Hundreds of birds die in western Ky.

Jan 5, 2011 Full story: The Cincinnati Enquirer 81,771

MURRAY, Ky. - State wildlife officials say "several hundred" dead birds were found near the Murray State University campus last week.

Full Story

Elizabethtown, KY

#90756 Jul 9, 2013
For AW and Anne

Backyard chickens dumped at shelters when hipsters can't cope, critics say

Despite visions of quaint coops, happy birds and cheap eggs, the growing trend of raising backyard chickens in urban settings is backfiring, critics say, as disillusioned city dwellers dump unwanted fowl on animal shelters and sanctuaries.

Hundreds of chickens, sometimes dozens at a time, are being abandoned each year at the nation’s shelters from California to New York as some hipster farmers discover that hens lay eggs for two years, but can live for a good decade longer, and that actually raising the birds can be noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive.

“Many areas with legalized hen-keeping are experiencing more and more of these birds coming in when they’re no longer wanted,” said Paul Shapiro, spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States.“You get some chicks and they’re very cute, but it’s not as though you can throw them out in the yard and not care for them.”
That accusation is disputed by advocates of home-grown chickens, who say that a few negative incidents shouldn’t give a bad name to a practice that encourages both self-sufficiency and the consumption of sustainable food grown in a humane manner.

“We’ve experienced smell, noise, pests, etc., way more from improperly cared for dogs and cats than we have from backyard chickens,” said Rob Ludlow, owner of the fast-growing website, , which started with 50 members in 2007 and now boasts 200,000 members. He is the author of three books, including “Raising Chickens for Dummies.”

“Hundreds of thousands of people are realizing the wonderful benefits of raising a small flock of backyard chickens, the pets that make you breakfast,” he said, noting that cities nationwide have agreed, passing ordinances making it legal to keep small flocks of urban chickens.

However, at the Farm Sanctuary headquartered in Watkins Glen, N.Y.-- which operates three shelters on two coasts -- some 225 former backyard chickens are waiting now for new homes, said National Shelter Director Susie Coston. They’re among at least 400 to 500 abandoned chickens that show up every year, including many suffering from maltreatment or illness.

“They’re put on Craigslist all the time when they don’t lay any more,” said Coston, 48.“They’re dumped all the time.”

It’s the same scenario at the Chicken Run Rescue in Minneapolis, Minn., where owner Mary Britton Clouse has tracked a steady climb in surrendered birds from fewer than 50 in 2001 to nearly 500 in 2012.

She traces that rise to the so-called “locavore” movement, which spiked in popularity in 2008 as advocates urged people to eat more food grown and processed close to home.

“It’s the stupid foodies,” said Britton Clouse, 60, who admits she speaks frankly.“We’re just sick to death of it.”


Elizabethtown, KY

#90757 Jul 9, 2013
People entranced by a “misplaced rural nostalgia” are buying chickens from the same hatcheries that supply the nation's largest poultry producers and rearing them without proper space, food or veterinary care, she said.

The most commonly available hens have been bred to be good egg layers. At the same time, backyard farmers often use enhanced feed, light or other tools to prompt hens to lay constantly. After keeping up that pace for 18 months to two years, however, hens often develop reproductive problems including oviduct diseases that can kill them, veterinarians say. However, healthy hens can live for years longer, up to a decade after they stop laying.

Many people would be surprised to know that chickens are smart, with funny, quirky personalities, Coston said.
Because chickens are notoriously hard to sex, some backyard farmers wind up with roosters, which are often culled and killed because they can be noisy, aggressive and illegal, and, of course, they don’t lay eggs at all.

In addition to the noise, many urban farmers are surprised that chickens attract pests like rats, and predators including foxes, raccoons, hawks, and even neighborhood dogs.

When they get sick or hurt, they need care that can run into the hundreds of dollars, boosting the price of that home-grown egg far beyond even the most expensive grocery store brand.

Enthusiasts who start out with good intentions frequently wind up posting messages like this one delivered to Britton-Clouse last month:

“One of our hens grew up into a rooster and our neighbors are starting to complain. Do you know someone who might take him?”

“People don’t know what they’re doing,” Britton Clouse said.“And you’ve got this whole culture of people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing teaching every other idiot out there.”
But Ludlow, the backyard chicken enthusiast, said that “it’s very rare” that people make such mistakes or underestimate how difficult it is to raise chickens.

