November 4, 2015
Briscoe Elementary HISD has started their Life Cycle Project!!!
House Of Hens/Candle Demo was awesome.
We have babies!!
The chicks have hatched at Matzke Cy-Fair ISD.
October 16, 2015
Piney Point Elementary had some great questions for our Chef today!
Purple Kale and Onion with my eggs please!
This Chef Scramble was a hit!
October 13, 2015
Farmer Mike sets the eggs for an excited Piney Point Elementary!
October 9, 2015
Matzke Elementary CFISD enjoying our Chef Scramble demo...
WHO WANTS FRESH EGGS???
A little green never hurt anyone! Chef Paola, cooks free rage eggs for the entire 1st grade!
It was special today, because our oldest daughter Haylie came to help out!
October 4, 2015
One of Matzke's teachers posing with her incubator...
The students are excited to start their program!
August 6, 2015
"Legalize Houston" shirts are in! Get them before they go!
Stop in and visit the nice folks at Texas National Outfitters off Katy Freeway exit Campbell. These shirts' proceeds go to supporting local school life cycle hatching programs by The Garden Hen. WE are also trying to raise awareness to the outdated laws against urban hens in the backyards of Houston. For more info, visit our website and fallow us on social media to see what schools have eggs hatching near you!
July 31, 2015
Sure felt great giving these kids their certificates of conversation!
They hatched out Texas native Bob White Quail in their class, and now today are participating in their release into the wild!
This hands on approach is the way to reach our youth!
They were apart of every step in this release today!
July 2, 2015
Quail Hatch at Little Wonders...
The kids got really excited about how fun and tiny they are!
June 24, 2015
We have 3 Hens happy to have a new home!!!
Thank You Catherine S for letting us build your coop.
June 18, 2015
Another Awesome Coop Finished!!!
Thank You for letting us fullfil your coop needs...
June 15, 2015
CAPS Summer Camps have started!!!
Such smart and amazing kids...
June 9, 2015
Another Beautiful Coop Finished!!!
Thank You Mrs. Anderson for letting us fullfil your coop needs...
June 8, 2015
Little Wonders Summer Hatching Programs Have Begun!
Quail, Ducks, & Turkeys Oh My...
May 18, 2015
Hatch Day at The Woods Private School.
May 16, 2015
Thank You B for letting us fullfil your coop needs!!
April 28, 2015
The Woods Private School Chef Scramble.
Absolutly fantastic questions asked by such sweet kids!!
April 24, 2015
Another one of a kind chicken coop built, for a fantastic set of ladies!!
April 14, 2015
Kipp Elementary Chef Scramble
The kids had such a fantastic time!!
April 14, 2015
Egg candling day at The Woods Private School!!!
Lots of fantastic questions...
April 8, 2015
Check Us Out In The Houston Chronicle!!
When Nicole Graham was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, she prevailed upon her mother to let her keep her Easter chick after it got older. She named the little hen Danielle, and right about then Nicole's life course was set.
Now Nicole and her husband, Michael, run The Garden Hen, providing custom coops, educational programs, even chicken services such as chicken sitting. In fact, Nicole herself is known as the Garden Hen, and her husband is Farmer Mike.
They began, half on a lar...k, selling chickens, eggs and coops on the side of the road. By May 2014, they sold their interest in a local quail farm that supplied fine restaurants and started The Garden Hen.
Their motto is "You are what you eat eats." Their emphasis is on the educational part of their mission, and they hope to get nonprofit status soon.
"Our goal is to teach a million kids, not make a million dollars," says Farmer Mike.
But for now they, along with their master builder, Bob McIntosh, have found a niche creating custom chicken coops that are both fanciful and functional. One has a child's reading nook at the top. Another is styled and painted like the owners' house. Yet another is built around a tree
A typical coop will take between two and five days to build, depending on weather, and range from about $500 to $10,000.
They also will look after your chickens while you're out of town or - removing the only downside to having chickens - clean the coop for you.
The Grahams believe strongly in nutrition to bolster chickens' natural disease defenses - cantaloupe and yogurt, plus a little cayenne pepper, to ward off worms, for example.
