hens in, goats out
July 10, 2014 11:11 AM   Subscribe

The rice link is great! I particularly loved the rice-hulling inventor.
posted by tavella at 11:30 AM on July 10, 2014

In this morning's paper there was a little news bit about a concern called Rent-a-Chicken. Yep. They'll bring you a coop and a couple of hens.
posted by kozad at 11:47 AM on July 10, 2014

Overall, such incredibly positive articles. Yay! Sometimes reporters get snarky about urban farming and the like.

Super-bummer about Detroit. After seeing so many articles on the city and the whole emergency manager miasma, I don't know what is going to change that city but an all out revolt by residents.

That said, so far this season, I have:

-canned 5 jars of pickles with 8 more to go this weekend and eaten my fair share of cucumbers with hummus
-harvested about 100 pounds of tomatoes
-just started harvesting squash
-harvested my first watermelon this season and she's a beauty
-gotten approximately 12 dozen eggs from my chickens
-canned 2 dozen jars of loquat jam
-canned a dozen jars of peach jam
(I also have bees but they're not ready to give up honey just yet).

I live in a suburban part of Los Angeles but I lived on a huge working farm for a while. I have to say that after a very long day of working with consent forms and subjects and blood volumes, coming home to take care of the chickens and my little farm is quite the respite.

For all those who would snicker at it and call me a hipster, this micro-mini farm gives me sanity that almost nothing else does.

BTW: the L.A. MeFi anniversary meetup is at my little farmlet if you're in the area!
posted by Sophie1 at 12:29 PM on July 10, 2014 [7 favorites]

Bees constructed a hive inside the little hut my sisters and I built on the property behind our house.
It was a place of fascination and amazement for us: we sat nearby, in the shade of the alders, perfectly still, while the bees lit upon us then flew away.
We discovered another hive, of bumblebees, built in the eaves of a mysterious clapboard shed owned by the water department that sat squat and thrumming
with electricity next to the gravel road that lead to our house. Those bees were less friendly, and we steered clear of them.
We also steered clear of our enormous garden, summer mornings and afternoons, when it became the domain of the bees.
In autumn, my father uprooted the tomato plants and hung them from the joists in our cellar.
I will forever remember the delicious odor of those last ripening tomatoes, those we ate green, and the summer punctuated by bees.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:41 PM on July 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Heh. I had just posted the lettuce article to my husband's facebook. He built a super-powered sprouting light and it's step-dactyl's turn to choose what we grow -- we were thinking lettuce since it'll sprout up quick and she likes "salad" i.e., lettuce leaves and ranch dressing.

I want to know if the lettuce room can be done on the same scale with flowering plants - hand pollination? captive bees?
posted by polly_dactyl at 12:50 PM on July 10, 2014

Crazy about no-goats-in-Detroit. I mean, you can have every other shitty thing imaginable in parts of the city (which gets a not-entirely-deserved bad rap), but not goats. This is totally selective prosecution on the part of the Detroit code compliance people---'well, let's see, I am powerless in the face of mounds of refuse from evicted tenants, and square miles of dilapidated structures, but now here are some people who obviously have money, and therefore something to lose, so I had better "enforce" some compliance out of them.'
posted by resurrexit at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I lived in Davis, which allowed up to 6 female chickens, no male chickens. Here in Portland, we are allowed up to 3 female chickens, no male chickens. The crowing of a rooster can be loud, I get that. But we don't ban children or cars because they're loud. We create noise ordinances.

If we want to be able to rely on chickens for yard eggs and/or occasional meat, we need them to make baby chickens. For that you need roosters. Let me tell you about the birds and the bees....
posted by aniola at 1:28 PM on July 10, 2014

Yeah, no, roosters are a shitty thing to do to your neighbors unless you live in a farming community where everyone is getting up at 430am anyway. Otherwise it's a huge nuisance.
posted by elizardbits at 3:00 PM on July 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love chickens and have had them for a long time and any time we ended up with a rooster the little guy most usually ended up being a little shithead and the crowing was annoying.

But that's just me :-)
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:06 PM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd love to keep hens, but here in Arlington (VA), there's a required 100-foot set back from the property line for any hen house. The lot my house sits on is only 80 feet wide and 200 feet long. Unfortunately, the task force that the county board charged with reviewing the issue last year came up with regulations that weren't much of an improvement:

Maximum of 4 hens
No roosters
Set back requirement of at least 20 feet from property lines
Residents must file plans for coop and its placement
The majority of adjacent property holders (within 50 feet of the coop) must consent
Coop inspection would be required before hen occupancy

So unless the pro-side wins out in the local chicken wars, there will be no delicious fresh eggs in my future.
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:21 PM on July 10, 2014

I can have up to 25 hens. No roosters. You do know that roosters aren't needed for eggs, right? Also, roosters do not just crow at 4:30 a.m. They crow pretty much anytime they damn well feel like it. Not appropriate for the suburbs.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:01 PM on July 10, 2014

Hens will not lay fertile eggs without a rooster.

There is no need to create a separate rooster ban ordinance as noise ordinances already cover crowing implicitly.
posted by aniola at 10:22 PM on July 10, 2014

People generally don't look forward to a long tussle trying to prove that a particular rooster broke the noise limits. It's a lot simpler just to ban roosters. If you want to breed chickens, as opposed to eggs, move somewhere rural.
posted by tavella at 11:13 PM on July 10, 2014

We have a summer place, and it's out in the country so there's lots of chicken action around. I discovered I would have been a horribly late farmer in ye olde tymes, as I get used to the roosters and just sleep through all the noise in a matter of days.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:37 AM on July 11, 2014

I came back just to note that I keep thinking about the goats in Detroit. It drives me nuts when something that ACTUALLY WORKS and is cheaper than the alternative is obstructed because people don't have the good sense to look past a regulation.

posted by Sophie1 at 12:13 PM on July 11, 2014

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