David Bunn is associate director for Africa programs in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and a researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine's One Health Institute. Courtesy photo

Local News

‘Chicken Skool’ examines fowl’s role in fighting global poverty

By From page A1 | May 16, 2013

Tour De Cluck’s “Chicken Skool” is going international.

David Bunn, an internationally recognized expert on what he refers to as the “amazing chicken,” will share his pictures from his work in villages around the world and discuss the important role chickens play in combating malnutrition and poverty in Africa, Asia and Central America when he speaks Monday evening at the Davis Art Center.

Admission to his talk, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., is free. The Art Center is at 1919 F St.

“Chickens and chicken coops in Davis support the growing local food movement and are a lot of fun, but chickens take on a whole new level of meaning for impoverished villages around the world,” said Shelly Gilbride, director of development and special projects at the Art Center.

Bunn and his colleagues train veterinary and extension staff, female farmers groups, community animal health workers and even grade-school children to vaccinate chickens and improve husbandry. The results have dramatically increased chicken and egg production.

“An African woman may earn 30 percent more of her annual income from the sale of chickens and eggs,” Bunn said. “The increased income enables families to pay school fees for the first time for their children, put a tin roof on their homes and pay for emergency medical expenses.

“Improved chicken husbandry can help prevent malnutrition, and provide a first step out of poverty for millions of families throughout the developing world.”

According to Gilbride, “Dr. Bunn’s work is not theoretical. He is on the ground, working with villagers to improve nutrition and increase income. We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of his experience in our community and ‘Chicken Skool’ is thrilled to offer this opportunity to the community.”

“Chicken Skool” is a project of Tour de Cluck, which is itself a partnership between Yolo Farm to Fork/Davis Farm to School and the Davis Art Center. Bunn’s talk is the latest in a series that has featured “The Art of Keeping Chickens,” “The Reinvention of the Chicken Coop,” “Greening Your Coop” and the children’s book “Chickentastics.”

Upcoming “Chicken Skool” presentations include:

* “Too Many Roosters: From Crow to Coq Au Vin,” from 7  to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hallmark Inn, 110 F St. in downtown Davis;

* Several events on Saturday, May 25, in conjunction with the annual Tour de Cluck; and

* “Be Your Backyard Bird’s Wingman in Health and Disease,” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St.

Enterprise staff

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