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Looking to gain a deeper appreciation of Long Island farm life? This weekend you will have the opportunity to experience it firsthand with the North Fork Hen House Tour.

This Saturday (June 15) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural & Research Extension Center is sponsoring a self-guided tour of a dozen hen houses across the North Fork.

The cost is $5 per vehicle and you will be given a map with locations to visit. From there you can learn about the different ways people utilize chickens and the environments in which they are raised. Places range from a bed and breakfast, a family run farm with a barnyard adventure (Harbes), a homeowner with a “green” hen house, and a supplier of baby chicks.

According to Cornell, the practice of raising backyard chickens has become increasingly popular over the past five years.  Tour goers can see for themselves that chickens are pets with perks. In addition to providing fresh eggs daily, they can also be a fun family animal.

The purpose of this tour is to celebrate and recognize the sustainable and satisfying practices raising chickens, ducks and poultry can be.

Maps can be picked up at Cornell’s Long Island location at 3059 Sound Ave., in Riverhead.  If you have a hen house you would like to show off to the public, you can call 631-727-3595.

Photo by Barbaraellen Koch (above): Laurie Nigro holds ‘Fancy Nancy’, a Salmon Faverolle. The dog house (at left) was converted into a chickens’ laying house.

Photo by Barbaraellen Koch (below): Hen snuggling with the chicks.

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