Friedberg: Learning conscious and sustainable nutrition with chickens

In the workshops, a Friedberg educator imparts knowledge on animal welfare, nutrition and sustainability. Her specially bred chickens help her.

What came first: the chicken or the egg? Much less complex, but at least as important, questions are addressed in the chicken workshops by Dr. Juliane Forßmann and Ulrike Böhm. The two women want to teach children and young people about conscious, healthy and sustainable nutrition, and thus fill a great educational gap.

The “small social enterprise,” as Forssmann calls it, began as a studio project. Friedberg’s wife is currently in the sixth semester of her second degree in social work. Her teacher Prof. Dr. Martin Stummbaum encouraged her in her project and motivated the teacher to continue with the project regardless of her studies. Forßmann wants to combine education and social issues with the chicken workshops. But why chickens?

Chicken workshop participants can watch and feed five chickens.

Photo: Bianca Dimarsico

Friedberg’s wife sees her feathered animals primarily as pets. In her private garden, she has dedicated a separate area for birds, where they can roam freely. Born in the countryside, the teacher grew up with chickens. She has had hers for two and a half years. Eva, Thea, Lilly, Jane, and What-What are the names of the five hens, all named after women who admire Friedberg’s wife. “Except What-What, I named it after the noise she always makes,” explains Forßmann and smiles.

The teacher first noticed in her private life that people react very positively to chickens. Children in particular become very calm in her presence and are fascinated, says Forßmann. “It is enough that the animals are there. You don’t necessarily have to pick them up”, says the workshop facilitator. The birds function as learning motivators, but are also used as an example of conscious nutrition. “Some children came here and didn’t know how eggs are made. They thought the eggs only came from the supermarket,” Forßmann reported. “It bothers me that not everyone has the same access to education.” She wants to counteract this lack of information.

Chicken workshop in Friedberg educates children and young people

In his program, he introduces children and young people to issues of sustainability, health and animal welfare in a playful way. Convey healthy nutrition, for example, through a realistic comparison: chicken egg versus surprise chocolate egg. In the discussion, the nutritional values ​​and the balance of sustainability of the two products are weighed. The biology behind the chicken egg is also explained. It is particularly important for the educator to make his workshop inclusive. Everyone should be able to participate, regardless of their physical or cognitive ability. “We use a puzzle to illustrate how an egg is built. This puzzle comes in different levels of difficulty so that all children can participate, regardless of their level of education,” she explains.

The workshop “All echo, Eva?” consists of three phases. The first phase is about getting to know each other. “The chickens take care of each other. That always works well to break the ice,” says Forßmann. People from poor backgrounds also relax in the presence of chickens, according to Friedberg’s wife. Chickens are the focus. Participants learn what an animal needs to lead a species-appropriate life.

Working with chickens is a project from the heart for Juliane Forßmann

In the second phase, the learning process is deepened. Using the example of the chicken egg, participatory research and experiments are carried out. “I also bring my own eggs and show the children that there is a wide variety. When the participants see eggs that are not just white or brown, they are quite surprised”, says the teacher. In the third and final section, children can experience their multisensory and creative activities. For example, souvenirs are painted and designed together.

For Juliane Forßmann, the workshops are something that makes her proud. She doesn’t care about making money. Until now, she tends to pay for the workshops herself. “That’s something I can get behind. I believe in content relevance myself,” she says. Ecological transformation is currently one of the most important topics for her. She herself has been a vegetarian for several years. She gets fresh eggs from her five hens. And for those who are still wondering what came first: it was the egg.

If you are interested in a workshop, you can contact the leaders here: either by email at [email protected] or by phone at 0821 4301 1382. More information is available at reisen-befluegelt.de.

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