Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why did the chicken cross the road?


While many San Franciscans were racing (almost) naked through the streets we set out for an afternoon of chicken-gawking at the Alameda Chicken Coop Bicycling Tour.

We saw lovely hens and lovely gardens. I think this Speckled Sussex was my favorite. Her brown-and-white feathers were splashed with a dark iridescent blue-green. What a beauty!

It was interesting to hear how these urban farmers started keeping chickens. Many read ads on Craig's List, and got hens on a whim. I'm a fairly regular reader of the Farm and Garden section of Craig's List, and I can attest to the fact that people are always getting rid of chickens and roosters. There's a lot of trade in medical marijuana plants and growing gear, as well as horses and tack. Gotta love Craig's List for its sociological insights.

Alameda has wonderful architecture, and bike-riding gave us a great view of the lovely and often funky homes on the island.

All the homes that we visited had large back yards, so the chickens were allowed to roam freely. Some of the homes on the tour had elaborate vegetable gardens (with bees!), some had immaculately maintained lawns, some had beautifully planned (and labeled) native plant gardens.

The coops were great, too! Many people told stories about run-ins with raccoons, neighboring dogs, and hawks, and everyone had very secure night-time hen-houses. It was interesting to see how people addressed the challenge of keeping their hens safe.

I think many household pets were a bit jealous of the attention given to the hens.

Thanks to everyone who opened their yards and coops to the public! I know that Robb and I really enjoyed this day.


Anonymous said...

I love this posting! Thank you! THose are sure some fine looking chickens- and the coop almost makes me want to move in with them. We are having barn doors made soon- maybe they can be made with a sense of humor as well!


Stefaneener said...

Hey, I recognize some of these pictures. . . and my hens are almost never let out.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Awww...I wish we could have done the tour. Looks like it was a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

I am going to put up a sign at work that declares that "People who recycle are highly intelligent and attractive" on the recycling can, because the DUMBA**S I work with refuse to recycle their drink bottles and cans like they are supposed to, per company policy. Thank you for letting me rant. Grrrrrrrr!!!


Carol said...

What fun! How sweet the doggie is ... your narrative there made me laugh out loud! Some of the hens have terrific housing! I will have to check out the Farm section of Craigs list!


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