SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Things are getting a little fowl at the Illinois governor’s mansion.
A flock of eight clucking hens has moved onto Executive Mansion property, laying eggs that are eaten by guests dining at the home in downtown Springfield.
The chickens, which peck at flowers, recycle plant waste and provide manure for the gardens, live in a donated coop that’s inside a fenced-in enclosure. The poultry’s part of an ongoing sustainability effort.
Backyard chickens are legal in Springfield and several other Illinois communities and have become increasing popular as part of a local food movement, among other reasons.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports the chickens typically lay an egg a day, which is often scrambled with cream by mansion staff. The barnyard animals have also become a popular spectacle for school children visiting the 159-year-old Italianate home.
“It’s really the highlight, much more so than the house,” said Mansion director Dave Bourland. “They all ask, `Why do you have chickens at the governor’s mansion?”’
The hen house includes various types of chickens, including Rhode Island Reds and Ameraucanas, which were rescued from a nearby farm. The hens munch on chicken scratch and garden vegetation.
There is, however, one thing missing from the backyard.
“We don’t have a rooster,” said Herman Lewis, the mansion’s master gardener who tends to the chickens. “They’d make too much noise.”
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
MORE POLITICS NEWS:
- Dotson, Aldermen Still Search For Higher City Cop Salaries
- Poll: Most Americans Frustrated Over Presidential Race
- Interested Debate Observer: Washington University
- Kander Brings Senate Campaign To Cherokee Street
- VA Announces Hiring of St. Louis VA Medical System Director
- Hillary Clinton Appears on Zach Galifanakis’ ‘Between Two Ferns’