Press Release ——————– Austin's 4th Annual The Funky Chicken Coop Tour®For families looking for something new and different to do this Easter weekend, The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® invites everyone to come and join the fun! On 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 the tour has continued to grow, with over 2,000 estimated 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 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. 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. 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. This year is an exciting year for The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® as it continues to expand the ways it is able to promote backyard poultry. This year will be the first that the tour is an event of the new non-profit organization, the Urban Poultry Association of Texas, Inc. Urban Poultry Association of Texas, Inc. was formed in the fall of 2011 to provide support, training and guidance in an effort to promote urban poultry and help those who strive to work with poultry in an urban setting. Also new this year, The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® is proud to donate a portion of the proceeds after expenses to the Green Corn Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which installs organic food gardens for elderly, low-income, and disabled community members, as well as for elementary schools, community centers, and shelters in underserved areas of Austin. Another exciting change will be the addition of a The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® map and brochure. Tour maps will be the entry ticket to the coops and will be $10. A map can be shared with as many people as desired and will include one free entry to our raffle; additional raffle tickets will cost $5 each or 3 for $10.The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® will continue in the tradition of past tours by offering great merchandise like commemorative t-shirts and posters, as well as the popular raffle which will include prizes provided by our sponsors. This year the raffle will feature a spectacular grand prize: a complete backyard chicken starter package provided by Mobile Chicken Coops. The chicken package consists of a chicken coop, 6 hens, a bag of feed, a waterer, a feeder, and hay for the nest boxes–everything needed to start a backyard flock, over $1200 in value. You can check out all of this and more at the Information Center on the day of the tour, located at Buck Moore Feed and Supply at 5237 North Lamar Blvd. For more details about the tour or information on how and when purchase a tour brochure/entry ticket, raffle tickets, or any of our great merchandise please check out the website at http://austincooptour.org . You can also stay up to date by following The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® on Facebook and Twitter. Urban chicken-keeping continues to be a growing trend and The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® will include coops all over the Austin area. This year promises to have more people than ever interested in checking out what Austin poultry people are doing to keep their birds housed and happy. 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 volunteering or being a sponsor for the tour, visit The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® website and complete your application today. You can help support urban sustainability! TIME AND DATE: April 7, 201210:00 am – 4:00 pm URL: http://austincooptour.orgCONTACT: Christy Sanderspr@austincooptour.org RESOURCES: See The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® website for chicken coop tours in other cities and other urban poultry resources.Thank You For Supporting The Funky Chicken Coop Tour®!!!!