Raising goats and chickens in the city makes you a real urban hipster these days. What can be more local—and cool—than fresh milk and fresh eggs from your own backyard?
To help these city animal husbandry folks take good care on their flocks, hives and herds, Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) and Angelic Organics Learning Center are back with the 4th Annual Urban Livestock Expo on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St., Chicago. The expo will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We couldn’t be happier with the increased interest we’ve seen across the city in raising livestock, but along with that comes a responsibility to make sure that people are aware of best practices and how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls that have potential to create a backlash,” says AUA Executive Director Billy Burdett. “The Expo is a great opportunity for prospective urban livestock keepers to start off on the right foot so they can do well by their animals, their neighbors, and the city as a whole.”
So, what will you find at an Urban Livestock Expo? First of all, a lot of people interested in raising critters to eat and sell. The place was packed the last time we went. And, you’ll find a lot of people who just love to have furry, cuddly animals around. The expo also offers workshops and presentations for both novices and those who already keep livestock in the city.
Also on hand will be presenters who know a lot about raising chickens, ducks, quails, bees and goats. They can introduce you to the needs of each animal, highlighting issues to consider and steps to take.
In addition to annual presenters from Chicago Honey Coop, Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts, Home to Roost, Goat Guardian Guild, and Homegrown and Handmade, the Expo will welcome new presenters from Urban Chicken Rentals and WestSide Bee Boyz.
Area urban livestock groups and businesses will staff resource tables in the school’s atrium, so you can take home information about additional opportunities for learning, support networks, sources of supplies and equipment, and more.
Students will give tours of the school’s aquaponics center and livestock barn. Local food and beverage vendors will make sure everyone can stay fueled up throughout the event.
Find an event schedule and more info at auachicago.org/events. If you’re going, plan to arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. for registration. Presentations and workshop begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.. The Urban Livestock Expo is FREE, but donations to help cover costs and to support the sponsors’ programs are encouraged and welcome.