“Early Bird” Press Release————————–Austin's 4th Annual Funky Chicken Coop TourOn Saturday, April 7, 2012, Austin-area poultry keepers will open their backyards to the public for the fourth year in a row to show off their chickens and their urban coops. Each year turnout for our tour has continued to grow, climbing over 2000 visitors in 2011. Austin is not alone in this growing trend of urban chicken keeping.Natural Life magazine estimates that there are 300 North American cities that allow a few backyard chickens, with more joining in as cities continue to overturn ordinances banning chickens. There are many reasons for this backyard chicken movement: chickens require a small amount of space, make it easier for their owners to decrease carbon footprints, save taxpayer dollars and support local food supply production.Besides being easy-to-care-for pets, chickens also provide manure for fertilizer and compost, along with helping keep both weeds and bugs in check, all of which helps create better yards and gardens. Of course they also provide delicious fresh eggs right from your own backyard. Most chicken owners report that it's just plain fun to have them around. The tour hosts will be on hand to share their experiences with chicken care, coop design, maintaining harmony among the chickens, people and other pets, and more. Chicken coops often integrate into larger projects, such as organic gardens, sustainability and permaculture efforts, and school activities. If you are thinking about keeping chickens in your own backyard, you'll get some great ideas. Visitors to the tour sites will see how recycled materials can be transformed into a low-cost coop or how a design-conscious coop can enhance the beauty of a landscape.Urban chicken-keeping continues to be a growing trend and The Funky Chicken Coop Tour will include coops all over the Austin area. We're hoping to have more people than ever interested in checking out what Austin poultry people are doing to keep their birds housed and happy. More information will be available closer to the tour date from our website at http://austincooptour.org/ .So, make some time on Easter weekend to check out this event. The self-guided tour will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., rain or shine. If you are interested in showing your coop, volunteering or being a sponsor for the tour, visit our website and complete your application today. You can help us support urban sustainability!Thank you for supporting the Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour!!!!TIME AND DATE: April 7, 201210:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.URL: http://austincooptour.org/CONTACT:Christy Sanderspr@austincooptour.orgRESOURCES: See our website for chicken coop tours in other cities and other urban poultry resources.