Tag Archives: Chickens

Chickens are smarter than you think. A reblogged article from Treehugger.com

I just had to share this article from Treehugger.com this is one of the reasons I refuse to eat chicken or eggs not from my own birds.  

“Chickens out-perform toddlers in math tests

The most recent outbreak of salmonella has got people talking a lot about poultry. With chicken still being shipped out of Foster Farms, the contaminated factory in California, and put onto supermarket shelves, it’s clearer than ever that consumers need to take responsibility for the quality and safety of the meat they consume (if they choose to eat meat at all). The industry only cares about itself. As Mark Bittman wrote last week in the New York Times, ‘This is not a shutdown issue, but a “We care more about industry than we do about consumers” issue.’

The reasons to buy high quality, ethically raised chicken go beyond the risk of salmonella. In an article titled “Are Chicks Brighter Than Babies?” Nicholas Kristof challenges the inhumane way in which most poultry is raised. Perhaps it’s harder to feel sympathy for a clucking, pecking hen than it is for a brown-eyed calf, but chickens and geese are truly fascinating creatures. While reading the following list, you’d think I’m talking about monkeys, not hens and geese.

 

  • Geese mate for life, share family duties, and even try to comfort each other when approaching the chopping block.
  • Hens can count at least to six. Even chicks can do basic arithmetic, so if you shuffle five items in a game, they mentally keep track of additions and subtractions and choose the area with the higher number of items. They do better than toddlers in these tests.
  • Hens can delay gratification. Researchers gave hens the choice of two keys, one that waited two seconds and gave the hen 3 seconds of food, and the other that waited six seconds but offered 22 seconds of food. Soon 93 percent of hens opted for the longer delay with more food.
  • Hens can multitask, using one eye to forage for food and the other looking out for predators.
  • Hens are social animals and recover more quickly from stress when in the company of others.
  • Hens have a “Machiavellian tendency” to adjust what they’re saying according to who’s listening. They can share precise information about the location of food and presence of predators using specific sounds and calls.
  • Hens have an intriguing ability to understand that an object, when taken away and hidden, continues to exist.
  • Hens can also recognize a whole object even when it is partly hidden. It was thought only humans could do this.

 

I’m not tackling the basic question of whether or not to eat meat, but I’m sure we can all agree that animals should not be hurt unnecessarily. These are not “birdbrains” that we’re dealing with, but intelligent creatures who do not deserve to spend their lives “jammed into tiny cages in stinking, fetid barns.” If our consumer habits are creating horrible environments for animals in captivity, then those habits need to change.”

© Katherine Martinko

Image

My old chickens enjoying a treat of Saskatoon berries.

Advertisements

Happy Earth Day!

Image

 

Hope everyone is having a lovely Earth Day! Unfortunately I don’t have any exciting Earth Day plans since I have to work tonight but I spent the morning outside enjoying the sun and potting some flowers to transplant outside once it’s warmer! 

 

 

Image

 

The chickens have also been out enjoying the sun! 

Image

 

That’s all for now! Hope you all have a great day! 

Introduction!

So this is my first attempt at blogging! I’m sure everyone’s first blog starts the exact same way.. AND since it is my first post I figured I’d say a little something about who we are and the purpose of this blog!

First off,  my name is Sara and my boyfriend is Shadoe (He’s actually got a real life hippie name! I’m a little jealous). A little over a year ago we were living and working up in the Yukon Territory of Canada, which is an extremely beautiful place, and I urge everyone to take a trip up north at some time in your life! Anyways up in the north there’s really not much else to do but go hiking, fishing, and other outdoorsey stuff, seeing how you’re in the middle of nowhere! So when the weather was crappy we used to stay inside and watch our  2-3 TV channels, one of which used to show all kinds of eco documentaries. Well we fell down the rabbit hole.. I couldn’t get enough and when we moved back to Edmonton, AB I started watching and reading everything I could over the next year. Food Inc., The Corporation, No Impact Man, Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer, just to name a few. We decided that we needed to change the way we were living. It started out very slowly and very difficultly. I remember so many arguments over who was doing more, or what was ok, what was not ok. It was and still is a tough process to go through. To try to live consciously but to also be happy and ok with the choices your making.

At that time I was studying Neuroscience at the University of Alberta, but it just did not feel right.. I felt I was trying to make myself be something I wasn’t and wasn’t sure who I wanted to be. I quit after that one semester back and got a job. I had a Biology degree from the U of A but I could not find a single job I was interested in (probably cause I did not know what my interests were) and like so many other grads found a job in an unrelated yet booming field.. Working for an oil company.. I lasted about 4 months there until I found I could not justify it any longer and I quit. My boyfriend started his own construction business which we are hoping to one day turn into building Eco-Friendly homes and I decided to stay home and start really trying to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

Our new backyard! Much better than the cement slab behind our old apartment..

We moved from the city to the country. I started a garden in my yard, which for my first time turned out very sucessful! I even got a couple chickens from a neighbour and my landlord, who lives next door, let me clean out and use their old chicken coop which hadn’t been used in 10 years. I started baking and cooking everything from scratch (and using only organic ingredients of course!). I tried my hand at homemade pesticides, homemade laundry soap, homemade everything! I got an old sewing machine and started sewing my own clothes, mending old clothes, making rugs, and reusable sandwich bags!

The very first sprout to emerge in my garden. It’s a sunflower that will end up being 8′ tall! You can see our tiny house in the background too!

It’s been almost 3 months since I left my job and I couldn’t be happier. My boyfriends business is doing well, and although it’s a lot of work I love our new lifestyle! As the fall and winter approaches I am going to be looking for a part time job, since there won’t be as much to do around the house without the garden and chickens (I have to give them back for the winter so they don’t freeze). But I’ve discovered organic stores nearby that I’d feel proud to work at.

CHICKENS!! They were timid about going outside at first (they came from battery cages) and they walked a little funny but now they love it out there!

I wanted to start a blog to show others out there going through the process of making changes to become more sustainable that everyone struggles and to not give up because it gets so much easier over time! And it just feels so rewarding when you look back to see how far you’ve come! We still have a ways to go before obtaining our dream of living completely off the land and creating our own energy and harvesting our own food, water, etc.

Knowing that there are so many others out there willing to help and work together makes it a lot easier to see our dream one day becoming a reality!

~EcoCouple