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ECO offers workshop on raising chickens

People can learn how to raise chickens in their yard next week.

ECO, the Environmental & Conservation Organization, will host its first summer Sustainable Living Workshop on Tuesday, June 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. "Raising Backyard Chickens" will be taught by Knox Crowell, a graphic artist and local sustainability practitioner with a strong interest in growing and raising his own food. The workshop will focus on learning how to raise chickens for eggs and will include information on breeds, housing and safety, keeping predators away and general animal care. Printed and digital information will be provided.

Crowell began keeping chickens for eggs a few years ago, a natural extension to tending a vegetable garden and growing raspberries, blueberries and apples.He and friends purchased 10 Rhode Island Red chicks, a breed valued for having a good disposition and useful as layers or fryers. One of the main challenges at first was quickly gathering good information on raising them and protecting them from predators. A prior flock at the same site had failed due to raccoons and hawks. After lots of research and through trial and error, Crowell has come up with some innovative ways to keep his chickens safe and healthy.

Registration is required, $15 per person. The workshop will be held at ECO's new location at 611 North Church Street. Participants should register online at A chicken will be on site during the demonstration, so get ready for some hands-on learning.