Egg-laying female hens (referred to herein as “chickens”) are a great way to engage students in the school garden, especially in urban environments like the District of Columbia where many students are disengaged with details pertaining to the food system. Chickens often attract students that are otherwise not interested in gardening and generate excitement among the entire school community. Additionally, chickens provide students with an opportunity to better understand how to properly care for and establish a positive relationship with animals.
This document was created in response to the growing number of schools in the District that have requested guidance on caring for chickens in schools. While the benefits are many, chickens do require vigilant care and attention. There are numerous resources that provide guidance on caring for chickens, some of these are listed in this guide under “Resources” but surprisingly few address the specific challenges of managing chickens in a school setting. Additionally, a Chicken Management Plan Template (referred to herein as “the plan”) is provided to assist schools with the specific challenges of managing school chicken projects. This document provides basic guidelines created by The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the Department of Health (DOH) to assist District schools with establishing and maintaining chicken programs.
Related Content: School Garden Resources