Tour de Coops combines chickens and bikes 

Chicken coops like this are on the tour on Sunday, 2-5 p.m.
  • Chicken coops like this are on the tour on Sunday, 2-5 p.m.

If your passions include urban chicken farming and cycling, you'll be a very happy human this Sunday. That's when Nap Town Chickens, a local group of actual and aspiring backyard chicken farmers, hosts Tour de Coops, a three-hour bicycle tour of feather-filled coops in the Broad Ripple, Meridian-Kessler, Butler-Tarkington and Rocky Ripple neighborhoods.

Event organizer, Andrew Brake, teaches a class called "How to Raise Backyard Chickens" through IUPUI's Community Learning Network, and his original tour plan simply involved a group of students and him spending a day checking out coops within the city. But as he moved forward with the idea and realized that others may be interested in participating, he decided to spread the word and offer it as an event open to everyone.

Brake, who works full time for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, may want to consider a career in event promotions. Tour de Coops has generated tremendous interest, with more than 200 people on the event's Facebook page committing to attending and 17 local businesses signing on as event sponsors. Brake has even had to turn away chicken farmers who'd like their backyard coops featured on the tour.

Not surprisingly, Brake has a few backyard biddies of his own. "I raise chickens for the eggs," he says. "I figure walking out to my backyard to get breakfast is much easier than getting in a car, fighting traffic, finding a parking spot, grabbing a grocery cart, making sure none of the eggs are broken, waiting in the checkout line, paying for them, trying to remember where I parked and then fighting traffic again."

Aside from the convenience, Brake suspects that a primary allure of urban chicken farming is humans innately wanting to raise their own food. "Not so long ago, nearly everyone raised their own food," he says."I think we're just trying to get back to that bit by bit. Chicken farming is easy and there is an instant reward. Furthermore, chicken farming is fun and can be a great educational tool for children about where food comes from."

Brake cites predators as the biggest challenge to backyard chicken farming. "Raccoons, foxes, hawks, owls, even rats can be very determined when chicken is the main course" he cautions. "All this said, however, a properly built and secured coop can serve as a perfect defense against those predators."

Other cities, such as Seattle and Madison, have held Tour de Coops-like events. The one in Indianapolis, however, is thought to be the first that's bicycle-themed. Brake says that, while bicycling is encouraged, walking or driving from coop to coop is permissible -- though he jokes that drivers shouldn't be surprised if their cars get egged.

Tour de Coops runs from 2 to 5 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 18. The self-guided tour begins at Broad Ripple Park, where you can pick up a map, register for the event and buy a raffle ticket - one lucky raffler will win a deluxe chicken coop. The suggested donation for tour-goers is a mere five bucks, with the proceeds going to local nonprofits Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and IndyCog.

Latest in General

  • A walk through Pioneer Village
  • A walk through Pioneer Village

    Volunteers stick around for decades at the Fair's living history pavilion.
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • The everlasting, unstoppable, unbeatable Gen Con
  • The everlasting, unstoppable, unbeatable Gen Con

    The world's oldest and biggest gaming convention is set to break the 50,000 unique visitor mark this year. And for the first time, it's taking over the entire Indiana Convention Center.
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Slideshow: Cultural Vision Awards 2014
  • Slideshow: Cultural Vision Awards 2014

    NUVO's 16th annual Cultural Vision Awards were celebrated on Friday the 13th at the Indiana Landmark's Center. There was a performance by Q Artistry, followed by an awards ceremony, and a Lifetime Acheivement award for Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
    • Jun 16, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Feedback

Reader Reviews

© 2014 NUVO | Website powered by Foundation