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In praise of Chicken Run Rescue January 5, 2011

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.

(Part of the crew basking post-breakfast in the “sun” of the full spectrum lamp I have set up for them)

Despite the case that 1) the Chicken Run Rescue folks are vegans, and I am an egg-eating vegetarian feeder of chicken meat (though not my chicken crew) to my canines, and 2) that I may diverge from CRR in a few of my philosophies/notions about animals and humans’ relatedness to them (and that’s ok!), I can say that I fully support CRR’s efforts and approach as an organization tasked with rescuing and rehoming chickens and their overall goal/mission of educating folks on all matters chickenly. I would like to continue to be involved in their org, and recommend them to anyone interested in chickens, chicken politics, chicken rescue, urban chicken keeping, etc, even if your notions aren’t perfectly in line with CRRs.

Mary asked me if I would write a little blurb on their Facebook page as she’s hoping/wishing more folks would think to drop in for chicken chores as a better means for learning about chickens and caring for chickens, particularly chicken noobs (like me) who are thinking to pursue chicken raising. This was my post:

As an interested urban chicken raiser late last summer, I discovered CRR and dropped in with the intent to learn more about adopting chickens instead of going the hatchery route, and found it to be the best thing this city slicker could hav…e done to learn the basics of chicken care. Not to mention spending time with Mary/CRR prevented me from making any number of blunders in designing/building my coop.

I also took Mpls Community Ed’s City Chicken Care class (taught by Mary) – but like I said, there’s just miles more worth in getting your hands dirty (not that dirty really 😉 helping Mary with the day-to-day chicken chores – which for me has included moving chickens from their inside enclosures to outside runs, raking out runs, capturing chickens one-by-one to weigh and give meds, and through it all gleaning info, knowledge, been-there-done-that, and 10+ years of chicken wisdom from a woman who’s passionate about caring for the outcast chickens in our urban areas.

In addition to chicken care practicalities, through Mary I’ve also learned a lot about the dark side and negatives of our relationship with chickens (which is how a lot of chickens wind up at CRR), much of which hadn’t occurred to me even as the hippie vegetarian I am, and as such I’ve gotten even more on the path of being a mindful and intentional and compassionate chicken raiser than I already thought I was.

And I realize that for a lot of us eager-beaver urban chicken enthusiasts, hearing/learning the unpleasant and outright awful dark sides (even if/when unintentional) of our relationship with chickens may feel like having our parade rained on, but I really think that if we’re honestly and intentionally pursuing being “locavores” and having a closer, more direct and honest relationship with our food sources – we can’t do it without looking squarely into the face of consequences of our choices (individually and collectively).

So yeah – you want to have chickens in the city? Please consider adopting chickens, and the larger issues surrounding hatcheries and the chicken industry. And particularly consider spending some time at CRR to get your chicken chores on – you’ll be glad you did, and I promise you – you can’t learn how to pick up a chicken or get to know their behaviors and quirks by sitting in a classroom or reading a book :).



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