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Chickening out. June 25, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in chickens.
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I hope Silence Dogood doesn’t kill me for potentially distracting readers from her wonderful recipe post (see “Bean cuisine” for some excellent eating), but when I see three great chicken-related posts in one day, I just have to do a few shout-outs. After all, the Pullet Palace and its residents are bigtime favorites here at Hawk’s Haven. So when I read Becca’s amazing story about rescuing a chicken from a median strip, it was enough to bring a tear to our friend Ben’s eye. (For more on the adventures of Becca’s chicken, Druscilla, go on over to her blog at BrightHaven Times, http://brighthaven.wordpress.com/, and check out her post “An ode to a chicken.”)

Then Kira over at Tomato Casual wrote a simply wonderful post on great reasons to keep chickens, “Chickens: Multi-Purpose Tomato Garden Assistants” (http://www.tomatocasual.com/). As we’ve mentioned many times, our own chickens are tomato gourmets. Not that they’ve ever met a tomato they didn’t like, mind (unlike, say, zucchini), but, like people, their enjoyment is enhanced by the best-tasting tomatoes, and just like human taste-test participants, their top choice is the heirloom favorite ‘Brandywine’ tomato. Mosey on over to Tomato Casual and let Kira persuade you to try a few chickens of your own. Our friend Ben can only say, you’ll be glad you did!

At another of our favorite blogs, Future House Farm, Kelly posted a photo of his homemade chicken tractor and discussed how he and Meg planned to send their chickens to summer camp by tossing them in the chicken tractor during the day and letting them clean up bugs and weeds in their garden beds. Good plan, guys! And a unique, lightweight (and thus mobile), ingenious design to boot. Check out “Chicken Tractor, or, Meat Sounds” (http://futurehousefarm.blogspot.com/). (The “Meat Sounds” part is about the enthusiastic slurping sounds their chickens make while gulping down grubs and other pests, not, well, you know.)

What’s a chicken tractor, you ask? Simply a mobile chicken pen that you can position anywhere you want the chickens to eat weeds and weed seeds and bugs, loosen the soil, and add their own high-nitrogen fertilizer. I guess they reminded the folks who coined the phrase, Andy Lee and Pat Foreman, of the action of a tractor in terms of improving the soil. They even wrote a classic book on the subject, called—shock surprise!—Chicken Tractor.

Incidentally, Meg told us that she and Kelly named their chickens after heroines in Grateful Dead songs. Since we named one of ours Roxanne after the Police song, and one of our cats is named Layla for the Eric Clapton song and another is Marley after Bob Marley, we can’t help but approve! 




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