Aspen’s Coop Crew: A Tale of Turkey, Chicks, and Green Thumbs

by Lucie Roy

Turkey, chicks, goats and gardening have kept residents of Aspen busy inside and outside in the courtyard.

Aspen House & Aspen Villa Recreation Manager Beverley Primeau said the residents on the  Coop Crew watch over the incubator inside the building to ensure that no one opens the cover and have heat and humidity escape, as they currently have 50 new eggs incubating. Primeau said the eggs, incubator and shavings, as well as the heat lights, were donated by the Care Manager at Aspen, who has a chicken farm.

Of the other chicks and turkey, they are only keeping two chicks named Aspen and  Willow, and they will be making a sign that reads Aspen House on their new coop.

The coop, donated anonymously by one of the families, was put together and carried in by the Morinville Alliance Youth Group. The coop resembles Aspen House and is tucked under the partial shade of a huge tree in the courtyard. The horticulture program now grows lettuce, spinach and collard greens to feed the chickens that they now keep in the coop. The chicks also have handmade dresses they can wear.

The kids (baby goats), who are triplets, were picked up when they were three days old. The mama, Suzie, is the granddaughter of one of the former babies  Aspen got to care for over the summer.

Primeaus said Recreation staff occasionally bottle feed the two smaller ones. Residents and sometimes families feed the kids and goat hay and oats and make sure they have water.  The farm that allows them to care for their goats for roughly 12 weeks is the Rafter LC Goats, members of the Alberta Goat Association.

Primeau said they had five butterflies they raised as well, and they had a butterfly crew, but they set the butterflies free last week.

Primeau said it is wonderfully busy at Aspen.

DSCN  0134 Poult is the name for a baby turkey.


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