Thursday, February 25, 2016

Countryside Network

Countryside, publisher of Backyard Poultry magazine among others, launched a new network. I'm pleased that they included two of my articles and a positive mention of my book in their first post about chickens, Rule Your Roost.

There's a lot of useful information there, from legal aspects to coop design. For those who are working to get laws changed to make chicken-keeping legal, Jono Miller's Dozen Tips to Legalize Backyard Chickens in Your Community are especially helpful.

Free Download, or view on the web.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pacific Poultry Breeders show

Jeannette Beranger of the Livestock Conservancy put the photos she took at the Pacific Poultry Breeders poultry show in Modesto into a slide show and set them to music! Nice job, Jeannette!

The show was terrific, more than 3,200 birds. It was also the APA National, so there was an APA banquet and meeting. New officers, led by president John Monaco. Retiring president Dave Anderson was praised for his work bringing the APA into financial stability. He was the right man at the right time, serving twice as president. Thanks, Dave.

John Monaco has years of experience and will move forward with APA's programs. I anticipate a great year for Standard breed poultry.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Feral chickens of Kauai

Nature reports on Hawaii's feral chickens:

Rich Reid/Natl Geographic Creative
A wild rooster in Kauai, Hawaii.
“Don't look at them directly,” Rie Henriksen whispers, “otherwise they get suspicious.” The neuroscientist is referring to a dozen or so chickens loitering just a few metres away in the car park of a scenic observation point for Opaekaa Falls on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
The chickens have every reason to distrust Henriksen and her colleague, evolutionary geneticist Dominic Wright, who have travelled to the island from Linköping University in Sweden armed with traps, drones, thermal cameras and a mobile molecular-biology lab to study the birds.


Ewen Callaway investigates what happens when domestic chickens go wild
As the two try to act casual by their rented car, a jet-black hen with splashes of iridescent green feathers pecks its way along a trail of bird feed up to a device called a goal trap. Wright tugs at a string looped around his big toe and a spring-loaded net snaps over the bird. After a moment of stunned silence, the hen erupts into squawking fury.
Opaekaa Falls, like much of Kauai, is teeming with feral chickens — free-ranging fowl related both to the domestic breeds that lay eggs or produce meat for supermarket shelves and to a more ancestral lineage imported to Hawaii hundreds of years ago.
These modern hybrids inhabit almost every corner of the island, from rugged chasms to KFC car parks. They have clucked their way into local lore and culture and are both beloved and reviled by Kauai's human occupants. Biologists, however, see in the feral animals an improbable experiment in evolution: what happens when chickens go wild?

Read the rest of the article here.