Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

A Meaningful Gift

In Backyard chickens, changing urban chicken laws, Chicken husbandry, urban chickens on January 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Jan. 24, 2012

My friend Skeeter brought a gift to my house last night that made me blubber like a baby.  Skeeter’s mom & dad have a farm.  They have a garden and animals and Brenda has regularly blessed our house with gifts of food from her home.  In return she’s sampled some eggs from my little stamp of earth and not much else.  We’ve swapped stories about our animals, families and the current movement in some circles to find wholesome, humanely raised food for our table.  The woman is smart, funny and incredibly generous.  Skeeter has kept her abreast of my battle to keep the girls and the unfortunate result we got on Friday.  The timing of my friend’s present did much to lift my spirits at a time when they needed lifting.  Get a load of this…

Click on it to get a closer look.  This is an old timey cheese-wheel box.  Brenda lifted photos from the chickendiary to make a decoupage masterpiece.  You can plainly see enlarged photos of Violet, Rosie and Daisy and other images from my posts.  Look carefully at the broken pieces of egg scattered throughout the scene.  These are actually fragments of the eggs I sent her in weeks past.  The background is green grass and chicken wire.  But this is just the outside….

Inside she lined the box with chicken fabric which is also decoupaged to a lovely sheen.  She included a sweet note as well.  I would show you the back, but it has a little return address sticker on it with her home address as well as a photo of a jaunty rooster.  She painted a pink breast cancer ribbon (I had no idea she knew about that), and the date of the gift.  There are even little felt feet on the bottom of the box.  Needless to say, when Skeeter and her daughter Hudson brought the gift, the dam broke and I boo-hooed.  It’s not the first time I’ve had a bit of a pity party over this whole thing, but the kindness of this one person edged out (for a moment) the whole frustrating, painful experience of giving up my pets.  And here’s the kicker folks…I’ve never even met her.  Thanks Brenda, and thanks Skeeter for introducing me to your very cool mom.  We’ll meet in person after the weather clears when we can make the journey to your little slice of heaven.  “Thank you” doesn’t quite cover it.  I’ll find some way.  🙂

And The Rains Came

In Backyard chickens, Chicken husbandry, urban chickens on January 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Jan. 21st

It has been raining for 40 days and 40 nights.  OK, it just feels like it.  The girls are enjoying all the bugs that are coming up for air from our saturated yard and they are absolutely filthy!  The “wet” shows up especially on Daisy’s gold feathers so I subjected her to a photo shoot when she was not looking her best.  Click on the pictures to really see this messy little girl.

Wet is not a good look for me.

I could really use a blow dryer.

Can Daddy build an ark?

Since my sad post yesterday I have received a few interesting offers from some great folks who want to give my chickens a good home.  You really find out how wonderful people can be when you have an experience like this.  I shall keep you posted regarding the girl’s fate.  I can assure you, they will be placed where they can continue to be spoiled, happy chickens.  Stay tuned and try to stay dry.

We Tried Our Best

In Chicken husbandry on January 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Jan. 20th

Our property manager and our board member gave us a good amount of time to make our case.  They listened to all I we had to say.  After everything was said on both sides, it is highly unlikely that we can keep the girls.  He said he understood our passion for the subject and he could see our side, but there will not be a neighborhood vote and that the covenant would probably not be changed.  He plans to talk to the other board members about our meeting.  He did come by on his way out of town to see the girls and admire their beautiful coop.  They all jumped  for their grapes just like we practiced.

I want to thank everyone who tried to help (Skeeter, he really liked your letter).  Some of you have mentioned getting up petitions and calling the media but I don’t want to be “that person.”  I love my neighborhood and almost every one of my neighbors and I will not make a big stink about this.  The few have spoken and it seems they have won.  A sad day for urban chickens everywhere.–Deb

Cross All Your Fingers and Feathers

In Backyard chickens, changing urban chicken laws, Chicken husbandry, urban chickens on January 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Jan. 20th

At 2:00 today we have a meeting with our property manager and a board member to determine if we can have a vote to change the ordinance which prohibits “poultry”.  We prefer to call them “pets”.  We have many well-wishers and wonderful neighbors who requested that they be allowed to come to the meeting with us to voice their support.  We asked, but it seems that there will just be four in the room.  Jim is prepared with his statistics, moving presentation and generally cute and charming self to wow the board member and persuade him that urban chickens are DA BOMB!  (OK, Jim would never say “da bomb”.)  He even wore a tie today, and if you know Jim, this is HUGE!  He has to take 1/2 day of leave to get back here for the meeting, but hey, we can start our weekend early–hopefully with a glass of champagne to celebrate our victory.  I got up early and cleaned the coop, raked the yard of all visible signs of chickens (poop) and I told the girls they have to be on their best behavior this afternoon when we bring the nice man down to meet them.

I'll be good.

