Sunday, May 04, 2008


There are not many things much cuter than a nearly-new, baby chick (this one is just a few days old - with egg tooth still attached to its beak).

Besides watching British mini-series whilst working for the past many months, I also listened to a number of books on tape. These two quite caught my interest. I've always been a fan of Barbara Kingsolver's writing, and this memoir (although a bit preachy in places) was compelling - and the hilarious chapter on 'turkey sex' was an added treat.

Michael Pollan was new to me, but once I started listening to "The Omnivore's Dilemma" I couldn't put it down. Engaging and enlightening, told with self-depreciating humor and fascinating experiences. Between the two, I was totally motivated to 'unplug' from the Big American Food Industry where-ever possible. In this instance, by raising my own free-range, organic egg supply. ( I see a number of blogs popping up with similar un-plugged themes, this one by local artist friend Angela who has an even more interesting challenge since she lives in an apartment. )

Luckily, I do have a yard, albeit a modest, suburban one. Seattle sponsors an Urban Chicken program (and do click on the link. Insane chicken houses featured - from the charming to the elaborately ridiculous... This is Seattle, after all) and even with my modest land holding I can have up to *three* hens in my very own back yard. Alas, no chicken palaces for me - I am converting an old, wooden dog house into a coop to house my three chosen chickens. [If you are interested, the center chicken is an Araucana and the outside two are both blue-lace Wyandottes... I opted for a bit fancier chicken with 'good' egg production rather than for your typical, less visually-interesting Rhode Island Red that lays gangbusters... I'll be able to see the coop from my studio window and want to maximize my visual enjoyment - both of the actual hens, and of my blue-green and brown eggs...]

One of my POBL cohorts, who has a very respectable flock of fancy chickens of her own is allowing my 'babies' to grow up with her new chickens this year (I am not set up with cage, feeders, heat lamps, a barn to put them all into, etc...!) I have visitation rights, and when they are large enough to be 'out', they will come here to my backyard, and I will see how we fare adding fowl to our organic, backyard experience!

If nothing else, I'll have ready chicken reference to sketch.


Angela Rockett said...

So cute! And the prospect of fresh eggs in the near future. Can't wait to meet the chicks when I come pick up some herbs.

Soozcat said...

Oho. Good luck keeping Miss V away from your garden now. :)

dinahmow said...

Tara's got chookies! Tara's got chookies! Lucky Tara. And what super breeds!
For a laugh(the info is really geared towards my climate) go to my March 14 post;it might be of use.
Now...exhibition prints to title, sign,frame...gotta fly!

dinahmow said...

Finally had time to go to that link. They are some de luxe chookenaria! Wait til I show The Man! (Of course, he will be a little preoccupied with the car for a while...)

Rima said...

Hello Tara, thanks for your visit.. and WELL DONE for finishing your mammoth task! I love these chicks and remember learning about the egg tooth at school :) Won't it be lovely to have your own eggs. We have lovely yellow-yolked ones from a local lady who keeps them here and they are so tasty I eat them most days!
Hope you enjoy your newfound freedom and the sun :)
All bests from here to you x Rima

Alina Chau said...

Ooh my!! The chickens are sooo CUTE!

Ash said...

Chickens are great fun - very entertaining to watch and friendly, not to mention eating scraps and producing fertiliser -all that and eggs too!
No problem about package - delighted to have it to look forward to :~)

clairesgarden said...

they are very cute, hope they grow good for you!!

clairesgarden said...

they are very cute, hope they grow good for you!!

michelle said...

You did it! I know you've been waiting to get your own chickens,can't wait to see them when they come home.

Hayden said...

wow - I'm so glad Andrea connected us - I'm sure I'll be coming here a lot to see how you're doing and what I can learn from you!

Chooks! very very cool!