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Snail in the Park
Slow Food Minnesota’s summer potluck and lecture series

Urban Chickens with Janice Cole

Sunday, August 14, 4 – 7 p.m.
Minnehaha Park, Wabun Picnic Area A, Minneapolis

Janice Cole talked about raising chickens in urban or suburban backyards (surprisingly easy, but you need a chicken sitter when you go on vacation).

Coops are needed to protect the chickens from predators, which are all around: from the air (birds of prey), from the ground (raccoons, possums, skunks, even dogs) and from underground (a fox will dig to get under a fence). The coop can be rather simple, and prefab versions are available. Coops need to be heated using a space heater in the worst of winter. Janice said that on extraordinarily cold days, she brings her four “girls” indoors. There are many breeds of chickens — you can choose them based on their appearance, the color of their eggs or their size — however, some chickens fare better in colder climates than others. Keeping chickens cool in a hot climate can be a challenge as well since chickens are unable to sweat. They pant.

Janice brought two of her backyard hens. She also provided four dishes for the potluck from her book, Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 recipes. There were devilled eggs with goat cheese, smoked chicken with a cilantro sauce, hardboiled eggs and double-yolk sour lemon bars. Janice mentioned that pullets (young hens) tend to produce eggs with double yolks.

When not tending her chickens, Janice is a professional chef. She is the food editor for Cooking Club magazine and a freelance recipe writer and food stylist. She writes about her chickens and shares recipes on her blog, Three Swingin’ Chicks >>

Janice Cole.

Her pets.

Eggs of several breeds. Shell color is determined by breed, not what the chickens eat.


Devilled eggs with goat cheese by Janice Cole.


A thai carrot salad.

Bittersweet chocolate cookies.

Sharon Wildfang, our treasurer, with a new friend.




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