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Dr. Karen Houle on keeping backyard chickens


Dr Karen Houle describes how CCSAW faculty inspired her enrich the environment of her backyard chickens

Dr. Karen Houle is a retired University of Guelph professor and CCSAW associated faculty. She recently shared with Dr Georgia Mason her experiences in keeping backyard chickens. She described how Drs Georgia Mason, Tina Widowski, Derek Haley and Ian Duncan inspired her to create “the safest and most enriched space that a chicken could imagine” and her time with CCSAW taught her practical ways “to put ethical-welfare into action with our girls.”

Dr. Houle went on to describe that her hens have a warm airy coop with a “straw bale” extension porch so they can go outside in the cold weather for fresh air. They have a run between two big areas that they use to race between the two areas. She keeps feed costs down by supplementing them with weeds from the garden and they get extra dustbathing material by reusing ash from a sauna.