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Our Urban Chickens: Should We Love Them or Eat Them?

23 Feb

chickenThankfully our seven lady friends started laying eggs again after a too long winter break. We were all getting worried that they had stopped laying eggs all together. OK, I knew the laying would come back, but how soon and at what level of production – that I didn’t know.

The eggs are coming again, and I’m thankful for them, but they are not coming at the same rate as they did when the ladies were 1 and 2. At their peak, they were laying two eggs every three days. Now I estimate they’re laying one every three days. Quite a difference. And it’s not their fault, production slows when they get older. And by older, I mean 3 years old.

So, I ask, should we eat our chickens or keep them as our pets? From where I’m sitting, we should eat them. We feed them scraps from our table, we give them leftovers from the garden, we enjoy their eggs, we use their poop for fertilizer. Together all of these steps are part of the natural cycle of life that we’re trying to re-create as much as we can on urban farms like ours. Well, to complete the cycle, we should eat the chickens that we have so carefully fed and that have so wonderfully fed us back with their delicious eggs. Eating them would complete the circle and, in my view, give them ultimate respect. What shows respect more than eating something and having it become part of you?

But wait, I’m only one person. Not all the members of our family agree that eating our chickens is a good idea, namely my daughters, ages 6 and 4. And also, our neighbor who we share the chickens with also doesn’t think this is a good idea. Probably the writing was on the wall when the girls and our neighbor named the ladies.

So, for now, they live on, and for now they are continuing to give us eggs. So we’re all happy with the status quo. For now.

Crazy Dog Digs Up Carrots

21 Feb

We have a dog that likes to dig. He digs, sticks his nose in the dirt, digs some more, spraying dirt all around while he does it, on you, on the sidewalk – it doesn’t matter as long as he gets to dig.

On this day, we let Latke into the garden so he could help us dig up most of the last of our carrots. By us, I mean me and my two daughters. Together we pulled in quite a haul of carrots, and it wasn’t the first time. We’ve been eating carrots from the garden all fall and through the winter so far. It’s been awesome because carrots are my daughters most favorite vegetable – having a continuous supply has allowed them to actually pack a vegetable in their lunches that they actually eat.

Latke kind of jumped around when it came to helping us out with his digging, so I think there are still some more carrots out there. I’ll probably try to dig up the rest without him. But in the meantime, we will enjoy the fruit of his labors – at least the fruit that he didn’t eat. He actually ate at least one carrot that I know of, maybe more.

Enjoy this slideshow of Latke at work with help from the girls.

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Over wintering spinach makes for yummy Sunday quiche

19 Feb

The spinach that has been huddling in my garden all winter came in handy this morning as we made quiche for guests. Had to go check the coop because we ran low on eggs. So glad the ladies have started laying again.


Latke Runs Away, Tries to Stop Me From Blogging About It

18 Feb


The girls wanted to go outside to play. They opened the door and stepped out into the rain and wind. They also let our dog Latke out and he immediately ran away, heading north as fast as he could go. I quickly got my shoes on and ran after, yelling at Lola to grab his leash.

Latke had done this before. If I don’t keep an eye on him, he will run away, either heading down the driveway or squeezing past our chicken coop. He’s a dog we adopted a year ago from Eastern Washington. A beagle mix, he has strong ideas about freedom and doing his own thing. He usually runs around the block, sometimes crosses the street and heads north or heads east. I usually find him after he’s taken himself for a little walk and likely pooped somewhere.

This time I couldn’t find him, but luckily the girls came outside and were yelling and screaming for him behind me. Apparently hearing them was enough to pull him  back home because when I got back, there he was, as happy as a lark and completely unapologetic. Thankfully he was safe and I didn’t have to explain to the girls what happens when a dog gets hit by a car. I saw it when I was a kid and it wasn’t pretty.

Then, when I decided to sit down to write about Latke’s adventure, he decided that was offensive and tried to prevent me from blogging. He literally stepped on my computer and looked at me with evil eyes. He’s a very dangerous beast. I had to sneak into the other room and use the other computer to do this… Wait, what’s that noise I hear? Who is that coming down the hall? Oh no……….

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