The Chicken Wire

14 07 2009

So, I’m throwing over Dave’s name suggestion (the Weekly Roost) for Kenneth’s (Chicken Wire).  Welcome to the first Chicken Wire, and a big thanks to Kenneth for the suggestion!  This week I had the opportunity to meet with and interview an urban chicken owner (UCO). 

How did you get into chickens?  UCO was inspired by agricultural ancestors and by others who were using their small urban spaces to do big things with gardens, in particular, the family in “Home Grown Revolution“.  After starting a garden and growing food, chickens seemed like a natural fit.

Tell me about your flock.  UCO started with 5 “straight runheritage breed chicks and one Silkie.  Straight run chicks are chicks whose sex has not been determined.  Chickens aren’t like dogs or cats.  You can’t tell what gender they are by turning them over.  While hatchery chicks can be purchased by gender, most local farmers or breeders don’t have the resources to determine chick gender.  UCO’s chicks were purchased from a local farmer.  True to nature, 3 of the chicks ended up being roosters.  UCO ended up with three hens~ one white Silkie named Echo, one Black Australorp named Onyx and one Silver Laced Wyandotte named RiLo.  The three ladies lay 2 eggs every day at 11:00 and love to eat Jalepenos!  In addition to peppers and other garden treats, they also love fresh kale, the ladies eat about 50 pounds of organic chicken feed every three months.  One of UCO’s favorite chicken memories is her dog herding the 6 little chicks around the yard.

Is there anything else you would like to share?  UCO wanted to share that chickens are cleaner and quieter than the dogs.  They eat bad garden bugs, slugs in particular, and they don’t have to be cleaned up after as often as the dogs.   And the neighbours love them!  UCO also wanted to share that starting out as a chicken owner doesn’t have to cost a whole lot.  UCO’s coop was constructed with scraps and is a lovely, safe and cost effective place for her chickens to live.

Tune in next week for more news from the Chicken Wire.  Abi 

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