuring that there is always someone on the farm.  Those hens don’t want for anything. 

Everyone in the group contributes to their care and maintenance.  Any issues, concerns or problems are recorded and discussed and even the number of eggs collected are tracked.  In 2011, the hens produced over 4500 eggs!

Each week, I head over to the farm and make sure our hens are well fed and taken care of. In exchange, they provide me with a beautiful bounty of eggs. 

Sean finds the whole thing amusing. Coming home from my first trip to meet the ladies, I was so excited to tell him how it all went.  I was beaming. He gave me a big hug and commented “You smell like chickens.”  I thought he was just exaggerating.  “No, I don’t.” “Yes, you really do.” “Oh, it’s probably because I was hugging them.”

So take that Adriano!  You may have your bees, but I have 35 hens to hug and squeeze and love.  Now, does anyone have a lead on a local milk collective?