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Chickens in the Outback

picture Chickens in the Outback and student with eggs

Chickens in the Outback

The farm is home to about 6 chickens at any given time. These pampered hens live long, happy lives getting love from volunteers and producing eggs for students. Chickens are an important part of small-scale organic farms, especially when placed in a mobile structure called a chicken tractor! They help us by:

  • Creating nutrient-rich fertilizer for our compost piles through their straw/bedding
  • Eating pests and insects
  • Aerating the soil by pecking and scratching
  • Fertilizing “in place” by pooping as they go

Our current hens are named Ham, Dandelion, and Ophelia (older hens) and Mud Puppy, Pigeon, Sammy, and Hops (younger hens)

picture of student feeding chickens

Rules for visiting the chickens

Our hens love attention, but here are some rules to follow when at the coop:

  • DO feed hens some compostable foods (brassicas, leafy greens, fruits, etc)
  • DO NOT feed them non-compostable foods (citrus, meat, large stems or stalks, etc)
  • DO come into the coop, but only 3 people at a time
  • DO NOT throw anything through the wire of the coop (this creates gaps for other animals to enter)
  • DO ask questions to Outback staff; we can show you how to hold or pet them
  • DO NOT chase the hens or be aggressive around them, they are very sensitive

 

Become a chicken volunteer!

Volunteers either come in the morning or evening to let the chickens in or out of the coop to roam in their pen. Volunteers can take any egg they see after spending some time with the hens and giving them food and water.

Email the Outback Farm Operations Coordinator at as.outback.asst.coord@wwu.edu to get involved.

picture of student with chickens and eggs and chics