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Chickens and Pollinators in Oregon School Gardens

boy and girl holding a chicken

Below are some resources we have compiled if you are interested in raising poultry or bees in your school garden or creating pollinator habitats.

Oregon "Chicken and Bee" school list (updated 11/19/18). This is a list compiled of all the schools in Oregon that currently raise chickens and bees.

As of now we have 29 schools that raise chickens, and 42 schools that raise bees! It's a good support group to ask each other questions, and find out what has worked with folks who have gone through this before!

Email Rick Sherman if you'd like to start raising chickens or bees at your school, so the Oregon Farm to School program can support you and add you to the list!


Chickens are surprisingly easy to raise and are a great addition to a school garden environment. Considerations should be made to make a strong coop and run for them for safety from predators. Students should also should wash their hands after handling chickens or cleaning the coop.

If interested in raising a flock at your school if it's in "city limits," you should first check your local town ordinance. Most towns allow small flocks to be raised in city limits. 

  • Here is a guide to raising chickens in school gardens by our friends in Washington DC that outlines the process safely.

  • Once you start raising a lot of chickens, it may be a good idea to keep a chicken log to track issues you have with them, including when they were born, medical issues, etc.

  • 10 mistakes folks make when making chicken coops

  • If you are interested in using eggs in your cafeteria, read this handout first which lays out what is needed in order to do this legally. It's recommended that if you raise chickens, it's easiest to do so as a demonstration project and give away the eggs.  UPDATE 6/8/2022  OSU Extension has just published this more "in depth" guide to selling to farmers markets, check it out!

  • Need a support group? BackyardChickens has a range of forums along with countless galleries of pictures of different breeds, coops and runs.

  • A good starter book is "A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping" written by Robert and Hannah Litt. 



  • Learn about the Monarch Waystation Program and how you can offset the loss of milkweeds and nectar sources in order to create, conserve and protect monarch butterfly habitats. Schools and non-profits can apply for free milkweeds and habitats can be registered and included in an online listing of Monarch Waystations worldwide. Visit the Monarch Watch webpage for more information. 
  • The Live Monarch Foundation, a non-profit working to enlarge our Monarch butterfly population that is in severe decline due to lack of milkweed plants, their main source of food where they lay their eggs - is giving away FREE milkweed seed.  Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Live Monarch Foundation, PO Box 1339 Blairsville, GA 30514.  They will send you free milkweed seeds in the envelope.  Their message: "Got Milkweed?"