Eastern Iowa Community College’s chicken class growing with students

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DAVENPORT - The popularity of urban chickens is growing.

Already four cities in the Quad City area allow people to raise them in their backyard and more cities are considering the idea.

It's causing attendance to spike for one college class, but it isn't your typical science or math class.

The class is focused around chickens.

"It`s a lot of fun first of all, I get to bring my pets to work," said Cathy Lafrenz.

Lafrenz has been teaching the class at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges for six years and she's been raising chickens even longer.

"I have 65 of them at the moment," said Lafrenz.

However, just recently Lafrenz says she has seen a bigger flock of interested students. The college has even had to add more classes, "We used to do it once a year and now we`re doing it anywhere between three to five times a year."

She says more people want to get their food from their own backyard.

"We want to be that Martha Stewart and have chickens running in our backyards and have beautiful eggs to use every day, but some of us did not grow up on farms," said Lafrenz.

Jenna Burchett attended the class to get more information on how to raise chickens, "It would just be something fun to do and to be able to go out and get your own eggs from the backyard would be kind of cool."

The class teaches everything from equipment, food, and coop design.

It's a three-hour lesson on chickens that Lafrenz hopes all of her students take away how valuable these birds can be, "When someone knows where their food source is and where they're food comes from, it changes their world."

The class is only a one-time session and cost $24 to register. The next class will be offered Fall 2017.

Right now, Rock Island, Moline, Silvis and Davenport are the only cities that allow backyard chickens.



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