Greenspiration Event at School

By Sean Teehan, Town Correspondent - Boston.com

Orren Fox, an eighth grader at Glen Urquhart School in Beverly, eats eggs for breakfast most mornings. If for nothing else, it helps cut down on the surplus that comes with owning more than 20 chickens.

"I look at the eggs as a bonus, a very delicious one," Fox said in an interview.
On Saturday Fox will inform people of proper chicken care and other chicken-related matters at the Glen Urquhart School Greenspiration where students will also have displays dealing with gardening, agriculture, and other environmental matters.

Fox has been a proponent of ethical chicken treatment since he began volunteering at a farm about a mile away from his Newbury home when he was 9-years-old, he said.

"I'm not sure [why], but something struck a cord with me and really made me want to learn about chickens," Fox said.

As he made daily trips to the farm, Fox soon yearned for some chickens of his own. In 2007, he got his first dozen chickens at Agway in Danvers, he said.

Since then, his assembly of pet poultry has grown.

"It would be safe to say I have 23 hens, three roosters, and five ducks," Fox said.

Each day after school, Fox goes to the farm about a mile away from his home where his chickens and ducks live in a barn to provide them with food as well as meal worms and scratch feed as treats.

When one of his birds is injuredfeeling under the weather, he brings them to the local veterinarian, he said.

"There are occasionally interesting receptions when I come into an animal hospital with a squawking chicken or a duck," Fox said.

His pets have also earned him some money, Fox said. With hens lay a total of about nine eggs each day, Fox began putting them in cartons on which he puts a custom "O's Eggs" stamp and puts them in a refrigerated cooler outside his house. Neighbors, who can name their own price, often leave $5 for a dozen, Fox said.

Although many people opt for cats, dogs, or other animals often found at pet stores when choosing a pet, Fox said despite popular perceptions, chickens are more than just food.

"I think they're truly underestimated because people think that birds don't have personalities," Fox said. "But really, some of them have more personalities than any dog or cat."

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