VOLENTE, Texas (KXAN) – As egg prices continue to soar, an Austin-based company sees a bevy of potential customers turning to it for backyard chicken coop expertise.
Coop is an Austin based company specializing in chicken coop cleaning, chicken husbandry and beginner classes for those new to the gardening hobby. The store is slated to officially launch in March this year, but that hasn’t stopped potential customers turning to the chicken coop after beginner courses.
In the last month alone, Coop saw a 20 percent increase in demand for the courses. Co-founders Jordan Barnes and AJ Forsythe said the 90-minute classes lay the foundations for effective chicken farming.
The course provides the typical tools – chicken feed, gloves, shovels and other essentials – that chicken farmers need, as well as an overview of nutritional and water requirements and how to read chicken body language or decipher between different “cackles”.
“One of the reasons people think they can’t engage with chickens is this knowledge gap, and so we’re trying to fill that gap and help people just do a quick crash course,” Barnes said. “And they can start building their own food supply.”
Both Barnes and Forsythe said this recent surge in interest could be due to a variety of factors, including the New Year’s health mentality that some people experience after the holiday season.
However, with the outbreak of bird flu and a 60% increase in egg prices, Forsythe is particularly passionate about making backyard chicken coops more accessible to people across central Texas.
“It’s a farce that everyone is talking about eggs now because so many birds are dying from bird flu,” he said. “But at the same time, I think this is a good turning point for people to start eating and take charge of their own groceries in their backyards with their families.”
In addition to the cost savings of home-grown eggs, both Barnes and Forsythe demonstrate that backyard eggs have significant nutritional benefits compared to mass-produced eggs sold in stores:
- 20 times the amount of beta-carotene
- 25% more B vitamins
- 25% less cholesterol
In addition to the Intro to Chickens 101 courses, Coop also offers coop cleaning and backyard babysitting services for owners away from home.
“We believe in a world where everyone should be able to own their own supply of food,” Forsythe said. “I’m super, super excited to be showing the world very shortly what we’re building here.”