Thursday, December 27, 2007


Heee hee... this post was for the baby blog! Bye-bye!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hens in the snow

The hens are holding up extremely well in the cold weather, ice and snow. They seem to relish eating snow, kicking at it, and they generally are undaunted by sub-freezing temperatures. We have noticed that when it is really, really cold (like below 10 degrees) the hens often stand on one foot like a flamingo to keep the other foot tucked up into their warm feathers. But that doesn't keep them from strutting about happily- it just seems to be a sensible habit for the cold ground when they want to stand still.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Article in Missoulian

Today's article in the Missoulian focuses mostly on important things like subdivisions and the retirement of a long time councilman. However, at the end, it goes over some chicken news...

The early visit by Santa - looking suspiciously like Mike Jakupcak, who earlier came to a meeting in a chicken costume - cheered council members already peppy from the tribute to Reidy. Jakupcak wished council members a “Merry Chickenmas” in a variation of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“The chickens were all huddled outside the city limits in pens / Awaiting the decision to stay put or gather speed, put on mittens and en masse descend,” he read.

But they probably won't descend en masse. At least one council member said passage of the ordinance will probably not lead to a sudden influx of chickens in city limits.

Article in Missoulian, in full

To celebrate, today we are giving the hens some stale bread and delicious bird seed. Tasty!

Monday, December 17, 2007


The chicken ordinance passed the city council tonight, with a 7 to 5 vote. Yeee haw!

At the last possible second, one of the 5 dissenters changed his vote to "yes" (making it 8 to 4) and thus enabling him (by an odd procedural rule) to call for a recount within the next two city council meetings. This means that when the new council takes their seats in January, this council member can call a re-vote.

This is a mean spirited and ultimately pointless attempt to get the chicken ordinance repealed. The new council that will take its seats is actually more pro-chicken then the currently active council.

Take that, suckers! Chickens rule!

Also- I came to the meeting late so I missed this, but Matt informed me that a man in a full Santa suit with the beard and everything got up at the start of the council and read a "T'was the night before christmas" adaptation urging a pro-chicken vote. I am so, so sad I missed this spectacle but I am addicted to my prenatal water aerobics class which had a small time overlap with the start of the council meeting.

Rumor has it that the local media will be publishing the poem in full tomorrow. I will link to it ASAP if that happens.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One step closer to victory!

The chicken ordinance took a giant leap for chicken-kind today- we are almost there! Here is a reprint of the article in about the exciting developments. To sum up if you don't want to read it; the deadlock was broken and next week we'll get a real vote.

Missoula City Council’s Public Safety and Health committee Wednesday morning approved the urban chicken ordinance, including an amendment to require annual $15 permits, sending the contentious proposal to the Council floor for a final vote Monday evening.

The vote went 5 to 4, with Dave Strohmaier, Stacy Rye, Bob Jaffe, Heidi Kendall and Jerry Ballas all in favor.

If passed by the Council Monday, the ordinance would allow Missoulians to keep as many as six female chickens on their property, subject to certain standards and conditions.

The proposal was approved after Councilman Jon Wilkins proposed adding another amendment to the ordinance requiring Missoulians who want to raise chickens to receive permission from all immediate neighbors first. “I think it’s important to keep good neighbors,” he said.

But that motion failed by the same 5 to 4 vote. “I appreciate John’s effort,” Kendall said, “but I would oppose the amendment because there is no similar requirement for dogs” and other pets, which pose the same allergy problems that opponents of the chicken ordinance claim of chickens.

(ME!!) of East Missoula, a proponent of urban chickens, stood and made the point that requiring the permission of neighbors and the associated paperwork and management would just create another headache. “You’re actually greatly increasing the financial obligations of the city.”

City Council will meet and vote Monday, Dec. 17 at the Council Chambers on Spruce Street at 7:00 p.m.

For the actual article with a lovely photo of a chicken (not ours), visit the article itself on

Sunday, December 9, 2007

How to get the chickens back into the yard

6 out of 7 chickens agree- being bribed with tasty seeds is great.

1 of 7 chickens requires a more energy intensive method.

(note: Matt claims there is nothing funnier in the world than watching a pregnant woman trying to catch a crazed chicken. After watching a video of myself, I agree.)

A rainbow of eggs

Here is the photo of the egg color variety we are currently harvesting. Pale sage is Pot Pie, white is Beldar, the pinky-flesh browns are Wyandottes, the darker brick tint browns are Rockettes, and Tweedy laid the pale brown big diameter egg in the closest egg nook on the right side- see how it fills the compartment? She's a "large caliber" layer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Beldar becomes a hen

I had a crazy dream last night that Beldar was really a rooster, and that we had all these baby chicks running around with black and white afros. It was weird. I woke up confused, and then I had to pee so I forgot about the dream for a while. That was at 6am when the world was dark and asleep.

At around 8:30 before I left the house, I checked the nestbox to collect eggs. To my utter shock, there was a white egg in there. A perfectly shaped, petite, white egg. I picked it up and examined it. It is almost translucent and very delicate feeling. Our Beldar, our spastic funky weirdo polish trainwreck of a chicken, has become a real hen! I'm so proud.

The white egg is a perfect counterpart to the pale sage green, peachy tan, and pale brick colors of the other girls' eggs. I took a photo of their gorgeous palette of eggs and I'll get it up on the blog soon.

My hope is that now that Beldar lays eggs, the other hens will respect her just a little bit more. Maybe that is unrealistic, but it is worth it to hope.