Sunday, June 16, 2013

URBAN FARMING

RHODE ISLAND RED
THIS IS A POLISH HEN, POST-MENOPAUSAL
SHE HAS A GOITER AND HER PLUME IS SO BIG
IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE HER FACE!

I am house-sitting for my friends Donald and Alan in the L.A. neighborhood of Glassell Park. They have CHICKENS.

I am constantly running up to the coop to feed, water, give snacks to, chat with, and check the laying box. Twice already I have collected eggs that were still warm.

THE CHCKENS' BREAKFAST



AFTERNOON SNACK--CRACKED CORN!
THEY ALSO GET OLD LETTUCE LEAVES,
BREAD HEELS AND, AND AN OCCASIONAL
DOLLOP OF COTTAGE CHEESE


I think Werner is being a bit harsh here in saying chickens are stupid. Though I will say that in the laying box, lined with wood shavings, there is a wooden egg which apparently you put there so they'll know that's the place. There it stays.

And the chickens have been in the same coop for over two years. 


11 comments:

  1. I think the reason to put the wooden egg in the laying box and keep it there is not because hens are stupid (although yes, they're not the smartest birds) but because otherwise they will lay their eggs in any hidden spot they can find. Anyone who has kept or been around free-range hens knows about the adventure of trying to find the latest spot the hens have laid, if not in the coop.

    The wooden egg reassures them that the laying box is a safe place to keep laying, even when their own eggs have been collected by you or their owners.

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  2. Laying Mash. Cracked Corn. Fresh and growing produce, herbs, and flowers. Oh, how I love this post!!

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  3. Hi Heather: Just a thought. Buy a bag of white rice (or you may need two), dump it into something that is large enough for your laptop and will seal, and then put your CLOSED laptop in the bag and seal it. The rice absorbs the moisture. I learned this with my cell phone when I dropped it in the dog's water bowl. Try using your laptop in a couple of days. Hope it does the trick.

    Love, love, love the pictures. What a respite!! Feeding chickens and watching vegetables grow!! Now, it can't get much better than that! Happy day, my friend.

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  4. You're reverting to type, Heather. Remember that our parents and grandparents were poultry farmers on Hillsdale Road. I asked my Dad once, "Did you sell eggs, or sell chicks, or raise chickens for the slaughter," and he answered, "Yes." Anyhow, after the 1938 Hurricane the henhouses were in flinders, the landscape was littered with dead chickens, and our grandfather had years of employment ahead in his original trade of carpentry. So that was the end of the poultry business.
    Kirk

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  5. We have had chickens for a few years. I remember how silly I felt when I picked up the first laid egg and thought, "Wow! This is just like the ones in the store!"

    They are a contrast. It took a long time to convince others in the family that there is no point putting them away early because they instinctively walk into their coop when it gets dark leaving your job to merely shut the door. On the other hand, they do poop in their own water and they do not see this as a problem so the word "stupid" has come to my mind as well.

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  6. We have had chickens for a few years. I remember how silly I felt when I picked up the first laid egg and thought, "Wow! This is just like the ones in the store!"

    They are a contrast. It took a long time to convince others in the family that there is no point putting them away early because they instinctively walk into their coop when it gets dark leaving your job to merely shut the door. On the other hand, they do poop in their own water and they do not see this as a problem so the word "stupid" has come to my mind as well.

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  7. Kirk, yes! (Kirk is my cousin on my mother's side from RI, folks). You can take the girl out of the poultry farm BUT...I am of course quite thrilled to be feeding three RHODE ISLAND reds...I have become quite fond of all my "girls." They eat an unbelievable amount of food for such relatively small creatures and lay a ton of eggs--I collected three this morning. And thank you, people--they are NOT stupid! They may have slightly different interests than I do but they know to make noise in the morning when they're hungry, to peck at my legs when I'm too slow pouring their corn meal, and to flap excitedly when I labor up the steps toward the coop in the afternoon for they know darn well that's old lettuce leaves, cracked corn, and every other day special corn mush with cracked oyster shell time!

    That makes me sad to think of the farmstead littered with dead chickens after the Hurricane of 1938. Nonetheless we at least grew from the ashes...

    Thanks, all. Oh, Michelle, actually went out and bought a 10-lb. bag of rice, put the laptop in overnight, no change, and since it's been five days, figured it was time to bring it to the shop...I needed rice anyway...

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  8. Now there's an idea for my next painting - a farm littered with dead chickens after a hurricane.
    Poetic.
    Sad.

    Is your laptop fixed now?

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  9. What would Betty MacDonald say to this?

    Yours,

    Linde Lund

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  10. The Egg and I, right in the middle of L.A.!...Thanks, Linde...

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  11. Someone has just sent me a link to FeatherSite: The Poultry Page: check it out, folks!
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html

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I WELCOME your comments!!!