Friday, March 27, 2009

News: Chicken Whisperer to Give Away 500 Baby Chicks in Atlanta

Andy G. Schneider, the national radio personality known as the Chicken Whisperer plans to give away 500 baby chicks on Saturday, April 11th starting at 8:00 AM at the Greenwoods on Green Street restaurant in Roswell, Georgia, located at 1087 Green Street 30075. The Chicken Whisperer’s plan is to promote the keeping of backyard poultry and to get folks thinking about growing more of their own food with this “Chicken Stimulus Package.”

Schneider, host of the nationally broadcast radio show Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer, and his station manager at Radio Sandy Springs came up with the idea after the city of Roswell went after one of its citizens for keeping pet chickens in his backyard. According to Schneider, the big chicken give away has the support of citizens and former lawmakers alike.

All baby chicks have been donated by hatcheries across America. Only two chicks will be given away to each family and they will come with a starter bag of feed, care instructions, and a map to North Fulton Feed and Seed in Alpharetta where they can pick up additional supplies. “This is our very own small economic stimulus package for the people of Atlanta,” the Chicken Whisperer says. “In the middle of layoffs, foreclosures, and a poor economy we want to teach people how to become a little more self-sufficient, and keeping backyard pet poultry is a good start.”

As a huge fan of backyard poultry, I am pleased to see that the Chicken Whisperer has been able to put the chicken feed right where the municipal beak is … so-to-speak. With any luck at all, the Chicken Stimulus Package will stimulate local lawmakers to rethink the whole topic of backyard poultry in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Folks, it’s time to take back your right to produce clean safe food … and to keep chickens as pets, of course.

--Hank Will, Editor, GRIT

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chicken Lovers Unite!

What a great day! Early this morning I went to Roswell City Hall to support Andrew Wordes who had a court case in defense of having backyard chickens. Seems the way the City's ordinance is written he can have them, the City thinks otherwise.

Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes took on the case and came to represent Andrew. Along with 50 or so of us fellow chicken lovers. It was a great sight to see. Most all of us were dressed in yellow shirts with large buttons saying I Love Chickens.

Also in attendance was every news outlet from every major network, CNN, Joan Durbin of the Neighbor News, Hatcher Hurd of Appen News, and many others. The City had created a chicken stink and we were there to make sure the stink only comes from wet manure in our gardens.

You should have heard all of us talking about our beloved chickens and the joy from raising them for fresh eggs and even companionship. They make excellent pets.

Thee case of the chickens is not over. We must go back in May as the case was delayed in order to allow the City more time to discuss the wording of ordinance and whatever else they do legally. Personally I think it might have to do more with public relations. I'm fairly certain they enjoyed having Barnes in their courtroom.

Thank Goodness for Milton's AG-1 zoning! May it live on forever.

Here are a few photos....

Andy Schneider aka The Chicken Whisperer

Andrew Wordes, "The Defendant" and Proud Chicken Lover

Our Buttons of Support

Our Signs of Support

Kathleen Smith, Milton Resident and Chicken Owner

Denise Moss (in green), Milton Resident and Chicken Lover

Hatcher Hurd, Appen Newspapers (Milton Herald)

Alison Byrnes (in red), Milton Resident and Proud Chicken Owner

Jenelle with her sweet Beauregard

Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes with Andy and Andrew at Press Conference

Words from The Chicken Whisperer, and why we were there...
About a month ago Andrew received a warning from Roswell Code Enforcement that keeping backyard pet chickens was unlawful in the City of Roswell. Andrew and myself looked into it, and noticed that there were no laws that clearly or specifically stated that a City of Roswell resident could not keep backyard pet chickens. After several phone calls and visits to the city regarding this matter, it was determined that the one area in the code it stated anything about poultry was written poorly, and did not specifically state a resident could not have backyard pet chickens. Code Enforcement disagreed so we requested a meeting with the Mayor’s office. During our meeting with the Mayor of Roswell, Jerry Wood (who also happens to be an attorney), he also stated that he saw nowhere in the Roswell code that prevented Roswell residents from keeping backyard pet chickens. Then more City of Roswell officials joined in the meeting, and the Mayor told them the same thing! At one point the Mayor told the city officials “they were really reaching” regarding the current wording of the current code regarding poultry. The Mayor also stated and I quote, “ If I were you (talking to Andrew) I would get my citation, hire an attorney, and come kick the city’s ass.” It was also mentioned that Andrew should try to have the law changed to allow the keeping of backyard pet chickens, but again the Mayor stated, “There is no law to change because according to the current code he can have backyard pet chickens”. At that point we all got up and the meeting was adjourned. Well, as stated in our last posting about this case this is far from over. That became a reality on Tuesday when Andrew got a citation from the Code Enforcement Officer for keeping backyard pet chickens unlawfully.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

News from The Chicken Whisperer

The Chicken Scratch
Issue #18
March 11, 2009

Hello Chicken Buffs! I hope you’re enjoying this nice weather we are having. I have already seen an increase in egg production from my hens. I hope you have too! If you purchased some ISA Browns from me back in November you might start seeing some eggs! I’ve had several calls from customers that have already started getting some eggs at 17 weeks. Start checking the nesting boxes, and of course all of those little hiding places your hen will find to lay! I’m really eggcited to see how these ISA Browns are going to perform. So far, so good! I will be at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center this Friday, March 13th from 11:00am to 1:00pm for a Lunch & Learn about keeping backyard poultry. I will be at the Dunwoody Nature Center on Saturday, April 4th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm teaching a class about keeping backyard poultry, and I will also be teaching the “Chicks In The City” class at the Oakhurst Gardens on April 25th. There will be an Atlanta chicken coop tour right after this class! You can find more information about all of these classes below. I have temporarily suspended all chicken sales until Easter, and maybe even after. I had to eliminate something off my schedule to free up some time, and it was the most time consuming, least profitable portion of my business. This is not a permanent decision. I will resume chicken sales once things settle down a little bit.

The Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer radio show is breaking records! The show this past Saturday, March 7th broke the record for the most number of listeners ever at the radio station! I could not be more proud! It just so happened that CNN was there filming the radio show for an upcoming special about the growing number of people in America keeping backyard poultry. Thank you so much for listening. We have had e-mails and phone calls from all across this great nation, and they just keep coming. We have three national sponsors, and eggspect many more in the weeks to come. I believe we will break our current record for the number of listeners on Saturday, March 21st when we welcome Dr. Tarah Hadley to the radio show. Dr. Tarah Hadley, DVM is one of about 120 certified avian veterinarians in all of North America, and she will be joining us the third Saturday of every month! Wow!

The sponsor for our March meetup meeting is Meetup member Greg Haney owns, and designs custom chicken coops. Please visit his very informative website, and order your custom coop plans today! They will be providing the door prizes for our March meetup meeting! Door prizes will be $10.00, $20.00, and $30.00 gift cards to Tractor Supply! Wow! Thank you Greg Haney with

Redbone Consulting, LLC
10945 State Bridge Road
Alpharetta, Georgia 30022

If you know a company that would be interested in sponsoring one of our monthly meetings, or the Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer Radio Show please let me know! We have listeners from all across this great nation!

The March Monthly Meetup Meeting North will be held on Monday, March 16th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. It will again be held at the Golden Corral in Alpharetta. The address, phone number, and directions are located on our meetup website. There is a pretty good chance that CNN will be attending and filming the meeting so we need to have a good crowd! Please remember to RSVP!

The March Monthly Meetup Meeting South will be held at the Golden Corral in Jonesboro. The address, phone number, and directions are located on our meetup website. Andrew Wordes, our Assistant Organizer will be responsible for this meeting. Please remember to RSVP!

Here is some information about the Carpet City Bantam Poultry show this weekend…
Carpet City Bantam Club - Blue Show
North Georgia Fairgrounds
March 14th, 2009
Dalton, Georgia
Contact- Jeff Wilson
Phone 706-695-7092

If you have not noticed we are STILL the largest pet chicken meetup group in the country with 453 members. Congratulations!

Chickenstock 2009 is still alive and well! I have however decided to keep it a statewide event for the first year because of limited resources, and volunteers. I’m working on this daily, and should have some updated information very soon. This will be our first pre-pay meetup event meaning you will pre-pay when you RSVP. All of this will be explained in detail when everything is finalized.

Friday, March 13, 11:00am-1:00pm
Food for Thought - Lunch & Learn Series
Join us for an insight into the food we eat. Discover the differences between frozen and canned items. Learn the benefits of organically grown produce. Learn about keeping backyard poultry. Visit the recycled art show hosted by the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) home school students currently meeting at GEHC. Enjoy a presentation at 12:00pm by Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Program who will present "Give Peas a Chance"! This performance is suitable for all ages.
Cost: FREE, GEHC Admission extra

Chicks in the City: Keeping Backyard Poultry
Join the Chicken Whisperer for our popular chicken crash course. An intro to coop design, relevant ordinances, breed selection, care and feeding, and resources with a local keeper of an "urban flock."
Saturday, April 25, 12pm -2 p.m.
$25 Garden member, $30 non-member
You can register online at, call (678) 642-4977, or email Thank you for your support!

Andy Schneider, the "Chicken Whisperer," is coming to the Dunwoody Nature Center! Learn how to care for and enjoy fresh eggs from chickens that are at home on your range.
Saturday, April 4; 1-3 pm
DNC members: $20; General Public: $25
Dunwoody Nature Center is located at:
5343 Roberts Drive
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Telephone: (770) 394-3322
Fax: (770) 394-8811

The article in last week’s Johns Creek Neighbor was a good one. Andrew’s court date is set for Thursday, March 19th so keep sending the e-mails, letters, and faxes! CNN is calling the City of Roswell to get permission to film inside the courtroom. Wow! Many of our members keep chickens under the radar, and this could be any one of us in this situation! Because this is an ongoing legal battle I can’t comment very much regarding this particular case, however we are making some good progress. We have met with the Mayor, City Officials, Criminal Defense Attorneys, and attended by invitation a Community Development meeting. Thank you so much to those of you who have sent letters, faxes, and e-mails to the city regarding the keeping of backyard pet chickens. Please keep sending them! This is not over! The more the better! I promise to keep all you all posted on the latest details as they become available. I will also let you know when it’s time to really get involved by showing up at City Hall if need be. This could be a huge WIN for backyard pet chicken owners all across the state!

Well, I guess that’s about it, but I’m sure I will think of something I missed about the time I hit the send button! Please make sure to listen to “Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer™” this Saturday at 9:00am!

Until next time…
Thank you so much for being a member of the Atlanta Pet Chicken Meetup Group!

Chicken Whisperer™