Monday, February 28, 2011

Pets or livestock?

After both of us spent the previous week sick, much of the weekend was devoted to cleaning "the farm." I can't tell you my relief when I emptied the fish tank to discover that in the bottom inch of water the fish were still alive!!! It was a miracle! As I slowly took gallon by gallon out, I feared what I might find in the bottom of the murky green waters, but there they were! I feel like a much better farm "mom" to realize that I didn't kill any of the animals. However the entire point of the fish is to get them "plate ready" so I really need to work on figuring out the difference between pets and livestock... oh well another day... today I am going to enjoy the little fish being alive and the new filter I installed to keep this from happening again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bad Chicken Keepers!

As I start to come out of the haze that this horrible cold put both Jeff and I into, I am beginning to notice how much I neglected the farm during my sickness. The chicken pen is so gross. There is poop everywhere! The fish tank is a dark green, and I can no longer see any fish in there. The potatoes weren't watered and have fallen over. The worm bin got dry and the worms tried to escape! Yes, everywhere you look there is neglect. At least the chickens don't seem upset. It had been a few days since I had been down there since I didn't want to get them sick. When I finally spent some time with them, they all came running over to see me as soon as I stepped in the pen and dear Scabby even tried to jump in my lap. Who needs a dog to make you feel better when you have chickens? : ) This weekend is going to be a lot of cleaning though....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chickens in Paradise

So as you gathered from our last post, we have just spent the last week in the US Virgin Islands at an EcoResort, Maho Bay on St. Johns. (We would HIGHLY recommend it for any other eco-conscious travelers along with TerraPass to offset the airflight.) The first morning I woke up groggy from the day before of traveling and despite the warm temperatures and the ocean waves, in my haze thought that I was back home in Upstate NY. You see I was being woken up by the all too familiar chicken crowing. I couldn't believe it, we had traveled over a thousand miles and wouldn't you know it, St. John has as many wild chickens as we do squirrels up north. I was fascinated by the "wild" version of our girls. When we first saw the other chickens in town (and yes one was trying to cross the road) I was amazed by how small they were. Jeff just cracked it up to being a different breed, but I am now worried that perhaps we over feed the girls and they are just lazy fat American birds. Next week I am going to try to figure out a way to weigh them and determine if they are overweight. Either way, I enjoyed the week of getting to see so many different breeds of chickens and even one family of baby chicks. Upon arriving home, we were happy to see our girls again. My parents had done a wonderful job of not only bringing in the mail, shoveling, but also chicken farming. You know, the normal house sitting duties.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Am I my chickens keeper?

I dont think I ever thought that I would get to the point in my life when getting ready to leave for vacation would not only include the normal stresses of making sure sunscreen and tooth-brush are packed, passport is up to date, and chickens have a caretaker to look after them.....Check, check, and check.....Yes, you heard me right: We had to find a chicken sitter before we could jet off for warmer lattitudes. To 99.9% of city and suburban dwellers, this proposition would seem absolutely INSANE, and I suppose it probably is. But when you have chickens living clendestinely in your basement, you find yourself arranging your life in many ways that you never would have envisioned......Fortunately, the 'rents are in the "pro-poultry" faction, and are happy to drop in to fill the feeder, refresh the water, collect the eggs, and most likely spoil the girls with treats. Come to think of it it, this is probably alot easier than having to find someone to look after dogs. But the people with chickens are weird, hmmmmm.....

If you are thinking about becoming an urban chicken keeper, and your friends and family arent so used to the idea yet, dont worry - there are now chicken hotels. Really, this is not a joke. If you dont believe me, please check out the link to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and the linked story of the "chicken hotel". Our chickens HATE anything that has to do with change, and would probably create as much havoc at this hotel as a Gun's N' Roses re-union tour, but definitely an idea and innovation whose time has come!