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Atlanta radio personality Reec Swiney uses chicken farm to educate, feed community

During the pandemic, Swiney got bored and decided to take up an out-of-the-box hobby, raising chickens. Now he owns a chicken farm.

ATLANTA — Atlanta radio personality Reec Swiney is promoting healthy chicken life while also giving back by feeding his community -- all through his personal chicken farm, Blackyard Chickenz.

During the pandemic, Swiney got bored and decided to take up an out-of-the-box hobby, raising chickens in his backyard.

He went out and bought his first two chickens, named Little Red and Big Red, and although he loved them, after a little research he learned that they were not the healthiest in the coop. 

“The first two chickens I got, I love them to death because they are my first ones, but honestly, they weren't the best quality chickens because they weren't coming from a responsible farm,” he said.

This inspired Swiney to take on the role and raise his chickens right. 

“I wanted to be a responsible caretaker, a farmer for my chickens,” Swiney said. “Now I’m fully invested, and I went from about 12 feet of chicken wire, some little man-made post and a little-bitty small chicken coop. Now, I have a run, like a 12 by 12 run, with chickens and all types of stuff.” 

Since then, Blackyard Chickenz has grown into a full brand where Swiney teaches people how to properly care for their chickens through, none other than, TikTok videos. So far, he has amassed more than 33,000 followers on the platform.

@blackyardchickenz

There was a meeting today. I’ll let you guess who was late 😩...#Blackyardchichenz #coops #urbanfarmer #blackyardchickenz #chickens #petchickens #chickenlifestyle #weeklyfluff #coops #freshfridays #purplecabbage #veggies #food

♬ original sound - Reec Swiney

Recently, he partnered with the chicken food brand, Hen Up Organics, to promote the importance of having healthy chickens and eggs. 

“What makes a difference is what the parent eats, what they're fed, what they're like, the care that they get. The happier the chicken, the better egg," Swiney said.

In addition, Blackyard Chickenz has also helped Swiney feed his community through his non-profit organization, Positive American Youth, which feeds people and families with food deficiencies while also encouraging youth education and enrichment. 

“Positive American youth is all about youth enrichment, right? And it's also about feeding because we have an extensive food pantry,” Swiney said. “So with the chickens, I'm able to give people fresh Blackyard Chickenz eggs with, you know, with their food boxes, … I'm able to give them an alternative food source.”

With little representation in agriculture and farming, Swiney explained that the name “Blackyard Chickenz” was a way for people of color to see themselves in this field, and learn how to grow and raise food themselves so that they can be more self-sufficient.

Credit: Provided
Blackyard Chickenz Eggs

“I got to represent, you know? And I wanted people that looked like me to know, as soon as they saw the name, go; Ok, I like that. You know, I wanted them to feel like I'm entrenched in what I'm doing as well as the culture, and I wanted them to feel comfortable to do it too.”

Swiney now has a total of 10 chickens, and sees many more in his future. 

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