Urban Hens promotes chicken poop for kids’ gardens in Colorado

A public health student at Kansas State passed along this story from 9NEWS.com about Urban Hens, a Boulder, Colorado-based group that is working with the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research Design at CU and a private grant to supposedly help teach sustainability to children by placing chickens near neighborhood and school gardens.

Wynn Martens, the co-founder of Urban Hens, said,

"How can you be truly sustaining and that is by reusing the waste in any system and keeping it inside the system instead of continuing to consume and throw it off. People become interested for different reasons. Some people are concerned with the humane treatment of the chickens. Other people are interested in the nutritional value. Other people really are interested in the educational component, so we want to support all those."

The children go to the Blossom Pre-School across the alley from Shawnee Gardens. Their curriculum will include responsibilities such as feeding and partly taking care of the chickens. Many of their lunch and dinner scraps will go to the chickens. The chickens’ waste meanwhile will help fertilize the Shawnee Gardens garden. That garden’s products will be eaten by both parties as will the eggs the chickens lay.

Wow. I thought American maternity leave policies were sorta barbaric – six weeks versus a year in Canada – but to make pre-schoolers clean up chicken shit, compost it and then make them eat the food with chicken poop. Hey, maybe I got it wrong, but there is nothing mentioned about microbial food safety in this situation, no details in the story or on the websites as to what constitutes proper composting.

Food porn over food safety. It’ll be a public health person who gets to clean up the mess.

This entry was posted in Food Safety Policy, Raw Food and tagged , , , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time