Student’s initiative promotes organic, healthy lifestyle; Becomes safe-haven for maltreated animals.
Until Terri Kankelfitz began her educational career at Globe University- Wausau Fall quarter of 2010, she had never thought about where the food she and her family consume came from. As part of the Vet Tech Program’s service and applied learning component, Terri watched the film “Food, Inc.”. She was shocked to see what happen to so many animals: suffering mistreatment, mutilations, poor living conditions and unnatural diets before being inhumanly slaughtered to feed people.Terri was motivated to do something, beyond refusing to buy meat from the store or turn a blind eye. She and her husband had tossed around the idea of getting a few chickens for her kids to show for 4H at the county fair. Seeing this movie was the final motivation for her decision to start her own
It was not going to be simple or easy to accomplish this city-dweller’s
chicken dream, but an undertaking worth the work. Terri’s cousin agreed to let her house the chickens at their nearby country home. The first six chicks arrived from a poultry farm in Marshfield and brooded in Terri’s home for about six weeks, at which time they were moved to a storage shed Terri and her husband converted to a chicken coop on her cousin’s land.
Terri had the first batch of chickens for two months when her cousin called one afternoon, upset about some chickens she had seen at a farm in southern Wisconsin.
“These chickens were kept in small cages and their beaks had been shortened. She asked me if I would be okay with “rescuing” some of them, and I told her I had no problem with adding to the flock.” Terri’s cousin brought home nine very shy hens, afraid to go outside for about the first week.” Terri’s family, including her children, participated in the rehabilitation process and now all of the chickens (including one rooster) get along very well with each other and with the family.
Terri’s family has been inspired to care for the animals that produce the food they consume. She has plans for a second coop this summer. Her children have also taken a leadership role through 4-H by showing chickens.
“I have ordered nine more show chicks and will be hatching other new
chicks from our own eggs.”
Beyond the healthy living and opportunity for Terri’s children, family members and friends have been inspired. “A relative of my husband has also begun her own flock after hearing our story. At this time she has eight hens and has twelve eggs in
You can find Terri and her family enjoying the fresh eggs along with five other families who buy the city-dweller’s farm fresh eggs. Terri’s chickens all enjoy fresh air, veggies, bugs, sunshine and plenty of exercise. Terri shares, “Their death will be as respectful and humane as we can make it and we will not waste their lives. We no longer need to buy chicken or chicken products at the grocery store.”
Terri’s family is also finding ways to ensure humane, healthy pork is what’s put on the table: Terri’s sister in Northern Wisconsin has raised two pigs and Terri’s family is chipping in on the feed costs, which in return accomplishes the goal of healthy, humane, and safe food initiatives becoming the norm.