Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Friends have flown the Coop

edited to correct the blog link, it is not Dana's blog, but the blog of her friends- yet the story of another Suburban backyard chicken rancher!

Oh good lord, would you ever imagine I could be and that I am friends with, women who are sporting chicken coops in their backyards? In case you did not know, having chickens is all the rage right now. Suburban chicken coops are in vogue.

I am dumbfounded and still shaking my head about this. It sure seems like a lot of work and a ton of shoveling chicken shit for the freshest eggs. With the new Market District Giant Eagle offering free babysitting while I shop, this Mommie will be buying fresh eggs at the store. Case closed.

Michele has her own little chicken farm going in Las Vegas. Every other blog post nowadays is about her chicken drama. Those free range birds of hers are almost as crazy as she is. Almost. I can't believe the stuff she deals with, and now, she is turning to on line support forums about chickens. Get off the crazy train woman. You are shoving your hand up a chickens pupick to reach impacted and trapped eggs. Get thee to Whole Foods on Charleston for G-d's sake. Isn't having triplets plus one cuckoo enough? Oy vey, now she's adding hens and roosters to that whack-a-doo menagerie.

Now, my friend Dana has taken a shine to having backyard chickens too. She lives right here in Bexley and is on a mission to educate folks about the benefits of the chickens. Her coop is like Pottery Barn meets Hee Haw, it is wood stained, gorgeous, clean and best of all, it is in her backyard, not mine. I bet when Michele reads and sees this post, she is going to be just a tad jealous of this deluxe Ohio chicken operation.

There is a pre-conceived notion that raising chickens is loud, smelly and disturbing to the neighbors. The truth is, chickens are no more a nuisance than any other animals when properly taken care of. A well run chicken coop is quiet, and completely undetected to the rest of the neighborhood. Any opposition to having a backyard coop is just silly. Prohibiting backyard chickens would be like banning dogs and cats without any rhyme or reason.

Tonight is the big to do meeting in Bexley. I would be willing to bet that the folks that are anti-backyard chickens do not have a clue. Dana has been keeping a story like blog journal about the experience in the hopes of getting support and educating residents on the issue.

I am pretty sure if I arranged a play date with Michele, Dana and our 11 kids, there would be gluten free treats, (both women are GF) wine (we have 11 kids age 7 and under) and plenty of cluck talk. Can't we just gab about the newest products at Trader Joe's, or bitch about the season finale of Mad Men like all the other Mommies?

Michele is actually zoned for chickens- so she is literally "free to range" those birds. Dana on the other hand, is being challenged by the city and the current laws are not clear about the issue. I hope she gets to keep the coop because things like this should be judged on a case by case basis, and if anyone were to inspect her set up, they would be a little envious. Eggs aside, chickens are the new Golden Retriever in the suburban world.

In order to help bring awareness to Dana's plight, she hosted an open house. She invited anyone and everyone over to come and meet the chickens.

I had to go because I wanted to see first hand if she had lost her mind, or if in fact, the coop was cool. The kids loved the idea of greeting the chickens and when they saw she had refreshments, they were sold. Chickens and Cookies are a slam dunk.

The kids played in the backyard right along side the chicken coop.
r>The kids were much louder than the animals in question. If the city is going to ban backyard poultry, they should consider a noise ordinance on children too- just to be fair.

Do you hear any birds in this video?


No you do not, you only hear the squealing and high pitch whining of my dodo birds (children) who after our play date at the open house, might possibly be banned from Bexley.

For the record, the coop at Dana's is awesome. I would totally love it if I could pay my neighbor to have one like it. If I did not have to do anything other than fork over the funds, I would be a fan. I bet those eggs taste yummy first thing in the morning with some coffee. Who is game- Elsa? Laura? Julie?

Do not fear, I will not join this bandwagon. I have absolutely no desire to become a farmer. I will stick with my tomatoes and basil and call it quits. The only way I would have backyard chickens is if we moved to Utah, and I had a sister wife that was willing to handle that task. For now, Michele and Dana can be the pioneers in poultry.

I can appreciate their love of chicken ranching and leave it at that.

Gone are the days of my friendships with women that lolly gag all day at the club, gone are the shopping sprees, gone are the spa days, bye bye spending time sipping cocktails by the pool. My friends have flown the coop.


Michele S said...

OMG. I am hysterical. You HAVE to get chickens now, Helene. I am absolutely cracking up. See? Jewish people own chickens. Get yourself to the feed store, STAT.

Michele S said...

Oh, and her coop compared to my coop. Priceless. If the neighbors actually saw my operation, we'd be so shut down.

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Oy vey already Michele. I am so not on board with doing the work it takes to raise kids and a flock of chickens- however I am totally game for being your Sister wife with Dana and Adgrow, are there Synagogues in Sandy, Utah? There is a Nordstrom Rack there, so perhaps we could move!

Sabrina said...

I won't do it either. I don't have the patience for my cat, let alone chickens. My 3 (soon to be 4) kids would love it, no doubt, but I'd rather have a puppy. Ick. I don't want one of those either. Anyway, it gets so cold where I live, the chickens would probably freeze to death because I would have no help...we are surrounded by hourse farms, let me just tell you about THAT smell all summer. Gross. I can't wait to get out of here.

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