Maybe chickens aren't for everybody, but everybody can do something, they believe. "Do your one thing," says Mike, whether it's bees, vegetables or herbs - whatever takes you back to your roots. "Nothing is better than clipping basil or thyme, or having a fresh tomato," Nicole says.
Not that their roots are country. Mike had a classic suburban Houston upbringing, and Nicole is the daughter of Roz Pactor, the former fashion director for Foley's.
"I was scared to touch a chicken," Mike remembers.
"I like to think I helped him over that hump," Nicole says. They are parents of Haley, 10; Harper, 8 months; and a player to be named later, due in September.
Maryam Lumpkin, director of the Little Wonders Learning Center in Sugar Land, was looking for some way to incorporate chickens into her curriculum when she came across The Garden Hen. She likes to teach young children about food and nutrition - and the life cycle - in a hands-on way.
Farmer Mike brought eggs to incubate and walked the children through the process every week. He also built the school's coop, the one constructed around a tree. Now the school has four hens.
"I love them so much," Lumpkin says. "We've had them a month, and they're not hard to take care of."
She hopes next year to add other types of birds.
Tiffany Heath, an actress and writer whose family bought a 100-year-old farmhouse on six acres in Crosby, also has a Garden Hen coop. Hers is roomy enough to walk in and houses her eight contented hens. "They are the joy of our day," she says. We love watching our girls. They're hilarious and so much fun."
Garden Hen was "amazing to work with," Heath says. "They cared about the little details."
A few basics about chickens: You don't need a rooster to get eggs, but you do need a rooster to get new chicks. (Check if roosters are banned where you live.) Most days, each hen will produce an egg, but each will usually skip one day a week (they lay roughly every 26 hours). Most hens will take some part of the year off, and they produce less and less as they get older. You need to provide chicken feed and oyster shell as well as water, and they will be happy to eat your table scraps and the bugs from your yard.
Farmer Mike has taught Lumpkin's students some important life lessons. If a chick is too weak to peck its way out of its shell, he told them, it is probably too weak to live. When one of the chicks did have trouble breaking out of the shell, they helped it out - and it died two days later.
The Grahams can get passionate about how much chickens have to offer people. Though they don't expect the city of Houston to modify its restrictive ordinance while Mayor Annise Parker is still in office, they hope that will change soon.
That's one reason they especially like conducting programs in schools where students' families are struggling. Mike would love to see a program in which such students and families could have a simple coop and a couple of chickens that could produce reliable, cheap, healthful daily protein. (Yard eggs are higher in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and lower in cholesterol than commercial eggs.)
In their perfect future, the Grahams would love to have an educational venue where kids could see the whole process. They're also working on "flavoring" eggs based on what the chickens eat.
Oh, and if you want to learn how to play chicken-poop bingo? They can do that, too.
April 7, 2015
Such an exciting day at River Pines Elementary!!
Hatch Day and our special Chef Scramble Demo.
Special thanks to Chef Paola for putting on such an amazing and educational experience for the kids.
April 7, 2015
Another wonderful hatching project has started!!
Thank you so much to The Woods Private School.
April 2, 2015
Kipp Shine Prep egg candling day!!
March 31, 2015
Another coop built and delivered to 3 fantastic ladies!!
Thank you Jeff S.
March 29, 2015
Chicken / Goose Coop Completed!!
Special Thanks to Mrs. Curry for letting us build your dream coop.
March 25, 2015
Kipp Shine Prep has started their hatching project!!
March 24, 2015
Egg Candling Day At River Pines Elementary School!!
March 18, 2015
A new project has started at River Pines Elementary School!!
We are beyond excited!!
March 14 & 15 2015
Thank you so much to everyone that came out to the Galveston Tx Home & Garden Show!!
We had a fantastic time.
March 14 & 15 2015
March 2, 2015
Condit Elementary Hatch Day was a total success.
The kids were beyond excited.
February 17, 2015
Egg Candling Day!!
Condit Elementary School in Bellaire Tx.
February 14, 2015
February 12, 2015
Little Wonders Learning Academy House Of Hens demo day!!