Counting chickens prior to hatching...well, LEARNING about hens, at least!

A brief update on the mortgage situation before moving on to more interesting news:

Gary the financial genius has thrown in the towel, and Tony the Caffeine Junkie has picked it up again.

TCJ is highly motivated to close the sale on our house for the following reasons:
* the highpoint seller in his office gets a reserved parking spot close to the building.
* Much of downtown Everett is under major construction, and parking is extremely scarce.
* TCJ wears shiny shoes, and you know dang well that he doesn't walk more than two blocks in those suckers unless they're handing out free quadruple lattes.

I'm thinking that those shoes are my lock for this sale. TCJ thinks we can close in about 10 days. Yup, he's motivated.

Jim and I attended a very crowded lecture tonight at the Everett Public Library about Backyard Poultry Flocks. I was envisioning spraying hens with that white foamy stuff you put on Xmas trees, but apparently that was inappropriate. Hmmm.

Laura Faley, a "livestock advisor", 4-H leader and chicken enthusiast from Hidden Meadow Ranch in Mt Vernon gave us all kinds of information and tips about raising chickens for fun and food. She was very tactful with her mostly-city-folk audience, and carefully skipped over the "meat chicken" slides in her presentation. Instead, she focused on the practical aspects of chicken-keeping, including breed selection, ordering tips, care of young chicks, materials and equipment needed, and care concerns.

My young friend Henry was completely enthused by the descriptions of the Jersey Giant chickens, which grow in mere weeks from cute-fluffy-chicklets to bigger-than-a-Sheltie, until we got to the fine print. "EAT THEM????!!!!" he yelped, to the delight of his mom and the rest of the adults surrounding him.

I have a feeling that there will be long discussions this week at Henry's house about where McNuggets actually come from (you don't really want to know, trust me).

For those of us who actually read labels, the prospect of eggs laid less than 24 hours ago in the backyard by chickens with names is MUCH more appealing than those white dozens from the grocery store which can be as much as 4 months old.

Myself, I can hardly wait.


  1. come to think of it, i haven't heard a rooster crow here. maybe once....i think the crows are disciplined here into being quiet. cuz loud is for america.

    honestly, there is a chicken coop next to the horse paddock, and i didn't even know it until a couple hens got out and started wandering around. man was i shocked. i looked thru the bushes and saw the coop and was amazed how very quiet chickens can be.

    i think it's very strange that eggs are not refrigerated in germany. it is shocking, to me, to see eggs on a normal grocery store aisle. isn't that dangerous!? and, if not, why do we refrigerate ours!? are ours that much older? and if so, is it really so bad? didn't god design the perfect freshness wrapper in the eggshell? curious..

  2. I actually know some of the answers to this, thanks to information from Laura's workshop:

    In Everett there is a city ordinance allowing 6 hens and NO roosters. Roosters are the noisy ones. Hens can be conversational, but their only noisy outbursts are the 15-30 seconds immediately following the laying of an egg. Theories about the noise outburst are numerous:

    "Oh, look at the lovely egg I just laid."
    "Oh, do NOT look at the egg, lying there vulnerable in the straw. Look at me instead."
    "Holy watermelons, Batman! That was a doozie."

    Yes, you can have eggs w/no roosters (ovulation doesn't depend on males), but you will not have fertilized eggs which can grow into chicks.

    Also, since non-fertilized eggs are not ALIVE, they do not ROT. They just dry out. Unfertilized eggs stay fresh without refrigeration for a month. Grocery stores in the states keep eggs longer than that w/refrigeration--yuk. Local fresh eggs aren't brought to you in a gas-guzzling truck from Arkansas, and because they don't require electricity to keep them cold.

    And they taste WAAAAAAAAY better!

    I think god gave the heavenly engineers gold stars for the design of eggs and apples. Indeed, perfect foods.


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