Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An update Shot

It seems like I am getting some interested people checking things out since I did the Talk of the Town on CBC radio. That's great! I've never thought that having chickens was that unusual but if the exposure means that one more person is willing to try it, that's great. That would be one less household counting the days back to see if they can expect to be very very ill after eating something bad.

A couple of things, I'm not an expert but I've been smart enough to pick the ear of some people that are. My Dad kept chickens when I was growing up, he's been the major source of support for this entire project. I'm sure he has pains whenever he picks up the phone and hears, "So, what ya doin' tomorrow?" The other wonderful source of information for me has been a man named Jim Hopkins. Jim has forgotten more this week about birds than I even know! He has been a major force in resurrecting the Chantecler which in all the photos are the white birds. I also got my Moran and the Wells Summer Cross birds from him. I figure, why start trying not to eat factory meat by buying chicks from a factory farm?

So this is part of my flock of 16. Front and centre is the female W/S cross, behind her is her hatch mate and rooster. I can't get over how beautiful he is becoming. I think he's going to be one of the birds I overwinter for sure. He's beautiful, and HUGE! If there's a baby-daddy in there, he should be it. To the left, the black and white barred chicken is a Moran, which I know nothing about really. The group on the right are the rescue chickens I got when a local lady wasn't able to look after her flock anymore. They are 'barnies' really. I would think Araucana crossed with Bantam birds. Most of them are quite small but the colouring is similiar to the Araucana and they lay blue eggs which is pretty distinctive of that breed.

The other thing I am working on is their run. See how they have stripped it entirely of anything green. I really should let them out to free range but I'm just a little too nervous of the local critters. I have a few of everything (coons, fox, local house cats to name a few) and the other thing is that my property is not very remote and quiet. I really don't want to annoy the neighbours (I think they already think I'm a little crazy?!) So, I try and feed them something fresh everyday, greens from around the yard, the cabbage in the crisper that looks kind of suspect. It's into jelly season so they have been getting a fair bit of jelly leftovers like chokecherry seeds and such. Next summer I hope to have a second run that I can alternate back and forth to. This year, I'm pretty happy with what I've gotten done.

So, short version, pretty birds. I'm happy with them and don't believe all the negative stuff. They don't stink, they don't peck each other to death. They are quite fun to watch really, each of them have a little character of their own. Give it a try!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Hey everybody! I'm going to be doing Talk of the Town on CBC radio this morning. Coolio! It really is amazing to see, even with the little bit of effort, what this blog has brought to me. Contacts and conversations with people completely outside of my everyday sphere.

I like the interwebs.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I have seen the error in my ways. Not having a link to my favourite place to hang out, the best coffee in town and the unending supply of entertainment is horribly remiss.

Check out Chat Noir Books. Owned and run by the fabulous Jennifer Fournier and Paul McClaren this is a place of sanity and some damn fine coffee. Also, for a fun time, check out their blog. You never know who is going to be coming through town and available for general adoration and swooning.

and please leave a message at the beep......

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's Done!

Tadah.... I would like to show off the awesome new chicken tractor my Dad and I built over the last two weeks. Otherwise known as the little red tractor and the MPU (mobile poulty unit).

I'm really pleased with the whole setup. For the first time in this entire chicken adventure I did have to go and buy some lumber. Six whole 2/4's. Of course, I am already lined up for several days working on the saw mill this fall to replenish the lumber pile over at Dad's house.

Right now there are three very freaked out chickens hanging out in there. I was going for four but, I gave up on catching another one. Just too stressfull for every one involved.

By the way, those ladies don't look any bigger than last time I put their pictures up, but take my word for it. They are signifigantly bigger.

So, what project next....

Monday, August 4, 2008

What I did today

-laundry, it was nice and sunny out to dry on the line
-fed chickens, gathered eggs
-brought an entire load full of garbage to the dump out of my basement. I'm sorry, it went to landfill but just because there is too much stuff in the world does not mean it had to live in my basement
-got more sand for the chicken run (grit)
-worked on the chicken tractor (it's almost done!)
-pruned the tree over the driveway (finally)
-visited with a friend
-fed the chickens their greens (dandelion)
-poked at the compost (does this count as productive?)
-dined on local bison and fresh homegrown veggies (thanks Jenn & Paul!)
-squished my dog (mental health time)
-didn't feel like writing a real blog post... goodnight!