More Chickens in the news!

22 02 2010

My cousin in Boston sent me this article.  While they are looking to have a much smaller number of hens, the opposition that they are receiving is very similar to the opposition here in Sacramento.

Check this article from the Arden-Carmichael news.

It looks like chickens are making some waves!

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Preparing for Chickens!

20 02 2010

We are confident and hopeful that the City of Sacramento will change the current law banning chickens in the city.  So confident that during our winter holiday break, instead of hanging out by our fire and reading books, we were pulling apart pallets and pounding nails in the cold, rainy week between Christmas and New Year to construct our chicken coop. 

 
Prior to actual construction, countless hours were spent going over the coop section of “My Backyard Chicken”  a website that has a wealth of information for do it yourself coop builders.  We didn’t actually purchase plans, instead we took inspiration from the play house design.
 
At first building a coop during a wet, rainy week doesn’t seem like the best idea.  However, I think building in adverse conditions really made us think about the chicken coop design.  We have had many weeks of rain, weather I don’t want any animals running around in for a long period of time.  We made sure that the coop and run are completely covered with a roof.  There are a lot of designs out there where only half of the run is covered.  In good weather that is great, but I don’t want to be dealing with tarps and rigging make shift shelters up next year.  Our coop and run are completely covered with an overhang.  We plan on three chickens, so I think if they are confined to the coop in bad weather they will still have plenty of room to move around.
 
Most designs have nesting boxes that are access able from the outside.  We didn’t include an outdoor access because it seemed like extra work and I will be going into the coop at least twice a day anyway.   Our coop is over 6 feet tall so most people can walk in easily.
 
We are committed to being good neighbors, so our coop is not close to anyone elses house just a back fence.     It is unlikely the hens will even be noticed by our neighbors.  One extra we included is a recycled plant hanger to hang a large fly trap off of.  Some people have concerns that chickens will attract pests.  To avoid this the coop will be cleaned often, food will not be left out for rodents to access and our fly traps will prevent the area from having a fly infestation during the summer months.  I encourage all chicken/dog/cat owners to include some type of fly control program in animal enclosures, ideally my neighbors won’t even know that I have chickens!
 
With that being said there are some changes I would make to any future designs.  I like the idea of building storage into the coop.  It would be very nice to have a place to store straw, chicken feed, extra water bottles, etc.  incorporated into the coop design.  A well thought out design with storage included is an important component to good chicken keeping!




the problems with factory chickens

20 02 2010

Here’s a great example of what goes wrong when you try to raise chickens in giant factory conditions–in a town just south of Stockton. Can you picture a 16.5 acre waste lagoon near your house? I sure can’t. Residents have:

“complained for years to local air and environmental regulators about the waste lagoon, saying the stench and eye-burning fumes give them headaches and nausea.”

Read more at the Fresno Bee.





Chick at City Hall

11 02 2010
Sacramento Chick

Chicken's at City Hall





The Cabral Chicken Farm

10 02 2010

My Mom Alice was raised on a chicken ranch in Carmichael – 2017 Gunn Road.  Imagine the area near Fair Oaks Boulevard and Arden Way in the 1930’s and 40’s – acres of empty land except for farm houses and their outlying buildings.

This is was no backyard chicken operation – full-on egg production as well as selling live chickens.  Each week her father Antonio traveled to the Poultry Producers Association near Oak Avenue and Auburn Boulevard.  There he would drop off multiple-layered cardboard cases of fresh eggs that he had carefully weighed, graded small, medium, or large, and checked each egg with backlighting to be sure each egg was suitable for sale.  The Asian owners of a company located on Second Street in “Old Sacramento” came to the chicken ranch to purchase my grandfather’s live chickens.

Often my Mom and her three brothers John, Tony, and Joe, would accompany their father into “town” to sell their eggs to two Portuguese grocery stores.  Friends and relatives also received eggs from the Cabral chicken ranch.  The trips into town wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Buffalo Brewery to pick up a case of bottled beer for the week.  And my grandfather would sometimes stop at Old Ironsides for a bit of refreshment before heading back to Carmichael.

My Mom has many stories about her life on the chicken ranch.  But here’s the one I’m fondest of.  During the depths of the Great Depression, my grandmother Adelina (my Vóvó) would prepare a Sunday dinner for whoever stopped by.  Freshly slaughtered chickens, eggs collected that morning, and a bounty of vegetables from their garden would feed their friends and relatives who needed a little help getting by.  My grandmother and grandfather were blessed with food and it just made sense to share it.

I’m working with CLUCK to change Sacramento’s city code to allow backyard chickens.  I want to raise hens in my backyard for their eggs.  I want to have a small front yard garden (well actually I do already, and the onions and garlic are growing nicely in the warmer weather!).  And I want to have a little extra to share.  It just makes sense.  Susan Ballew 





Factory Farms, eggs and Prop 2

8 02 2010

I found this article this morning and thought it was interesting.  If CLUCK is successful, eating eggs that are “a product that’s criminally cruel to produce”, and have increased in cost 20% due to Prop 2’s humane hen keeping regulations, will be less of an issue for many Sacramentans!





victories on chicken laws across the country

2 02 2010

Columbia, MO just passed a law to legalize urban chicken keeping. Below is a good excerpt from the article:

Ann Koenig, a mother of two, supported the ordinance not only because of the local food aspect, she said, but also because her children look forward to raising chickens.

Koenig discussed the learning process of selecting breeds, designing a coop and building it as a family.

“It seems just priceless,” Koenig said.

Adam Saunders, with the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, spoke in support of the local food movement in Columbia.

“There are many benefits these children will receive by seeing where their food comes from,” Saunders said.

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http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/02/01/city-council-passes-urban-hen-ordinance/