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preparing for the Advent…of the chickens September 24, 2010

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.
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Being now in the After (which makes me think of one of my all time favorite books the Gone Away World – where everything is defined in terms of Before or  After the Go-Away bombs) it’s high time for pursuit of things that have been backlogged for the past 4+ years.  For an autodidact like me, that entails quite a backlog. However also being a creature of perpetuity my backlog isn’t so much a list/queue as a sort of Mary Poppins carpetbag of interests and to-do’s I’ve collected over the years – where you never know what’s going to come out when you reach in, but there’s a lot in there.

One of the first things that’s leaped from the bag in the After are chickens. I’ve always wanted chickens in the City. And by ‘always’ I mean I have no recollection when the notion inserted itself into my brain, but I assume it’s been ever since discovering urban folks out there who raise/keep chickens in the city.  I immediately lusted after chicken-keeping, but I tucked it away knowing I couldn’t undertake such a venture until After.

Realizing last month that there was no longer anything holding me back from actively planning and pursuing chickens, I got researching. Thanks to backyardchickens.com and Building Chicken Coops for Dummies, I had a whole slew of chicken coop designs at my disposal, over which I poured and muddled. Eventually I sketched up my own design – a composite of a few coop/run designs I favored from backyardchickens.com that was suited for the space in my backyard, in combination with a number of DO’s and DON’Ts I’d gleaned from reading others’ experiences as well:

Being concerned that a coop built from my own hands would be as sturdy,  functional, and attractive as one built by a 5 year old (perhaps less so), I opted to ask my friend Aaron, a furniture builder and artist, if he would be interested in the job. He and his co-builder Adam took me up on job offer and got to starting last week.

Current status is that the area in the yard on which the coop/run will be has been dug up and leveled by the boys, and the coop itself is being constructed right this moment in Adam’s garage (due to it being Rainpocalypse in Minneapolis this week  – nixing any thoughts of outdoor building).

In the meantime – I’ve signed myself up for a Raising Chickens in the City community education class in November, and put myself on the newsletter list for a local chicken rescue organization (Chicken Run) in the interest of adopted my chickens rather than buying them. There’s quite a lot you quickly learn about the shitty practices of chicken hatcheries, chicken abuse and neglect, and other bits of awful in the world of all things chicken. Which makes for a good opportunity to do it right from the beginning and give a home to some chix without needing one, and not support the chicken equivalent (actually worse) of puppy mills. In other words – to behave appropriately as the bleeding heart hippie I am.

Trolling the lists of chickens-to-adopt makes it very hard to be patient, I would very much like to scoop up a few RIGHT NOW. But patience, grasshoppah.

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