Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Bike Ride Tours Urban Chicken Coops

Today’s the perfect day to hop on a bike and check out some urban chicken coops! 

This is probably not a typical thought for most of us. It was never a thought for me until I randomly found out about the inaugural Urban Tour de Cluck bike ride last year. The ride was hosted by Urban Community Concepts, whose mission is to connect resources to build stronger communities. As someone always excited about learning new things and doing new things, I figured this ride would be great. And it was. 

TourDeCluck1I’m excited to say they are bringing it back for a second year on Saturday, May 9 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. For $15 (in advance or $20 the day of), you have four hours to bike (or drive) to homes with chicken coops on an eight-mile route (with a bonus 6.5-mile option) around the metro. Owners will be on hand to talk about why they raise chickens, their coop designs and anything else you have questions about.

Last year, my husband and I got a late start on the day so we only made it to seven of the 12 homes. To be honest, at the beginning of the ride, I thought it could get repetitive. Boy, was I wrong. Each family had such an interesting and unique story about why they first got chickens, their experiences – good and bad – raising them and their plans for the future. Each chicken coop was so unique, too, all from reclaimed materials (double sustainability points). I learned a lot about chickens from different breeds to psychology. It was interesting that half of the families we talked with starting raising chickens because of their child/teenager. One family even shared bread pudding made with their own eggs – yum!

It (almost) makes me want to raise chickens of our own. But even if I really wanted to, I also found out on the ride that West Des Moines doesn’t allow any chickens. As of last year, Des Moines allowed 30 and Windsor Heights allowed two.TourDeCluck2

The ride was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Who knew there was this whole movement to raise your own chickens in city limits? I love getting to know more about what’s going on in my community… I would highly recommend you give it a shot.