We have invited him to see our set-up and we do hope he takes us up on our invite.  I’ll have grapes at the ready and the ladies will entertain him with their athletic jumping and hilarious chicken antics.  All we hope to gain from this meeting is the chance to put the ordinance to a vote.  We feel confident that if given an opportunity the assembly members will vote to change the rule and pave the way for more backyard chickens in our beautiful neighborhood.  There is a chance, (however small) that they will NOT change the rule, and we are prepared for that too.  We have a lovely home nearby where the girls can live a great chicken life and we can come visit from time to time.  As soon as the meeting is over and I have some news, I will relay it here.  Thanks again to everyone who has shown so much chicken love!  POWER TO THE POULTRY!

Honey Doos…Done

In Backyard chickens, chicken coop, Chicken husbandry, urban chickens on January 18, 2012 at 12:01 am

Jan 18th

I’ve been pestering Jim to do two chicken-related projects for a few months.  My pal Lynnessa whom you met in Chickmommy’s 30th Class Reunion, Oct. 2nd, gave me a gift when I was in Mississippi for my reunion.  It’s a Red Man advertising sign.  Since 1904 Red Man has advertised on barns all across the country.  I don’t know if they still do but I’m always happy to see one.  Several friends have suggested that we paint SEE ROCK CITY or Red Man on our little red barn coop.  I don’t know Rock City from Shinola, but I am quite familiar with Red Man chewing tobacco.  My Papa chewed it and he could spit twelve feet and hit any target (perhaps my memory is flawed, I was just a kid when I witnessed this feat).  After hounding him for years to let me try some, he finally relented and let me reach into the pouch for a “chaw”.  I can tell you that was the last tobbacky this kid ever chewed!  Anyway, seeing Red Man on my coop makes me think of the old fella, long gone these 28 years.  I miss him, and I know he’d be pleased that Debbie became a chicken farmer.  (OK, he’d think I’m a little wacky, but my whole family does.)  Jim painted a red border on the shade/wind/rain screen and I think it’s just beautiful.

The other project is small and normally one I don’t need a “man” for; but Jim wouldn’t let me drill a hole in the hardiboard because he thought I’d mess it up.  It only took me a month to get him to do it!  My friend Susna (misspelling on purpose–long story) gave me this cute sign for my birthday.  It matches my house and I think it looks great.

And they're free!

Yes, those are my tacky fake flowers still left over from Christmas.  Well, they look better than a pot full of dirt!

Martha Stewart would NOT approve!

I’ve been fixing up my back yard as best I can for the dead of winter.  I planted a little garden of greens for chicken and human consumption.  I want the place to look spiffy for the board when they visit the ladies on Friday. They’ve been invited to the B’game farm to see our chicken operation.  I plan to have grapes at the ready and the girls have been practicing their jumps!  I have requested that they not poop in the high traffic areas of the yard as well, but they probably will not comply.  A chicken’s gotta do what a chicken’s gotta doo…doo.

Miss Kitty Comes A’callin’

In Backyard chickens, changing urban chicken laws, Chicken husbandry, eggs, urban chickens on January 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Jan. 16th

My neighbor and friend knew where to come when she realized she didn’t have enough eggs for her potato salad!

Miss Kitty admires the girls work.

I would have given her a half-dozen, but Jim has plans for a cheese souffle tomorrow, so we were stingy and could only spare two.  It seems that Kitty had never officially met the girls, although she has followed them for many months in the chickendiary.  We rectified the situation immediately.

Miss Kitty shows expert technique in grape feeding.

Our friend is an avid motorcyclist as is her husband, Morgan.  This Yamahama Mamma was open to a chicken-holding ritual we subject all new visitors to. 

Miss Kitty apologizes to Miss Daisy for the things she did to chickens as a zoology major.

She seemed like she’d been huggin’ poultry her whole life.  

Daisy forgives but hopes her new friend has changed her ways!

On another topic…I’ve gotten many phone calls, emails and visits from folks who would like to help out in our quest to change the chicken ordinance.  Several have asked if they can attend our Friday morning meeting with the board to offer support for our cause.  I plan to ask our property manager if this would be allowed.  If she says yes, it would be great to have some friends in the room to convince the board members that properly tended back yard chickens are an asset to our beautiful neighborhood.  I’ll keep you posted and if neighbors are allowed at the meeting I’ll contact those who have requested to be present.  You’ll be the first to know Miss Kitty.

Reprieve!…For Now

In Backyard chickens, changing urban chicken laws, Chicken husbandry, urban chickens on January 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Jan. 13th

Our neighborhood property manager is arranging a meeting between us and the board next week.  We’ll have a chance to tell our side of the situation and hopefully persuade them that the girls are no menace to society.  Jim will do most of the talking and there is a reason for that.  A friend of ours recommended that Jim give me  a sedative before the showdown.  He was only half-joking.  I do tend to get over emotional and run off a the mouth at times.  Again, many of you are NOT shocked.  We are thrilled that the 15 day execution has been postponed, and for now the girls are safe while we negotiate their freedom.  This is all we ever asked for. 

