Believe it or not, chicken keeping has become increasingly popular in recent years and there are plenty of reasons why, according to Mary Menniti of the Italian Garden Project.
"They are fairly low maintenance and provide fresh, nutritious eggs daily. They have interesting habits and are entertaining to watch. Kids love them," Menniti said.
Today those interested in learning more about chickens, their housing needs, even what it takes to start producing your own eggs, are welcome to join the Sewick's Chicks tour of chicken coops in the Sewickley Valley.
Now in it's second year, Menniti said the self-guided tour visits five sites, all them located in either Sewickley or Sewickley Heights. One site is on Beaver Street in the business district of Sewickley, she said.
Tour-goers will start out at Penguin Bookshop where they will purchase a ticket and receive a sticker to wear on the tour. They will also receive a list of addresses and suggested routes.
Menniti said participants can visit sites at their leisure. The tours runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will take place rain or shine.
"The owners of the chickens will be available at each site to answer questions and talk about their birds," she said.
Menniti did a small tour last year for about 20 people.
"We had fun and there seemed to be a lot of interest in doing it on a larger scale. That's how this year's tour came about," she said.
Menniti said the tour will continue next year as long as there is continued interest.
The tour costs $10 for adults and children 10 and under are free. The event is co-sponsored by The Italian Garden Project and Fern Hollow Nature Center. A portion of proceeds will benefit Sewickley Community Center Food Bank.
A pasta-making class follows the tour at 2 p.m. at Fern Hollow. The class is $5 with no need to pre-register.
"It's a way to use up all those eggs," Menniti said.
Are you planning to take the tour? If so, we encourage you to take lots of photos and upload them to this story on Patch! We'll be sure to feature the best of Sewick's Chicks!