CEO and chief coop cleaner
Gwenne is a retired nurse-midwife. She started her career as a delivery room nurse in several local hospitals before going to school at UMDNJ to become a midwife. She has worked on the staff of two different hospitals in South Jersey and has delivered over 2000 babies. After her retirement she decided to do those things that a 100 hour workweek prohibited and became a master Gardner. She also took several classes in chicken husbandry only to discover that it was illegal to raise chickens in her town. Five years later she persuaded the local council to pass a pilot law to allow up to four hens. 24 families enrolled in the pilot and it hasn't really cost the community anything. After several successful years of zero complaints, in 2018 the pilot program was converted to an ordinance allowing up to eight backyard hens (no roosters) . In early 2020 she stepped down as Chair of the Haddon Township Backyard Chicken Program and is now Chair Emeritus. She is on the Backyard Chicken Advisory Board of Oaklyn, NJ and Woodbury, NJ as well as Haddon Township. She continues to advise other communities in ways to update restrictive ordinances to allow backyard hens. Gwenne teaches the required class "The Basics of Raising Backyard Chickens in the Suburbs" approximately four times a year. She is a Certified Handler of Therapy Chickens through the Chickens and You/Gossimer Foundation. In 2019 she taught a class certifying ten new handlers. She will be teaching this class approximately one a year if demand warrants.
Blossom was a foundling, alone in the wild. She had a great personality and she was a quick learner. She was attempting to learn the piano. In this photo she is modeling her diaper. Due to the untimely death of Rosebud, the therapy chicken, Blossom was working full time. Sadly she passed away in October, 2019 due to a problem their breed (red sex-links) often encounters
The Original Therapy chicken
Rosebud had a natural tendency to be a therapy chicken. One could handle her and she would sit on a person's lap unattended. If it was an older person she would feel the calmness and start to fall asleep. Some kids would sing to her. She would listen intently. She would ride in the car and listen to the radio. Then she would become mesmerized and fade off to sleep. She was a good bird and worked many hours per week. Rosebud died of natural causes 4/14/2018 Blossom is taking over her duties.
Chief Herder and eater of things that drop
Freckles had a rough beginning. She was found playing in traffic on a busy state highway. Several other people wanted her but they just couldn't accommodate her. We are happy to have her. She enjoys mingling with the birds. Freckles is totally blind due to a disease. She is still in good spirits--she just needs help sometimes. Amazingly she can still manage to find the dog-door and hegotiate the three steps to the lawn.
Head gofer, communications manager, coop maintenance engineer
After 35 years in the telephone and computer business Ron retired, went to work for a railroad and is a licensed engineer. He occasionally accompanies chickens to events and can fill in where needed.
We are available, as time allows, as a consultant to help you get your laws passed or revised. We are not lawyers. However, we have researched the topic far and wide and have put together quite few successful ordinances. (Nine so far) We have a lot of research available for you at no cost. The more cases we work on the better the process becomes and the faster it happens. For us, this is one way we give back to the communities that we live, work and play in. Yes, if you can afford it we will accept small donations since printing, postage and gasoline costs are always rising but it is not mandatory.
We visit nursing homes; some on a regular basis. Patients come out of their shells and the chicken takes them back to a better time in their lives. Contact us if you are interested in one of our docile birds visiting your facility. Make arrangements well ahead as our bookings fill up fast.
We visit schools, scout groups and whoever else may be interested in chickens. Sustainability fairs, science fairs and general educational events are always on our schedule. Let us know what you have in mind. Act early! There are only so many weekends in a year and the birds need to rest some times. Our available time slots fill quickly.
In all the communities that we have had ordinances passed in our favor we have had included the mandatory need for at least one person per family to attend a certified class. We provide these classes at a modest cost or we can refer you to another organization nearby that will also teach the class. Occasionally the same person may teach for both organizations. Contact us for more information about this. Classes are limited and are only held a few times a year. Contact us ASAP for information.
We also provide occasional chicken health classes usually conducted by a registered veterinarian. We usually ask a small donation for these classes as veterinarians don't come cheap. We have one of the younger ones in the area available. She is a very good speaker and she is also a very good listener.
Our pilot program initially had 24 families. Our pilot was converted to an ordinance after two years. We meet several times a year to share our concerns and support each other. We occasionally have programs aimed at the back-yard chicken owner and it may often be helpful to others in your community. Networking is very important these days and we promote conversations between chicken owners. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us. Visitors are always welcome to our meetings. Contact us for more information.
Our next class will be the chicken therapy class. Here you will get to know about therapy chickens and how to create a therapy chicken program. Our teacher will be Gwenne Baile who is a nationally known hen handler and speaker on the subject. Price is $35 per person. Registration ends March 1. Participants must already keep hens and have one that is docile enough that you believe is able to be a therapy hen. Positively no walk-ins will be accepted.