Q: Why did the chicken get a new home?
A: Because an Eagle Scout gave a coop.
Oak Farm Montessori High School Sophomore, Reid Kaiser, has dedicated the last nine years to scouting and, this year, hopes to earn his Eagle Scout rank. This prestigious milestone has only been awarded to 2 million young men in over 100 years of its existence. In addition to various requirements, a service project is to be proposed, planned, and completed.
During his time at the middle school, Reid actively pursued ways to improve the care of the chickens. One weekend during chores, his mother had a large pile of poop fall onto her head when entering the chicken coop. "I thought, there's something that can be done here to improve the situation," Reid said. Not only was cleaning up an issue, because of the dirt floor, but predators were able to attack easily and had wiped out a majority of the flock.
The idea of building a chicken coop as his Eagle Scout project seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine his love for scouting and the school. Reid first sketched out his ideas with paper and pencil; hoping to construct the building himself. However, he quickly realized that utilizing a professional for this part made more sense. Townline Shelters in Shipshewana worked with Reid to design a building to house 60 chickens that would blend seamlessly with the existing barns. The interior will be designed and built by Reid and a group of scouts and students from the school with custom nesting boxes.
Reid's parents have supported and encouraged him throughout the process. "We love how Scouts has lined up with the principles and character development that is fostered in a Montessori environment," his mom Cara shared. And we love that Reid's compassion for chickens is resulting in a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing shelter for our feathered friends!