The Scoop on the ECOnourish Coop: The Family Behind the Bugs

Hello, wonderful chicken enthusiasts, keen novice poultry keepers and anyone just plain interested in clucking about sustainable backyard birding. Welcome to the ECOnourish Blog, your definitive resource and ally in supercharging your flock-keeping abilities – we’re all about the joy of raising chickens the eco-friendly way!

Behind ECOnourish, there’s us, the two founding members: Paul and Ann. Hi! Nice to meet you.

About Ann and Paul of ECOnourish

Paul was born and raised on a chicken farm in Zambia, so he’s been around chickens his whole life. He grew up into a learned Agricultural Economist, working with smallholders all over the world to master economical and sustainable farming practices.

In laymans terms (the first of many chicken-related puns from us!) an agricultural economist is a super-smart party planner for the farming world. To use a chicken analogy, imagine Paul as a savvy cockerel who knows exactly where to find the best corn kernels without wasting unnecessary energy, time or resources – with a special focus on sustainability. Paul is a truly eco-conscious cockerel. Read more about this on our About Us page.

Ann, on the other hand, grew up in suburban America and doesn’t know the first thing about chickens. Ann grew up into a lawyer – and didn’t imagine legal briefs and gavels would be replaced with mucking out chicken coops and hand-rearing Black Soldier Fly larvae. Yet this is exactly what has unfolded in Ann’s world!

So, with Ann brand new to the world of chickens, and Paul, though no latecomer to the chicken world, never having kept chickens in a domestic, family environment before – we’ve begun a new journey. We’ve welcomed our own chickens into our home in Beaconsfield.

our hens inside their nestera coop

A friendly partner in your journey to sustainable chicken keeping

While Paul’s professional knowledge means he’s your go-to guy for understanding chicken behaviour, nutrition and care – he’s technically a new pet-chicken keeper too!

Our home, a once-normal suburban household, has transformed into an eco-friendly avian marvel– all watched over by the curious eyes of our three-year-old twins.

Paul’s turned our backyard into a haven of feathery fun and sustainability. His insatiable curiosity about different breeds, their diets, sustainable living, and the overall welfare and wellbeing of chickens, has become the beating heart of ECOnourish and our home.

Family life with new feathered friends

Integrating our chickens into family life with our spirited twins? Now that’s the real coop-de-grace in terms of the way things once were in 2022 BC (Before Chickens)! It’s been a ride, to say the least. But it’s one that’s brought surprises, laughter, and a sense of grounding into our lives. It’s true that once chickens arrive in your home, it’s hard to imagine life without them.

Every day is an impromptu lesson in biology, zoology, and responsibility for our little ones. From naming the hens to helping with the feed, and whispering bedtime stories to them as they go inside to roost– everything is a fun-filled, educational jaunt for the twins.

integrating chickens into family live with children
The ECOnourish hens

Meet our Hen Pals

We got our four Bantam hens from The Clucking Palace, where Katie is a wonderful, knowledgeable breeder of Pekin and Sablefoot Bantams. Katie also offers a truly thorough training course for chicken keepers- which Ann took advantage of in June 2023. More on that later – you can expect a whole blog waxing lyrical about Katie’s teachings. We can’t wait to share it.

Our first job once the hens arrived was naming them! And this was a task we set the twins – to help them bond and connect with their new feathered companions and playmates!

Fellow parents of young children will probably be familiar with the twins’ latest obsession – Octonauts! A crew of eight adorable animals who explore the ocean in search of adventure.

And this was the inspiration for the naming of our hens – a task the twins took SO seriously. They put so much thought into which name would suit each particular hen – and it was very sweet. So, let us introduce you!

Shellington and Dashi

Now, we are quite partial to a chicken pun or two… But Shellington’s name isn’t even a deliberate one! Shellington is a brown sea otter in Octonauts. Dashi is named after the brown dog.

brown bantam hens
silver bantam hen

Captain Barnacles

Our stunning silver hen is named after a white Polar bear. Captain Barnacles is the strongest member of the Octonauts crew, and as the name suggests, the leader. Whether this is true of the ECOnourish Captain Barnacles and where she rests in the pecking order in our coop remains to be seen!

Peso

Named after the Octonaut’s penguin crewmember, last but certainly not in any way least, we have Peso. So far, Peso is the most curious of the flock – the first to greet us every morning.

black bantam hen

Make our journey part of your journey

Now who said you can’t teach a lawyer-mum to rear chickens or that an agricultural economist doesn’t still have a thing or two to learn about the art of suburban chicken-keeping? We’re both on a journey here – even if Paul can be a know-it-all about chicken rearing at times…

Sustainability breeds universality, and we’re living proof of that. We’re both coming from totally different backgrounds and knowledge points. But, by embracing sustainable, self-sufficient ways of living and raising our children, we’re experiencing a commonality that transcends our differences. As we’ve learned together, we’re also discovering that there are many different ways to live sustainably – whether it’s suburban chicken keeping or growing your own food.

In our blog, we want to share both our journey and Paul’s knowledge with you. We hope that you’ll find something in our posts to inspire you towards a more sustainable way of life and optimum chicken-keeping. From product recommendations to Ann’s experience of a chicken keeping training course, to chicken nutrition and health advice and much more, we hope you’ll find something useful to help you on your own journey.

So, ready to dive into the ‘henthralling’ world of ECOnourish? From our family to yours, we say – welcome to the flock! We always love a conversation – so please feel free to leave a comment and say “hi”.

The ECOnourish hens

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