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ALERT: November 25, 2008

Chickens are the new knitting.

There. I wanted to say it first.

Really. The knitbloggers, so quick to take up spinning as the new knitting, are now moving to chicken-farming. Soon we will all have miniature sheep and cashmere goats and fresh cheese and we will all be so happy! (No communal living, though. Thanks anyway. I draw the line there. We'll meet at the bar instead to talk about our chickens over yarn and beer.)


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Hmmmm, can you spin the Cashmere from the goats?

Bok bok bok!

But, how would I kit feathers?.....

I would totally have a couple of chickens if we could have them here. Of course, the dogs would probably chase them, or the outdoor cat next door would get them. :(

I've been fantasizing about urban chickens for years. We're in Seattle, and there's a woman 2 blocks away who has a couple in her backyard in a hutch. We just moved here, and I'm dying to find a reason to knock on her door so I can ask her about them. Fresh eggs, mmm.

Sorry--meant to post this link on my last comment--it's the site of urban homesteaders in Pasadena...you might like it. They grow a lot of crops while raising chickens, ducks and goats...all on 1/10 of an acre. Insane, and awesome.



Gotta stop posting post-martini.

Sigh . . . how did you KNOW that I want to make cheese, too? You are reading my mind, you.

I forgot to tell you in my last comment about the beekeeping. Yep, beekeeping. I'm gonna do it, I swear (probably before I get brave enough to flout the zoning laws with the chickens, actually).

I'll have the babydoll sheep and maybe a goat or two. No chickens for me.

And oh carp, chickens are the new spinning and spinning is the new knitting? But I'm still learning how to knit!

And what the hell is the new black now?

You're not joking. My chickens are awesome. And I know other knitters who have them, too.
I rally would like a cashemere goat or 12, now.

When I was little, we raised bees in our SF backyard. I don't remember so much.

Doing home visits, I run across a lot of chickens. Not all of them in backyards, either. Just the other day, I visited a family with two chickens in the living room and a rooster in the kitchen. In cages, not in pot pies. They also had a lot of little dogs. A lot. A whole ocean of them in the sun coming in the front door. Hard to get in.

Why do you think I live on a farm?

Beekeeping is completely out of the question. Totally unacceptable. Nope. No way.
And tell your commenters to stop bringing it up.

Oh I remember hatching chicks in kindergarten!! (but I don't seem to remember what happened to them...)

In any case, you're on to something big, Miss Rachael... I follow your adventure with great interest!

I'm concerned, though. What happens when all those chickens come home to roost? There will be Hell to pay, mark my words...

A coop idea I got from a friend who's had chickens forever... he uses a Little Tikes playhouse recycled from the dump. It's super easy to clean because you can just hose it out, and you can make nest boxes to fit inside.
I've been wanting chickens for a while, but right now we have 10 bobwhite quail that we hatched and raised this summer -- tooo cute! And sweet little voices, as opposed to raucous chickens.
(And BTW, my neighbor has bees! ;-)

I plan to take a cheese-making class in the spring, too! All that Little House on the Prairie watching as a child is coming back to haunt me!

Where's the bar?!

Already there honey! You're welcome to come visit the beasties any time. Sheep, angora goats (cashmeres are too much work for me!), chickens, and a guard alpaca...

Most cities allow you to keep up to 3 hens (no roosters). Plenty is you want fresh eggs.

I already have chickens (and sheep) so perhaps what I need now is a blog so I can get in on the chicken blogging theme?

Google "Chicken Tractor" or something similar. You should find directions (or photos) to make your own inexpensive movable chicken coop. A friend of mine has one and said he saw it on the internet somewhere.

Our chickens live in their own (unmoveable) chicken coop with free range access to the pasture and barn. The eggs are so much better than store bought. Did you know that the "free-range" label on eggs in stores only indicates that the chickens had access to dirt, not that they actually run around "free". The good vitamins in the eggs comes from the chickens eating green stuff (grass, leaves) and not just chicken feed and occasional bugs. If you can build a movable coop (so the chickens have access to fresh grass), you'll get better quality eggs.

I had chickens many years ago and now I'd rather spin. But I understand the attraction. bok bok

I'm wearing down Brian on the idea of chickens. We'll see once we have a yard.

Lala, my partner is right there with you on the bees. If she wasn't allergic and therefore legitimately freaked out by the very idea, I'd have a little hive of my very own.

We have chickens in our Seattle city backyard. We have 5. They live in a coop with a fenced chicken yard, but we let them out frequently for free-ranging in the backyard. Coops can be as easy as a doghouse outfitted with a pole for roosting or as extravagant as you want. Check out the Eglu--you might like it (there are some great YouTube videos on people using them). Chickens are flocking birds, so they like hanging out with you. When we sit outside in the summer, they come and sit near us. When I garden, they always come over to "help" (i.e., to get the worms and bugs I unearth). They each have personalities. They are extraordinarily fun and relatively easy.

The only thing is that hens are fairly loud. They do a lot of "I've laid an egg" announcing and "she's laid an egg" announcing. They don't do it all day like roosters, though.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the city chickens thing--I think we've experienced it all. Also, the guy down the street has chickens and ducks! My daughter now wants ducks.

I'm with you on the commune thing. I could only do that if I were Queen of the Commune and everybody obeyed me.

And my son wouldn't, so there you are. See you at the bar. (which one, again?)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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