If you’ve ever wondered “So why did the chicken cross the road?” Stonewall Jackson Elementary School is giving you the chance to get up close and personal with some chickens during their fourth annual Peep at the Coops urban chicken-coop tour this weekend.
The tour, on May 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is headquartered at Stonewall Jackson Elementary and benefits Stonewall Gardens, the hands-on science program housed in the outdoor laboratory. A dozen coops in East Dallas – including SJE’s own coop – will be featured this year, ranging from coops at local businesses to brand new elementary school coops to backyard coops. Each coop featured will be new to the tour, making the tour a must-see for all chicken aficionados.
Coop owners will share their approaches to housing and tending their backyard chickens – their personalities, feeding habits, egg- laying, and other insights into the growing practice of backyard chicken keeping.
Coop Tour Maps are available for $5.00 at Stonewall Gardens. The tour is self-guided, and visitors can tour the coops in any order throughout the afternoon. At Stonewall, visitors can visit the Stonewall hens – all of whom were hatched in SJE classrooms – in the custom-built coop financed through the first-ever Peep at the Coops tour.
Visitors to Stonewall can also buy raffle tickets for mobile chicken coops, view baby chicks as well as various breeds, and buy this year’s Peep at the Coop t-shirts. From noon until 2 p.m., Bob Richie of Custom Coop Company will offer free seminars on chicken keeping and care, and members of the 4-H Club from the neighborhood will bring their show chickens and talk about their experiences raising backyard chickens.
Several area businesses have already contributed to support the tour and Stonewall Gardens, including Transit Bicycle, Trinity Haymarket, Corner Market, Roach Feed and Seed, Greenling, Mobile Chicken Coops, as well as Live Local East Dallas. Their support goes directly to helping public school students participate in a model science program that features a full-time science instructor, regular classes for all students, and full integration with the school’s science curriculum. Stonewall Gardens has been recognized regionally and nationally for its approach, curriculum and teaching. Since 2008, the program has been entirely supported through community donations and business sponsorships.
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