Most of my online time lately has been spent on Facebook, or just trying to keep up reading the articles that interest me from Salon.com or Real Food Media Network blogs or various chicken-related information. I plan whole blogposts in my head while on my way to doing something else, then when I’m home I’m too busy catching up with everything else (e-mail, cooking, washing dishes, feeding dogs and cats, laundry, sleep) that blogging just doesn’t get the attention I mean to devote to it. And when home on weekends (Sunday and Monday), I tend to just sit and watch the chickens. I didn’t know how much fun chickens were going to be! They’re beautiful, funny, fascinating.
Speaking of chickens, we got up to 25, but one died this week, so we’re down to 24. It was one of the nameless Ameraucana hens (nameless because it’s hard to come up with distinctive, meaningful names for birds that look so similar). She seemed a little wobbly at night for a few days but fine during the day. Then after about 3 days I found her dead under a shelf in the chicken coop. David dug a hole in the front pasture and we buried here there. I was sad, but everyone who raises chickens tells me, sometimes they just die. I think now it could have been that she was egg-bound, meaning she couldn’t pass an egg for some reason, and that killed her.
The rest, however, are doing great. The three blue Shamo/Sumatra pullets are starting to lay and starting to get used to me. The four wyandottes (2 silver-laced, 2 gold-laced) are also starting to lay. It’s hard to know for sure who is doing what, but new baby eggs of various colors (lighter and darker pink/brown, and some whiter ones) are being laid. Of the 3 chicks brooded by Cinnalaya and hatched on Nov. 8, two are pullets and one is undeniably a cockerel. He’s gorgeous! Daddy is Boris, the Spangled Russian Orloff, and Mommy is no doubt Little Red, the red leghorn. (Big Red, her brother, may have fertilized the other eggs before he was culled. The two pullet chicks look like cubalaya/red leghorn crosses.) Zimmy no longer tries to eat the chickens; he settles for chicken poop and, when not watched closely enough, chicken feed (currently organic soy-free layer pellets from Modesto Milling). He’s come a long way.
Aside from chickens, work at the Paul Bunyan Furniture Annex, dogs, David, and worrying about money, I’m generally interested in the state of the world and how things work. I went with David last Monday night to read a statement against fracking to the Fort Bragg City Council and was seen on TV by a work colleague. Oh that’s right, I was going to send my statement to some newspapers. Got to do that today.
I’m reading scienceblogs, listening to science-, skeptical-, paleo diet- and other fascinating podcasts. This is my solution to long-term insomnia and living with a snorer.
I finally cancelled my subscriptions to the Weston A. Price Foundation chapter email lists I was on because I couldn’t stand all the anti-science claptrap that gets tangled up with some really good nutrition and health information and warm community support. Darn. I went through my skeptical-of-vaccines stage and studied my way through it. One day I’ll tackle that ginormous subject in its own blogpost, but the Science-Based Medicine vaccine post archives wouldn’t be a bad place to start for an education on the subject. I was getting tired of censoring myself because it’s not acceptable to question the conventional wisdom of the “alt nutrition” world that rejects proven medical interventions like vaccines. (Aren’t we all supposed to be in favor of preventive medicine? Other than nutrient-dense real food, what better defines preventive medicine than vaccines?!)
I no longer care to read credulous accounts of silliness such as how McDonald’s hamburgers don’t rot!!!! (Oh, yes they do, if there is sufficient moisture in the environment to promote fungal and/or bacterial growth. Just like grass-fed hamburgers you cook at home.) And don’t get me started on homeopathy. Unfortunately that’s the level of critical thinking on these e-mail lists sometimes. Disappointing. There is so much good information on nutrition and health coming from WAPF, but unfortunately the WAPF world is a little too “big-tent” in the sense of encompassing woo-woo flakiness and bordering on being anti-science. But I guess any mass movement is going to have a few people on the fringe, by definition.
Now, on to some chicken photos: