just a blog ...mostly chicken talk.. silkie,bantams,sultans,frizzles,etc.
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It’s sad to see that a person can dump or get rid of a pet because they were not what they had in mind. It’s sometimes challenging to have pets, to have chickens is a task on its own. I know now that they not only look cute and lay eggs but also poop and require attention. 

It’s human nature to fall in love with the good but as part of the balance we must always consider that there is another side to everything. Having chickens is a joy and a responsibility so if one really, really cares about the “organic” label and the cuteness of the chicken then we must also consider the repercussion of owning an animal. 

I own hens and roosters and I won’t lie to you and say it’s a piece of cake, but I will tell you that it has thought me a lot about humans and animals and the interactions between food and what we consider acceptable.

To all the people wanting to get a “cute” chicken silkie, sultan, polish etc, I ask that you think about how long you  think that chicken will live and make plans to enjoy their company for the long run. 

Chickens are fun but you must really like the entire cycle not just the petting part.

 Today, we got a visit from the city. We need to downsize our flock and get rid of Mr sizzle., that poor guy.  If anyone in Austin is reading this, feel free to email me for adoption. He’s not aggressive. he deserves a good home.

The Chicken family.. Frizzles,sizzle, Sultan and Silkie. All part of the egg contribution to the family fund. 


How did I get myself into this? 


How did I get myself into this? 


By Martin Daley

All my life I’ve tried to steer as clear as possible from the political arena. But, the older I get, the more I see how government makes a difference in my everyday life. It would seem that politics has found me.

There’s an old saying that laws are a lot like sausages — no one wants to see how they’re made. Sadly, I’m finding out just how true that saying is. The more I get involved in local government, the more frustrated I am.

I must admit, chickens were all my wife’s idea. But the more I learned about how wonderful backyard hens can be, the more I warmed to the thought of having some. Five or six backyard hens will lay about a dozen eggs a week. They can eat table scraps. They eat insects that would otherwise be pests (ticks, grubs, etc.). Their excrement makes great garden fertilizer. Hens are resilient, hearty animals that are docile, inexpensive to take care of, and don’t require a large amount of land to happily roam.

We were dismayed to learn that Albany had, years ago, banned all livestock — including chickens — from the city. We simply accepted the fact we’d never get chickens, thinking there was nothing we could do. Until happy coincidence stepped in. It seems Jen and I weren’t the only people who wanted chickens! A good friend of ours, Mike Guidice, took the lead on working to change the law prohibiting micro-livestock. And we soon found that several hundred people agreed — we should have the freedom to raise chickens! Suddenly there was hope!

Many cities across the US permit backyard chickens: Los Angeles, Portland, Baltimore, Austin, Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas, Boston, and many more. Here in New York: Troy, Saratoga Springs, Bethlehem, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Beacon, Rochester, White Plains and others. So we’re not going to Mars with radical ideas — this isn’t something new.

Last year, Albany launched an office of sustainability! The city already endorses composting and eating locally grown products. So chickens are a shoe-in, right? This city can put its money where its mouth is!

The “chicken coalition” was prepared for some of the negative reactions that are typical: “Chickens smell, they spread disease, they are loud, etc.” These are not uncommon concerns, but they are, for the most part, not realistic and the “flock” of backyard chicken supporters has been able to dig up very well documented research that counters unsubstantiated claims that chickens are disease ridden pests that lower property values. In fact, data to support the raising of backyard hens is overwhelming.

I was feeling great about this initiative passing the Albany Common Council until it went before the council’s law committee a few weeks ago. Remember that sausage quote? Yeah, things got really ugly, real fast. Some members, who didn’t ask any questions, pledged to vote against the backyard hen ordinance, even after overwhelming evidence about the benefits were presented on more than one occasion. Three said the following:

“The city isn’t responsible for health and safety.”
“If we let this pass then we’ll be encouraging cock fighting.”
(The ordinance does not permit roosters. Roosters are used for cockfighting.)
“You give people an inch they take a mile. If the council passes this then we’ll open the door for people to ask us to amend other laws.”

Shocking, no?

But before you accuse me of taking this out of context, I’ve got to repeat — these were comments by the elected officials who hold the keys to our freedoms and quality of life in this city. I will not name names to avoid ruffling more feathers and because I think it may be possible to get these folks to come around. Still, the same negative reactions kept coming up from the same people as the last chicken ordinance meeting — “Do chickens spread disease?” “Will they affect property values?” “How can the city afford to manage this program?” But no matter how many times an answer was given, the detractors refused to reason. It was like watching a child ask “why” repeatedly.

The issue of property values came up several times. I have never, ever heard a council consider property values as vigorously as some did at that meeting. There are so many thousands of variables that affect the value of a home — and some carry much greater weight than others. What is the neighborhood like? How much are my taxes going to be? How good are the schools? Is there a vacant home on the block? These are all questions a buyer will seek to answer long before they ask “Do any of my neighbors have a chicken coop?”

