Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fun with chickens in Fredericton

My friend Lorraine and I and 5 travelling hens recently did "Meet a Chicken Day", a couple hours drive inland to Fredericton. There some valiant souls have been trying to get their city council to at least think about allowing regulated backyard pet hens in the city. It would have been nice if the opposition had shown up because they couldnt help but fall in love with our girls, like everyone else did. About 30 people came and listened to Lorraine and I profess our love for our feathered friends, talk about care and expectations, breeds and such, and then folks asked loads of questions. The hens visited whomever they chose, and sometimes settled in laps for a nap. A reporter did a positive article for the paper next day which was followed by a pro urban chicken, pro sustainability editorial. The council
has put a roadblock in the way in the form of a $250. fee just to look at making an exception for one person to try it for a year. Other sustainably minded cities (Over 500 across North Americain the last couple of years) Have charged $5. to $25. for a license, changed their bylaws and implemented rules such as no roosters and 3 or 4 hens max. Moncton has done a pilot urban chicken project that has been successful and their experience has gone ahead it seems with more open minds.


We had a crazy busy day, fitting in a visit to the wonderful Boyce Farmers Market where I found some favorite cheeses and schnitzel, then on to the Acorn conference (Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network) where we  got to talk to all sorts of growers doing all sorts of creative organic pursuits . I was given a cool Eat Locally Grown t-shirt by the Johnny's Selected Seeds guy. Finally on the way home, we made a visit to see my month old new baby granddaughter...
Isn't she beautiful?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We have dirt !!

The snow has been melting for 4 glorious days, finally , after countless snowstorms, roof shovelings and driveway plowings. A winter we'd all like to forget. Four days ago there was no sign of this post for the electric fence.
I got quite excited when its tip appeared out of the snow and must have checked it's progress through the window a dozen times a day. One of those "light at the end of the tunnel" moments. So the whole mess has dropped about 9 inches, with anywhere from 2 feet to 4 feet to go.
This was March 8th of 2010, much more civilized, with nary a speck of snow in sight. The sun has done it's best around the coop and today the girls were estatic to find real dirt to scratch in, indulging in some serious group dust bathing.
I'm watching them quite closely because some predator has been coming around at night and has shredded the fly screen on the coop window, trying to get in at the chicken dinners.

Thing One is looking out at me taking the photo of the clawed up screen.
A lovely day to putter in the greenhouse, listening to the blessed sound of snow water dripping.