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Chicagoans Flock to See City Critters

On Valentine’s Day 2015, a happy crowd gathered at the Chicago High School for Agriculture Sciences for the 3rd annual Urban Livestock Expo. Sponsored by Angelic Organics Learning Center with partners Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) and the Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts, the Expo offered visitors intensive sessions on raising chickens, ducks, goats, rabbits, quails, honeybees, and solitary bees in their backyards.

    - Presenter Abe Lentner’s daughter Lucy showed off her ribbon-winning ducks.
    - Ryan Detwiler shared his enthusiasm for Coturnix quails (which he and husband Corey Gilson call “kitchen chickens”) while Corey greeted visitors eager to learn about rabbits.
    - Greg Stiver of Stivers Coffee served coffee and hot chocolate.
    - CHAS students gave tours of their aquaponics center and livestock barn.
    - Resource tables included sponsors, all presenters, and groups and retailers who help backyard livestock keepers.
    - Young goats from Carolyn Ioder's Goat Guardians’ Guild in Austin pleased CHAS students and visitors of all ages
    - With their father Junaid, Sean and Iman Butt displayed their hens at the Chi Chick Ens table.
    - In addition to Duck Basics, Abe Lentner shared tips for improving backyard conditions for native pollinators and solitary bees like mason bees and leafcutters.

    By Martha Boyd, Program Director, Urban Initiative (Chicago)

    Photos by Eric Staswick