Has there been an epidemic over declining property values related to chickens in other cities? No. Buffalo passed its resolution last year. How many chicken related complaints have come to the city since? ZERO. How many in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa (pop 128,000) since it passed its law last year? Six — most related to roosters. That non-news made the news there!

I’m trying to remind myself that the motivation behind the chicken opposition is directly due to fear. Because of that, I’m willing to accept the caveats of neighbor permission, a limit on the number of permits, and onerous building codes for a chicken coop. But the more I travel, the more I learn how simple it was for other cities to pass this type of law, and the more I talk to folks who live in these cities, the more embarrassed I am by my own.

spirit magazine backyard hens article

Jen and I just got back from a week’s vacation in Key West. About a million people pass through Key West each year from the mainland and cruise ship stops. Key West doesn’t just allow backyard chickens, they don’t make any bones about having chickens and roosters out roaming the streets. If there were ANY truth to the wild idea that chickens spread disease and death wherever they go, this burgeoning tourist attraction simply wouldn’t exist.

As one final slap in the face to Albanians, on our way to Florida we noticed that the April cover story in Spirit, the Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine, is eggs — and there was a feature about the benefits of backyard chickens. I had to read this flying back to my backwater hometown that can’t get out from under its own weight to do something good. It was painful.

I’ve been told not get too worked up about such a small issue, but I can’t help it. I’ll entertain the belief that this backyard hen issue is a small thing, but if this is the way our city leaders handle well-thought out small issues, I am PETRIFIED about how they have and will deal with much larger ones.

If this thing doesn’t fly I’ll be really embarrassed to be from Albany.

via  http://alloveralbany.com/archive/2011/05/01/of-government-and-chickens

(via iggymogo-deactivated20120925)

The last silkie hatched 3 days ago.

Silkie chick 2 days old

After making the rounds and talking to the neighbors I got a tip. Yesterday was a good day. The person decided to return Mr. Pretty Dude. Since I said “No questions asked”, my rooster magically appeared unharmed. He seemed happy to be home and was very hungry and went straight to the coop. I am glad he didn’t become chicken soup or was taken to a cock fight as it happens  in some rural areas. I even searched on craigslist hoping to see if he was listed, I seen other animals go up for sale after someone steals them. 

I have a suspicion on whom could have taken him but I’ll leave it at that, I’m just really really happy to have him back.. 

Today is a sad,sad day for me. I spent last night tossing and turning after finding out yesterday that my Roo ( Pretty dude) got bird napped. My first instinct was to deny the fact that someone would do such a thing. I have other Roos, they’re all siblings so they get along. In the pack of Roos, I have (Smells like Chicken, Silky Clone the 3rd, Ugly dude, Paco and Pretty dude) Pretty dude was by far the best looking one, hence the nickname. 

All my birds put themselves to bed on their own side of the coop, I have 3 sections there for all my bird friends. Top shelf, it’s open and roomy, with plenty of leg room for those active roos. They have hay and perching areas, the entire coop is made out of pine because I read that cedar is toxic for them. The interior is dark and the doors close shut with handles and generic latches. 

The bottom shelf is filled with hay and nest boxes for my cute hens that love laying eggs on the top shelf instead. The right side of the coop is open to the elements with enclosed with chicken wire and a door. I keep my young ones there during the day when the hens are raising them. Now, I just keep Ivanna and Frizolandia there, they were loosing too many feathers from getting mounted by Paco, so I decided to separated them until their feather grew.

Well, Someone (thief) came into my backyard from the front side gate. The gate is always closed but it doesn’t have a lock or anything. They(he/she,they) opened the coop and one of my black frizzles escaped running loose in my backyard over the night. Like I said, the girls, hens live downstairs and the roos live on the top part of the coop. Then the person(s) open the top and specifically selected Pretty dude and left. 

Needless to say, I feel violated that someone anyone would break into my house, backyard in the middle of the night and help themselves to my chickens. I particularly feel bad that I don’t have closure as to the final place for my roo. I don’t know what the person’s intentions were. IF they wanted him to use him for food, or as a pet, or to use in in fighting, or sacrifice it. I don’t know and that’s is killing me. I know, I care too much for these fowls but they’re also my responsibility. IT’s my fault that they’re so tame and docile even the roos. They come to meet me and perch on my arm while i feed them. I know I have no control of what others are going to do.

I wish I thought he flew away but he doesn’t fly, he stays by the coop the whole time. He was very protective of Ivanna and Frizolandia. I was going to let him have them after the feathers were grown but he never got to mate them. He was a sweet Roo, he always came when I called his named and now he’s gone for good. 

I asked the neighbors and they didn’t see anything. I think one of the neighbors handyman/contractor saw him a few days ago while working on my neighbor’s house and finally decided to come and pick him up. I thought it was so strange to find only one of my chickens loose in the morning, and when I when to the coop I noticed the latched was not secured. I always make sure I lock the latch so they don’t open the doors and start crowing so early so it was troublesome to find out that someone opened it.

I am sad, very sad. I know I got other chickens but not knowing the fate of PRetty dude hurts me.