The Becker Chicken Coop was founded by art teacher Sarah Clendenon and Aaron Vyvial. They built it in the summer of 2010 on campus in a gated yard near the south playground. The coop includes a hen house and run with an auto-water and feed set-up. The deep litter-method is used to keep the coop as odor-free as possible while creating compost for eager neighborhood gardeners.
Fourteen hens and one rooster moved into their new shady home before the start of the 2010/2011 school year. Buck Moore feed supply generously donated three years' worth of food for the flock. Students at Becker were responsible for collecting eggs from the four built-in nesting boxes. They cleaned, packaged and sold the eggs to staff and community members. Teachers at Becker have found innovative ways work the chickens and eggs into their science, math, art, music and Green Classroom curriculums.
In the spring of 2011, the Becker Coop joined Austin’s Funky Chicken Coop Tour. This has brought thousands of visitors from around the city to our school where they learned more about Becker’s unique programs.
In the summer of 2011, the Becker flock returned to their original homes. The Coop Committee, made up of parents, teachers, and neighbors, were ready to start a new flock with chicks to give the students a chance to watch them grow.
Callahans General Store generously donated 16 day-old chicks, made up of 14 different breed varieties, as well as chick feed and pine shavings. The tiny chicks stayed in brooders at the homes of several Becker families before they were ready to move to the coop.
In the fall of 2011, the new flock made their final move to the Becker Chicken Coop. A student contest was held to name the new arrivals, resulting in classic choices and very inventive ones. The school and the Bouldin Creek neighborhood spent the next year watching them grow and waiting for the first batch of eggs. Three chicks turned out to be roosters, so, for the sake of our neighbors, they were relocated to a small breeding farm outside the city limits. About this time another contest was held to see which class could predict when the first egg would be laid. Since then, students have been, once again, collecting and selling eggs, offsetting the cost of running the coop.
You can see all our current chicken breeds and their interesting names on our Facebook Album. Please contact the Coop Committee Chair for information and to volunteer.