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Decatur center hosts chicken-raising classes, events
by Christine Fonville
February 25, 2014 11:59 AM | 2343 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / Walter Reeves is seen with Andrea Zoppo, public programs manager for the Wylde Center.
Special Photo / Walter Reeves is seen with Andrea Zoppo, public programs manager for the Wylde Center.
DeKalb residents can learn all about caring for chickens in their own backyard during the Wylde Center’s 2014 Chicks in the City symposium Saturday.

The annual, day-long event, which will start at 9 a.m. at the Decatur Recreation Center, will feature guest speakers, informative classes and plenty of chicks and eggs for those interested in learning how to raise chickens. The cost is $50 for center members and $60 for nonmembers.

Andrea Zoppo, public programs manager, said the symposium is one of the most popular events the center hosts each year.

“City laws, especially in Decatur, are friendly for keeping chickens and it’s definitely a growing trend,” she said. The center began offering sustainable living classes about 10 years ago and Zoppo said the classes involving chickens in particular have evolved and expanded.

Saturday’s symposium will include guests Walter Reeves who will present “Raising Baby Chicks,” Veronique Perrot who will teach “Chickens 102 and What They Do for You” and Kristy Smith who will speak on the topic of “Little Farm in a Big City: Chickens, Goats and Turkeys Love Life Together.”

Guests will also have opportunities to learn about proper coop design as well as how to keep chickens safe from predators.

“The symposium is designed for anyone from novice to expert and even for those who are just thinking about the benefits of adding fresh eggs to their diet,” said spokeswoman Julie Herron Carson. “It really is a fun, lively, hands-on event.”

Although the symposium lasts for one day, Zoppo said the benefits and connections made at the event have a long-term effect.

“Attendees are connecting to a community that will continue to help them plug into the right resources,” she said. “We’re a community of folks who work together and many of our guest speakers and instructors are guests who came out to the first symposiums years ago.”

In the future, Zoppo said the center hopes to expand classes to include how to keep and raise other animals in an urban setting as county laws continue to change.

“A larger group of people are becoming more involved with sustainability and I think DeKalb County is moving forward to encourage it,” she said.

After the symposium, the center will host a self-guided Urban Coop Tour March 29 and 30 for those interested in seeing and learning about a variety of coops.

If you go:
What: Chicks in the City symposium
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St. in Decatur
Cost: $50 for center members and $60 for nonmembers

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