My thanks to the many folks who came on Saturday for the first 'Chicken Open House!' There were too many people to count but we think there were over 100 visitors - from chicken owners to wanna-be chicken owners - families, individuals, young and old. It was amazing! We even had two folks in karate uniforms and a couple in revolutionary war gear. Nothing would have surprised me after that on Saturday!
What started as calendar items to the local papers turned into real publicity for which I am very grateful. If you missed the article here it is - http://www.salemnews.com/archivesearch/local_story_120220619.html
The Beverly Citizen also came out to put some video on their site to go with the calendar item. What a hoot!
The open house was really a huge success. I got to meet other folks in my town and surrounding towns who are successfully raising backyard flocks - from a few chickens to more modest numbers. I really had no idea how many people were already raising chickens and it was wonderful to have them come and share their knowledge.
What was really exciting was all the people who want to raise chickens. We had one fellow sketching the coop and others going through the coop design and beginner chicken raising books. Others checked out the hens and the coop and played with the chicks. And everyone had questions! I was very grateful our daughter Sharon, and son-in-law, Eric, were here visiting from NY as they have much more experience than Naomi and me so they were drafted into duty from the start. We even pulled another son-in-law, Billy, into service since he too has hens in Middleton. We had folks here before noon with the last leaving at 3:30 Saturday, plus 3 more came by on Sunday! I enjoyed talking with so many people but I know I missed a few for which I am sorry. And I'll never remember all the names so be forgiving if you see me on the street and I don't remember your name. (-:
We were able to get 6 new chicks from the Danvers Agway last week and they were a big hit on Saturday. They were also exhausted at the end of the afternoon from all the handling and slept once the event was over (as did I...). We had kids submit names for the two we are keeping - beginning with 'F' and 'G' and we got some great names. Once we decide on the new names I'll list them here. We're keeping the one Rhode Island Red (Naomi's choice) but the other is up for grabs. I'm trying to find the one other chick that I feel a bond with - you know, the one who isn't too squirmy when you pick it up. We have two each of the Comets and Barred Rocks and a single Black Sex Link. I'm leaning towards the Comet as it's easier to see a light colored hen in the backyard when they are roaming but that's what the hawks think too...
I had put together some resource material for folks, especially those living in Beverly, but we quickly ran out. To the others who left e-mail addresses, I have to scan some stuff and then I will send everything out later this week. There were almost 50 requests for information!
I think the open house was just a starting point and I am already fantasizing about a 'Beverly Tour de Coop' next year! There is clearly a lot of interest in chickens and I think this could be the beginning of a real movement in Beverly and surrounding towns. A chicken in every yard!
Thanks again to everyone who came!