What is a Happy Chicken Cooperative?

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There are all kinds of cooperatives.

Babysitting ones.

Vegetable ones.

Homeschooling ones.

We hear the word but I think unless we have been a part of one

the real meaning behind it

could be a little fuzzy.

Basically it’s when a group of people pool their resources

to solve a problem or pursue a belief

with shared risk and reward.

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So for The Happy Chicken Farm

our problem,

my problem I guess and I’m hoping it’s yours too,

is mass farming of poultry- birds raised in crowded inhumane conditions.

This type of poultry farming is called factory farming.

Factory farming doesn’t make us very happy here

and we like to be happy

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I live my life by the motto

if you aren’t part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

So I thought

what could I do about factory farming?

I am just one person.

It’s hard to make a difference when you are just one person.

Enter a cooperative or as I prefer to type a co-op.

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Each co-op is comprised of 15 families

who invest equally into the farm.

They share in the risk-

such as predators,

or road crossing

(why chickens? why?!)

or whatever chicken problems you can have

(hint- not many).

But we also share in the reward.

Bountiful eggs, your very own chicken (without having to clean up the mess!)

also the tangible experience of knowing

where your food comes from and who provides it!

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It’s such an important connection to me

and one I especially enjoy sharing with children.

When kids see the chickens

feel the feathers,

collect the eggs

there is a connection to the food

that we seem to have lost these days.

We put all our food into plastic containers

and buy them from a store.

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We never think about where it comes from.

But shouldn’t we?

We have lost our connection

to the land,

the the farmer,

to the animal

and we take it for granted.

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But right now

because of three co-ops

(thats 45 families!)

here at The Happy Chicken Farm

we have 74 chickens

won’t have to inhale their own feces

and possibly become a cannibals due to the stress of overcrowding.

The only worries a happy chicken has

is when the farm assistant (Ryan)

is going to have their new swings ready

and when frozen blueberries are coming again.

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They have 99 problems

but a grub ain’t one.

There isn’t money in making happy chickens.

The money from co-ops goes to feed,

bedding,

feather care,

equipment,

 general maintenance,

and of course, the chickens favorite,

SNACKS!

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The reason I do what I do

is because

I wanna do my part.

It’s a small way I found that I can make a difference

in a problem I see in the world.

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74 freaking chickens.

What did I get myself into?!

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