On Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, twenty-one Chicagoland keepers of backyard poultry will again open their yards to visitors during the 4th Annual Windy City Coop Tour, sharing their enthusiasm for raising chickens, ducks, and more in the city. Visitors can tour any or all host coop locations during this free, self-guided event, which starts at 10 AM and ends at 2 PM each day.

Keeping backyard chickens is allowed in Chicago and some surrounding suburbs, including Evanston and Oak Park. In recent years, more area residents are raising chickens at home, often integrated with backyard gardens, compost systems, beehives, and other elements of urban food production.

Visitors on the Windy City Coop Tour meet chickens and their people, and learn how city dwellers are incorporating chickens and more into their yards and lifestyles. Visitors can ask Tour hosts about coops, feed, breeds, costs, and their experiences raising healthy chickens in the city and suburbs.

Tour organizer Martha Boyd, Program Director at Angelic Organics Learning Center in Chicago, looks forward to the Tour each year. “It’s a great chance for people to see examples first-hand and meet members of the growing network around Chicagoland sharing information, advice, and resources with each other.” On November 9, the Learning Center will again offer its comprehensive Basic Backyard Chicken Care workshop, with instructor Jen Murtoff of Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consulting.

For more information, including maps and descriptions of coop locations on this year’s Tour, visit the Windy City Coop Tour page on the Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts website, www.chicagochickens.org.