Monday, April 29, 2013

My Blogaversary and the Chickens

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my daily blogging streak.  Yes, starting with my post of April 29, 2011 I have blogged daily. Through thick, through thin, even through the aftermath of a flood (thanks to us having been on vacation, and our neighborhood never losing power).  Will I go for Year 3?  I don't quite know.  I don't know how much of an achievement daily blogging is - perhaps it is more an indicator of how crazy I am.

After all, I have a memoir to write.  I made my 10,000. word goal on my Chicken Memoir for the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo (10,300 words to be exact) and just might sign on again for July.

It's been quite an experience starting to write a memoir of growing up in New York City and then totally changing my life around by moving to rural Arkansas and living on 34 acres.  I've found I'm far from the only person who has written about experiences with chickens - which I owned and loved -hence, my "chicken memoir".

I have been away from chickens for almost 30 years, and times have changed tremendously.  Thanks to the site Mental Floss, I found out today just how out of touch with the chicken world I am.

I knew there was such a thing as urban chickens.  I've heard chickens several times while exercise walking through the West Side of Binghamton  (a household in Binghamton, NY can own up to four chickens.) I don't live in Binghamton, and I don't know if chickens are legal in my town of Union.  But more and more, cities are legalizing chickens - at least, hens.

There are chicken blogs, chicken message boards, and now - chicken motels.

Yes.  You see, urban chicken owners aren't necessarily into livestock for earning a living, unlike farmers, who need to schedule their lives around their animals and their crop cycles.  Some animals need a lot of care - for example, dairy animals   need to be milked every 12 hours. Chickens need to be cared for daily.  Eggs need to be collected. City people want chickens but also still want to vacation.  So what happens to the chickens when it is vacation time?

When my spouse and I lived in rural Arkansas, we were able to take short vacations only because one of our two neighbors would look in after our chickens, ducks and geese.  They would feed them, collect eggs (which they kept, of course) and lock them up at night.  We did things for them if they had to be away.  That's how things work in the country.

But if you are an urban chicken keeper, your neighbor might not be interested in sitting your chickens.  Hence, chicken boarding.

I am intrigued by the idea, although I can quickly see some downsides. But, it does make sense to offer a service for which there is a demand.

A retirement career for my spouse and me? My spouse, quite honestly, has missed chickens in his lie more than I have.  I don't think I'm ready to restart my life with chickens.  At least, right now.

But it would be nice to think there might be chickens in our lives again, one day.

But, first, I must ask.  If you run a chicken motel, what would be your chicken turn down service?


  1. I can't even imagine what a chicken turn-down service might be--but I am fascinated by the idea of chicken hotels! I know a few people who have chickens here in suburban New Jersey and I'm pretty sure they have friends sit for them if they're away. I wonder if they'd use a chicken hotel!

  2. I saw that article, too, and the town where it is being done is EUGENE, Oregon!!

  3. Howie here. Saw that article too, and the town where this is happening is EUGENE, Oregon!!

  4. Howard here. Saw that article too, and the town where it is happening is EUGENE, Oregon!!

  5. I see a major problem with boarding chickens. The pecking order might cause chaos. They can be unrelenting to inferior hens. I think you'd need to give them separate enclosures. We boarded out beloved dog once. Never again. He returned a sad and defeated dog, ill in every way. Keep your retirement happy.

  6. what a great blog to celebrate your 2nd Blogaversay with - Congratulations :)

  7. Wow! I know how challenging it can be to blog daily for a full month, so TWO YEARS... congrats!

    I also saw that Mental Floss post - find a niche market & provide a service, right?

    My chicken motel turn-down service would include a nice little portion of warmed organic grain mash (I've heard that chickens are fond of mash) with a garnish of finest mealworms and carefully selected grit.

    Keep blogging! I'll 'see' you at WordCount Blogathon in June.

  8. Congrats on TWO YEARS! I know how fatiguing it can be to post daily during a blog challenge, so this is quite an accomplishment.

    I saw that Mental Floss piece, too - he saw a niche market need & filled it.

    So my chicken motel turndown service would include sifted West Texas dust to fluff in (contains dust from several states further west) and gently warmed organic grain mash topped with fine mealworms and choice grit.

    "See" you at the WordCount Blogathon in June!


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