By Rita Robinson | LB Indy
Who knew backyard chicken coops were such a draw? Apparently, about 100 people who turned out mostly on bicycles this past Saturday, Nov. 1, for the second annual Laguna Beach Tour de Coop.
Clusters of bicyclists could be seen around town, visiting 16 chicken coops scattered throughout Laguna Canyon and downtown neighborhoods. The group gathered at Anneliese’s School on Laguna Canyon Road for a talk about the benefits of housing chickens, visiting two coops on their way into town.
The point of the tour is to bring the community together in a fun, interesting and sustainable activity, said event organizer Reem Khalil Bell. This year’s tour drew twice as many people as last year, including visitors from Tustin, San Juan Capistrano and Irvine.
Karen Wilson, the former chicken-keeper for the Great Park in Irvine, started the tour with a talk about the pros and cons of keeping a coop in your backyard. It requires a commitment to supply fresh water daily and a place safe from predators like raccoons, skunks and coyotes. And the rewards, fresh eggs and friendly, fascinating pets, are worth it, she attested. Chickens are
social and happiest when there are two or more, she said.
The “coopsters” set out on a three-loop tour to see 15 more coops that included Bluebird Canyon Farm. There, chicken-costume-clad Jessica de Stefano gave them the lowdown on Copper Marans, the heirloom breed Queen Victoria kept. The backyard coops ranged from vintage farmhouse to whimsical and ultramodern; the individuality of the owners was evident.
The tour was sponsored by Seeds Arts and Education and supported by Laguna Cyclery, Wholefoods, the Laguna Coffee Company and Transition Laguna, a group promoting sustainable living practices.