In 1999, Vanmechelen’s Cosmopolitan Chicken Project started with just a few dozen chickens that were bred, multiplied and crossed. Today, it’s a Global Open Farm that extends over several hectares of fields around the artist's home. In 2019, the house offers views of eagles, chickens, and if you are lucky also alpacas, rheas and ostriches parading past the back of the building. Take a few big strides down the garden, and you’ll meet the camels, pigs and Tibetan cows. The llamas, dromedaries and a mom and dad pair of emus are just a little further away.
The sheer variety of birds and mammals that have over time become part of Vanmechelen's universe, with all its artistic, philosophical and socio-ecological commitments, requires a far-reaching diversification in daily care. The gathering point for all that knowledge and experience about animal care is Inge, guardian and manager of this Global Open Farm prototype. In a natural way, she supplements that expertise with generous helpings of warmth, love, care and a profound sense of animal and human intelligence.The animal care in Oudsbergen is provided in cooperation with schools for the disabled, and also offers opportunities to young people in time-out projects.