Lifestyle

Whidbey Island Coop Tour benefits fair, 4-H

The Rock’n Doodle 4-H Poultry Club will host its second annual Whidbey Island Coop Tour on Saturday, April 30.

The tour will offer visitors some of Whidbey’s best, funniest, funkiest and most beautiful chicken coops and enclosures. Six island poultry keepers will open their farms and back yards to the public to show off their chickens and coops.

The self-guided tour will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets and tour maps are $10 per person or carpool, and are available at Bayview Farm & Garden at Bayview Corner, and Skagit Farmers Supply in Freeland and Oak Harbor.

Proceeds from this event will go toward the club’s community education efforts and barn improvements at the Island County Fairgrounds, and to Island County 4-H.

Tour hosts and coop owners will be on hand at each location to share their experiences in chicken care, coop design and more.

Visitors to the Nattress family farm will see heritage Narragansett turkeys as well as chickens housed in colorful mini coops. Host and pro chef Vincent Nattress will talk about his research into egg and meat breeds.

Also on the tour: a “secret garden” coop with a circular pen hidden in Karin Watson’s small backyard forest.

And at the Sonshine Farms, visitors can see how chickens can be raised and processed for meat cleanly and safely. Experts will demonstrate slaughtering and plucking techniques for those interested. In a separate area, the farm will also have a child-friendly petting area with goats and alpacas, hosted by the Inca Pride Alpaca 4-H club.

For more information, go to the tour website at http://whidbeyislandcooptourdotorg.wordpress.com/.  For information on the Rock’n Doodle 4-H Poultry Club, e-mail RocknDoodle@whidbey.com.

Community Events, April 2014

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