Thursday, July 26, 2007

City Council victory

Another report from the chicken field is that the very biggest hurdle to chicken law supremacy was cleared recently.

I went to the Public Health and Safety Committee meeting today and we've got a public hearing!! Yea! It's August 27th at 7pm. (A UFC member) asked me to go and give a few comments so I did. It's slightly scary to talk in front of some of those folks. They've also approved the use of City Chat for public survey. Sounds like things are really rollin'. I'm going to round up the troops now to write their council members and give their support. It's so exciting!

Also, thought you'd be interested that it looks like Millie (our golden sex-link) is laying now too. By the time you guys come back we'll all be up to our eyeballs in eggs! I can't wait!

The chicken world is going very well in our absence. Egg-cellent.


Report from the Radwood Egg Cabin's housesitter came in via email. I am blogging from Christchurch NZ to relay this incredibly exciting info to you all...

Guess what I found this morning? AN EMBRYO! Well...a presumably unfertilized embryo....

Yes indeed, one of your lovely hens has laid an egg. It is little, about the size of a large peach pit. And green. Sorry, I haven't yet taken a picture of it. I was quite excited, I shouted, and the chickens jumped. It was on the floor of the shed, near the door. I don't know who did it- they were all excited...though maybe because they miss human attention.

The timing is impeccable. Perhaps they felt your expectations and felt too pressured to perform. Left alone, they gave up and succumbed to their own (cloacal) pressure.
Excellent, well I hope to find another on my return tonight. Not sure when they prefer to lay.

The green egg must, by the biology of our hens, have been none other than POT PIE! Atta girl! Daddy's little hen came through.

He is very, very proud. So am I.

NZ is lovely, and cold. Delightful!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ordinance in Legalese

This just in! This is the ordinance that will be put in front of committee, and then up for public hearing! Remember, this is in the "No Livestock" section so it is phrased as an exception to the larger rule.


F. The prohibition to keeping chickens in this section also does not apply to the keeping of up to 6 female chickens while the animals are kept in such a manner that the following standards are complied with:

1. The chickens must be kept on a single-family parcel(s), and chickens may be kept on a parcel(s) under one ownership with more than one dwelling if all residents and the owner consent in writing to allowing the chickens on the property. When chickens are kept on a multi-dwelling parcel(s) the owner of the chickens shall keep a copy of the signed approval document for inspection upon request by animal control personnel.

2. The chickens shall be provided with a covered, predator-proof chicken house that is thoroughly ventilated, of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens, designed to be easily accessed, cleaned and maintained by the owners and be at least 2 square feet per chicken in size.

3. No chicken house shall be located closer than 20 feet to any residential structure occupied by someone other than the chicken owner, custodian, or keeper.

4. The chickens shall be shut into the chicken house at night, from sunset to sunrise.

5. During daylight hours the adult chickens shall have access to the chicken house and may have access to an outdoor enclosure on the subject property, adequately fenced to contain the chickens and to prevent access to the chickens by dogs and other predators.

6. Stored feed must be kept in a rodent- and predator-proof container.

7. It is unlawful for the owner, custodian, or keeper of any chicken to allow the animal(s) to be a nuisance to any neighbors, including but not limited to: noxious odors from the animals or their enclosure; and noise of a loud and persistent and habitual nature. Animal Control will determine whether or not a nuisance exists on a case-by-case basis.

Enforcement: Upon receiving a complaint of a possible violation within the city of Missoula, Animal Control will investigate, determine if a violation exists and when appropriate leave a notice of violation and order to take corrective action with the owner or temporary owner and provide them with written notice of the violations that require correction. Animal Control will revisit the owner’s address 10 days or more after the notice of violation is issued. If the owner has failed to comply with the ordinance, Animal Control may issue a citation to the owner, custodian or keeper for failure to comply with any applicable section of this chapter.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm on strike

The hens refuse to lay any eggs. I am getting frustrated!

They should start laying any moment, and I feel like I've been waiting forever. Every time I have to go buy eggs it is a painful reminder of my insufficiencies as a chicken owner. LAY! NOW!

So I'm on strike, too. I refuse to glorify chicken ownership via the blog, any further, until...

a) one of the chickens lays an egg
b) one of them does something extremely funny
c) one of them gets eaten by a bald eagle
d) we leave the country, trusting chicken keeping to our friends while we are away.

Let us see what happens first. Stay tuned!

P.S. Urban Fowl Subcommittee update will be posted on Friday. Exceptions for local politics must be made.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Ned the Naughty!

My friend's gorgeous Silver Laced Wyandotte has had a suspiciously large comb and wattles for a while. Sadly, the reality of this situation became apparent the other day when "Nettie" the hen transformed loudly and decisively into "Ned" the rooster. He spent the last two mornings crowing as loudly as physically possible- in a residential neighborhood, at 7:30am, where chickens of any kind are against the rules. No good!

Luckily, my friend's efforts to get Ned to a new home ASAP were very successful. He is being transported to a new happy home on a small farm tomorrow. She posted him on Freecycle and had a nice family offer to take him.

Farewell Ned! It was nice knowing you! Maybe your crowing is a sign that we'll soon get some EGGS.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Still no eggs

We returned triumphant from the great 2007 East Coast Niece Tour to seven very happy hens. I think somewhere in their tiny pea brains they missed our company. They've been clucking and cooing at us through the fence all afternoon. Our nice neighbors down the street took excellent (eggcellent?) care of the hens while we were gone- ten points! I harvested about a pound of strawberries and brought them over to them in thanks. Mmmmm... so good.

Alas, no eggs yet. I think my estimate of their laying start date was very optimistic. However, Mrs. Tweedy grew a big comb while we were out of town, which is a sign that she is reaching hormonal maturity. I think it will be any day now that we find an egg. You'll be the first ones to know!