Since last week was the chicken’s’ second birthday here at Roehampton, I went over to hang out with them and get to know them and their story a little better.
Celia Briseid, Growhampton’s project coordinator and Hillary Ann Nevyjel, the Chicken Coordinator and Head Volunteer were busy at work when I arrived. It was pampering time for the chickens, although cucumber eyes and face masks were thin on the ground, diatomaceous earth dust baths weren’t. A skincare routine and a way to keep the bugs away, the earth is made from crushed shells and the chickens seem to love it.
In total, Growhampton now own 10 chickens, after the first on-campus birth of Ginko last year. Although there aren’t any cockerels (Froebel residents would have some very early mornings), the group of girls seemed to get on pretty well with each other.
The chickens lay about 4-5 different sized and coloured eggs between them every day during peak season, which are then sold at Grownhampton’s Thursday market place. After spending the morning with them, I couldn't believe how much their different personalities were shining through and their cheeky side was pretty easy to see. Baby Ginko even let me give her a little pet, and some of the “rebellious teenagers” gave a bit of attitude too.
Growhampton are now recruiting for volunteers! Although the chickens are pretty independent, they do like a bit of attention and spoiling from time to time. Growhampton are looking for people to come and spend a bit of time with them, let them out in the morning, feed them treats, top up water etc. If you’re missing your pets at home, this would be a great chance to get a bit of animal love! There’s no contract, so you can volunteer for any day that you have free!
Celia and Hillary talked a lot about the mindfulness that comes with looking after the chickens, and how students are able to relax and escape just by spending time with them! Who’d have thought?!
Don’t know anything about chickens? Don't worry! Neither did I until this morning. Growhampton will give you an hour’s training before you start, to get you introduced to the chickens and show you the ropes! To sign up just email firstname.lastname@example.org !
It’s also the anniversary of The Hive next Thursday (the 11th) and Growhampton will be making the chickens their very own coconut oil and seed birthday cake. So come for the party and pop over the coop by Garden Court (to the left of the hive) to say hi to our beloved chickens!