Daisy gets her "Dukes" up

Meanwhile, the chickendiary has gone “viral”.  Yesterday’s post generated so many views we broke the previous record for busiest day.  This is so encouraging.  I got supportive messages from all over the United States and from folks I have not previously heard from.  Thank you too, to all my friends and neighbors here in our neighborhood who have encouraged us to fight to keep our beloved pets.  We are not out of the woods yet, but this is a great beginning.  Viva la Chickens!

I Clucked Too Soon

In Backyard chickens, changing urban chicken laws, Chicken husbandry, urban chickens on January 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Jan. 12

Although I had resigned myself to putting the chickendiary on hiatus until spring break, events have unfolded that makes today’s entry imperative.  We received a certified letter in the mail yesterday stating that we have 15 days to find new homes for our chickens or my neighborhood will “enforce all rights and remedies allowed for compliance.”  I have asked the management for a meeting so that Jim and I can present our case and try to persuade the board to change the covenant which does not allow “livestock or poultry of any kind” in the neighborhood. 

WANTED: Daisy Chicken: For crimes against ordinance #11

We have compelling points which might cause a change of the rules.  Further, we have raised the chickens since April and have had only one complaint from a neighbor who was concerned about the noise of a rooster and attracting predators.  If others are unhappy with our chickens, they have not come to us to let us resolve whatever problems they have.  We have also welcomed the management to inspect our chickens, our coop, and our back yard and ask any questions they might have concerning our unusual pets. To our knowledge, none of the board members have come for a look.  I am hoping that after we speak to the board, the neighborhood might be able to take a vote to change this rule regarding chickens.  In light of the urban chicken craze sweeping many major cities in the country and in our own state, they might agree that the rule is out of date. 

Power to the POULTRY!!!

 We love our neighborhood and so do our chickens.  I have two viable homes for them should we be forced to give them up.  My dad will take them, or my good friend GT said they could have a home with his brood in the country. 

Will Mr GT feed me grapes?

I do hope it doesn’t come to that.  Wish us luck!  I shall keep you posted.

Chicken Intermission

In Chicken husbandry on January 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Jan. 11th

So sorry it’s been a while since the last chickendiary.  Big doin’s at the B’games!  I stupidly let my teaching license expire, so the state of Alabama is requesting that I go back to school (after 25 years) to get six graduate hours in English to renew it.  Yikes!  My first day was yesterday and quite frankly it scared the chicken feed outta me!  I’m the second oldest scholar in the class (Thank you, nice 62-year-old lady who sits behind me!)  We have a list of eight books to read (including Moby Dick) and numerous other outside reading, papers, quizzes and such.  Yes, I’m whining.  Yes, I know lots of people go to school, work full-time, raise young children and keep the house running.  My hat is off to these brave, industrious souls, but I am not of that ilk.  I’M A VERY LAZY PERSON!  Some of you are NOT shocked.  Anyway, this scholarly endeavor will no doubt kick me in the butt-hocks (props to Forrest Gump).  I will not have the free time to devote to my beloved chickendiary, so I must say adieu for now.  As I write this, I should be reading some scintillating essays by Thoreau, Hawthorne and Emerson.  HELP ME!!!  In the meantime, the girls will continue to grow fat and happy, destroy my yard, provide hilarious entertainment, and make my breakfast. 

We will miss you.

If I should happen to have a stretch of free time, (spring break perhaps?)  I’ll get out there with my camera and document the latest on the ladies.  Until then, I thank you for your readership and wish you all the best of everything in 2012.  Farewell *sniff* for now.

The End


In Chicken husbandry on January 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm

 Jan. 4th

While Dave and Joel were visiting over New Years, they had some fun with remote-controlled helicopters and planes. 

One of these guys is an actual pilot. The OTHER is actually good at flying these things.

In an effort to provide my readership with some entertainment, I asked my nephew Joel to use his coptering skills to dive bomb a few silly chickens.  He was reluctant, but I have my methods of pursuasion, so he relented.  (OBEY ME!–menacing voice, wild-eyed stare) I grabbed my camera and documented the insanity. 

Do you hear something Rosie?


I swear I hear something.


It's a pretty butterfly!


That ain't no butterfly!!!


What is this thing??? Violet HELP!!!


Where is she when we need her most?


What's all the commotion? Hey, what's that thing?

You might remember that I am not above using my chickens in unnatural ways to get great pictures and provide laughs. (Can Chickens Swim? July 3, 2011) Before you pick up your phones to call the authorities, let me assure you that no fowl were fouled during this experiment.  Further, please do not fault the young man involved in my evil plan.  He was an unwilling victim and was acting on the orders of his crazy aunt.  Sleep well Joel, you’ve done no wrong.  The blame is all on Aunt Debbie.

Silly chickens, afraid of a little toy.


That thing couldn't hurt a fly.


I'm out!

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