Unfortunately, many young people in the US today think that food comes from a bag, a box, the grocery store, or the fairy tale version of a farm that they see in children’s books. They are disconnected from where their food actually comes from, how it is produced and processed, and how far it has traveled to reach their plate. Our current food culture is dominated by “fast” processed foods that are full of sugar and chemicals. It’s time for us change our culture and relationships to food by teaching the next generations how to slow down and enjoy wholesome, nutrient rich, fresh foods.
Chicken Keeping is Educational
Keeping urban chickens is one way for young people to not only learn about but also actively participate in food production, while at the same time providing their growing bodies with fresh food. Chicken keeping can help kids to appreciate food and make healthier choices while also teaching responsibility, animal husbandry and compassion. Also, kids are naturally interested in animals (more so than carrots), so it is a great way to spark their interest in learning about food.
We are currently working on writing a chicken-learning guide for young people. If anyone wants to submit an egg hatching activity for kids or a lesson on another chicken/food related topic, we would love to add it to our site.
In the mean time, young people are naturally inquisitive and can figure a lot out on their own. Spend time with your young ones and chickens and guide the conversation towards learning about chickens, food production, and the food chain.
Caution: Chickens naturally peck anything shiny – including eyeballs, as well as freckles, scabs, painted fingernails, etc. Keep chicken beaks pointed away from faces, and wash your kids hands after chicken contact. Use common sense, keep your kids safe, and prevent them from becoming poster children for anti-urban chicken people.