The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm has a new name — same great mission.


So you want to raise chickens?

Herff Farm

So you want to raise chickens?

By Brent Evans

You can learn the fundamentals of having chickens in your backyard in a workshop presented by Brent Evans at the Herff Farm Chicken School Yard on Saturday, April 30th, at 10 AM. You will learn about the benefits of owning chickens, how to build a coop and run, care and feeding for chickens, egg production, and selecting breeds. Incubation vs. ordering day-old chicks will be discussed, as well as equipment needed, such as feeders, waterers, and brooders. Participants will be taught how to handle and interact with chickens, so as to promote a friendly flock.

Mrs. Pizza was affectionately named by the children of the Nest Nature School.

Chickens will eat your kitchen scraps, and their droppings can be added to your compost pile, which will enrich your garden. And, they are great comic relief. Backyard chickens usually have a better diet than factory raised hens, and their eggs are much healthier. A deep orange yolk indicates a well-balanced and healthy chicken diet and an egg with excellent nutritional value. And, your own hens can be provided with organic layer pellets, as well as whatever bugs like your backyard.

Backyard chickens can have access to fresh greens such as clover or grass, and plenty of insects to supplement their diet. Chickens are omnivores and eat worms, grubs, mealworms, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, ticks, spiders and even mice, moles, and even small snakes. You can let your hens have access to a protected run, and still provide good diet. If the run is not secure with a roof, you can install an automatic door in their coop, so they are safe from predators at night.

Nothing says country living like chickens in the yard. They are legal in Boerne, but if you live under rules of a home-owners association, check with them before you get too far down the road. Some do not permit chickens.

We recommend signing up ahead of time for the workshop. The Backyard Chicken Basics class scheduled for Saturday, April 30th from 10 am to 11 am is $8 for Friends of the Cibolo members and $10 for nonmembers. You can check out our calendar on for other exciting workshops and classes.

The Chicken Schoolyard at Herff Farm is maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers. There are many volunteer opportunities for interested folks available at the Cibolo Nature Center and Herff Farm. Feel Free to contact Laurie Brown at