Tuesday, November 24, 2009

are hens that live in tiny cages miserable? I don't know....let's do a double blind placebo study.

Let's hire a consultant, form a committee, call PETA (because they always have such helpful hints,) take a series of votes, write some letters, and discuss it until the problem solves itself. I'm frustrated by some people's unwillingness to make a decision. They don't want to make a mistake, get blamed, or move forward, so they opt for paralysis by analysis. Even when the answer to the question is so very obvious.

OK, so you can catch up, here's a link to the article that our local newspaper picked up off of the AP.

If you are still reading, then you are either killing time pretending to work and your boss can't see your computer screen, or you might be just a little concerned about the hens.

Here's the thing about doing a study to figure out if caged hens, forced to lay an egg every day for 18-24 months and then gassed and ground into dog food (or fast food chicken nuggets) are miserable. It's a stall because the industry that is responsible for this process makes a lot of money. They give us those dollar a dozen grocery store eggs. And between their need to make money and our need for cheap groceries, there's going to be some backlash when the chicken farms get shut down and our crappy grocery store eggs go up in price. So we do a study to determine if the hens mind being caged until they turn two and then ground up. I can't wait for the results. Who knows, maybe we'll find out that the hens really don't mind at all. And we can move forward with our dollar a dozen crappy grocery store egg buying ways.

Which is really actually good for me. I like the big colorful eggs I get from local farmers. They treat their hens well, feed them kitchen scraps, let them roam around a bit, and never ever put them in a tiny cage. These hens lay eggs for 5+ years. Their eggs are full of nutrients, don't cause heart disease, and taste divine. My little family eats between 3 and 4 dozen a week. For awhile we were even trying to rehabilitate our rescued white labrador retriever, Max, by cracking a raw egg on top of his dog food every morning. I wouldn't feed grocery store eggs to my dog. Even Max got the good stuff.

At some point, people are going to wake up and realize that cheap groceries are also mostly crappy groceries. Or not. Maybe Darwin had a point.

Good luck with the study.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


We have tee shirts! Head to the CLUC facebook page to find out how to get yours. If you live in Cedar Rapids, CLUC expects to see you at the next council meeting dressed in egg-yolk yellow. Got Eggs??

Our groundswell (as requested by council member Monica Vernon) is sure swelling. The facebook page has been up for exactly one week and we have 325 fans.

Did you know that you can breed pit bulls in your backyard here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but you can't yet have 6 hens? Hmmmm.......

Here's a few other things that most folks don't seem to know;

Roosters crow. Hens do not. Ever. A hen has never crowed in the history of the world. I promise.

The poop from a hen is useful as garden compost. The poop from a dog needs to be sealed off in plastic and taken to the landfill. It's toxic. And while we are talking poop....5 hens create as much as one 25 pound dog.

You don't need a rooster on site to get a hen to lay an egg.

If you don't have a rooster on site, there will never ever ever be a baby chick in your omelet. I promise.

Hens do less to attract rats and raccoons than your open trash bin does. Let's ban trash.

Hens don't want to run away. They like it at home. If they get loose, they'll be headed back to the coop at sundown. They have no desire to be out in the world when it gets dark.

My lovely children have asked if they can go to the meeting to see the people who are going to vote about whether or not we get to have chickens in the spring.

I said yes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cedar Rapids gets her Hens! It's All Happening....

CLUC (Citizens for the Legalization of Urban Chickens) will address the Cedar Rapids city council soon. Then they'll talk about us behind our backs, ask questions, get answers, and if we think we can make it fly, we'll ask them to change the ordinance prohibiting backyard hens for egg-laying and pet-having purposes.

I get to address the council. I have promised to behave.

Oh, how I wish I had a chicken hat to wear to the meeting.

If you are a lover of all things chicken and would like to see some hens in my backyard (or yours, of course) please take this survey. We are using the results to help the cause.

Don't be afraid. It's only four questions.

Tori and Zoe have started putting chickens in the background of their family portraits. Never underestimate the power of a child and her crayons....they are manifesting their new pet chickens.