“While we definitely want to see more education around the lifespan and laying lifespan of chickens, we find that most people become so attached to their hens as pets, that even though they planned to eat or cull their hens at the end of their laying life, they decide to keep their girls around even without laying eggs,” he said.
Coston, the Farm Sanctuary shelter director, said she wished that were true. Most people don’t realize that chickens are funny, with quirky habits and affectionate personalities as distinct as any other pet’s.

“Oh, my god, they’re amazing,” said Coston, who frequently cuddles her chickens.“We have some of the sweetest ones here. They just sit beside you and they let you pet them. And they’re big and dumpy.”

She hopes the enthusiasm for raising backyard chickens will fade and that consumers will take a second look at their appetite for eggs and poultry.

“To go back in time sounds wonderful,” she said.“But there is not enough land on this earth to sustain the amount of meat, dairy and milk that people want.”
YouCanSayAnythin g

Tampa, FL

#90758 Jul 9, 2013
Control problems...

Elizabethtown, KY

#90759 Jul 9, 2013
Too cute. Dogs are so smart.

Astronaut? Scuba diver? Nope — beekeeping Labrador!

As yet more proof that dogs can do anything, Bazz the Australian beekeeping dog is specially trained to sniff out American foulbrood, a devastating bee disease. But beekeeper Josh Kennett needed a way to keep Bazz safe while he did his work, so he engineered this protective, space-age canine suit for the bee-saving black Labrador. "The only challenge now is getting the dog comfortable with the suit," says Kennett. "It's hard to change a dog's habits overnight. To fully cover a dog up and expect it to do the same thing [it always did], it takes time to change how he behaves and to get used to that suit."

Elizabethtown, KY

#90760 Jul 9, 2013
OJG would love this one:

Most adorable goat attack ever!

Elizabethtown, KY

#90761 Jul 9, 2013
Another DIY

Zip Lock Baggies..........who knew?

We went with friends to a restaurant on Sunday for lunch and sat in the patio section beside the store. We happened to notice zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall. The bags were half filled with ...water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut. Naturally we were curious! The owner told us that these baggies kept the flies away! So naturally we were even more curious! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again. And there were no flies in the eating area! This morning I checked this out on Google.
Below are comments on this fly control idea. I'm now a believer!

Zip-lock water bags:#1 Says: I tried the zip lock bag and pennies this weekend. I have a horse trailer. The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggies with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer.The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!

#2 Says:Fill a zip lock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.

#3 Says:I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store& have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection& won't come around.

#4 Says:Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it's like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won't take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and thought these "hillbillies" were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it and it worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn't hang around long.

Elizabethtown, KY

#90762 Jul 9, 2013
Overly needy duckling may also be the most adorable creature ever

Dogs may be man's best friend, but ducks know who their meal ticket is, too. And they learn early. We're not sure where this duckling's mama is, but it's not going to let the next best thing out of its sight. Not when that person is also responsible for drawing the water for its daily swim, for blow-drying it to a fluffy finish and, most of all, for cuddling and stroking it until it attains perfect bliss. We were ready to declare this the most needy and spoiled creature on Earth, until realizing that description has to apply to the owner of this thief of hearts, too.

I know UNA would've liked this one. haha

Elizabethtown, KY

#90763 Jul 9, 2013
haha, he would really love this one.

Cops called to investigate fight started by man's loud farts

A well-meaning Michigan woman called 911 after overhearing what sounded like a violent argument coming from her neighbors' house. She heard a woman shouting "Stop! No!," each cry punctuated by a loud noise. But when officers arrived, they discovered that the woman in question was being terrorized by … her boyfriend's farts. The man was apparently assaulting her with his earsplitting ass music as she yelled at him to stop it. After discovering the source of the sound (and, we're guessing, the smell), the officers wrote "Cleared the scene expeditiously" in their report. "It's quite often that we respond to things that have a funny twist to them," police chief Harry Anderson said. "This was definitely one for the books.

Elizabethtown, KY

#90764 Jul 9, 2013
Slam those icons trolls...hahaha I don't care. At least my fellow birdthreaders will have something to read besides your anonymous proxy BS.

I hope you guys have a good night.

Here's one for the BIRDS:

This whistling parrot is always looking on the bright side of life

As far as snapping our fingers goes, we're better at it than Ollie the parrot — but only because of his claw situation. When it comes to whistling a tune, we've got nothing on this African grey's sound. And of all the most excellent song choices Ollie could whistle along to, Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is pretty perfect. Ollie should definitely team up with a certain tap dancing bird and take that show on the road.

Hillsboro, OH

#90765 Jul 9, 2013
“The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.”

“Is who I am”

Since: Aug 08


#90766 Jul 9, 2013
Warm Summer day today. Loved it!

United States

#90767 Jul 9, 2013
@a believer: that ziplock Baggie/water/pennies trick- I'm gonna definitely try that one!!

Too hot for me today! So. Siesta time around here if hitting the couch and watching a movie in the air conditioned living room counts!

As far as these chickens in my newly painted shed go, yes they require a lot of upkeep. But my grandson enjoys them..even if some of them are too old to lay.. They are fun to sit and watch. He does pretty good checking on them and I will turn over the feeding to him soon-- summer is busy for him as he's at his dads house most of the time. The broilers we used to raise were shipped out at 3-4 pounds(6weeks?) so this long term relationship with the ladies is different in that respect! Lol
Misty eyed

Louisa, KY

#90769 Jul 10, 2013
“Oh, my god, they’re amazing,” said Coston, who frequently cuddles her chickens.“We have some of the sweetest ones here. They just sit beside you and they let you pet them. And they’re big and dumpy.”

Really, dumpy. I've heard of chickens being referred to as red, white. Laying or not. Pets. I like to eat Rhode Island red chicken eggs as well as a plump chicken. I just can't figure how a red combed, clucking, pooping consistently bird like a chicken could be considered both sweet and dumpy in that context. As for me they're good eats as well as a decent alarm clock that you never have to turn off. Lol.
Ancient Wolf

Lexington, KY

#90771 Jul 10, 2013
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken.. Southern Fried
Chicken Alfredo
Chicken Oriental style with fried rice
Chicken barbequed
Hot Wings

and of course, EGGS to eat and poop for the garden.

“Is who I am”

Since: Aug 08


#90772 Jul 10, 2013
Jen wrote:
Get over the birds! Hillbillies
Get over it. Some of these "hillbillies" might whoop your arse.

United States

#90774 Jul 10, 2013
Ya know, I've lived in about 20 different places. Many times its been in a subdivision/city. Not bad . Enjoyed it, in fact. I've lived in the country on and off for many years. So I can honestly tell you what I prefer.
The place I live now was a clear and conscious choice. I truly enjoy the woods with paths, the field that holds the"Easter flower" patch of the home from long ago and the pond with the old rowboat and the more than ample dock. It makes me glow with contentment watching the grandchildren rush their friends to see the few chickens and perhaps collect an egg or two, then playing a game of tug of war with the dog.. It's great watching them dash across the dock leaping high in the air giving a war whoop to see how much of a splash they can make. And the gazebo tucked down below the steep wooded bank where one can sit with a glass of lemon aid and watch a game of corn hole. Sometimes we watch the neighbors cows with their gentle swishing tails. Frogs, crickets, birds and the occasional train whistle in the far distance. Yep. If this makes me a hillbilly, then that's what I want to be. Oh yeah!
Ancient Wolf

Lexington, KY

#90776 Jul 10, 2013
@Anne.. I totally agree with your post. I am honored to be called a Hill-Billy. I have lived in the country and commuted to the city for over 40 years to work.

Many people have asked why I drove so far to work and my reply was "I don't drive this far to work, I drive this far to get away from the city".

Now I am permanently here and only go into town when it is absolutely necessary and I have never had a sip of "Starbucks" in my life nor have I ever driven a BMW. But I have driven a tractor and followed a gas-passing mule. LOL
Misty eyed

Louisa, KY

#90778 Jul 10, 2013
The simple life is a luxurious one I wholeheartedly agree. Simple because I don't have to worry about a car jacking- not yet anyway- and if partner wants to use a tree like a dog then whiz at it. Gardens, ponds, animals great and small. Squirrels scrambling from branch to branch. Loving this country life;) Sure am Blessed by life's little fortunes.

Great day to All the good Folks! May you have joy throughout the day;)Nature itself is a humbling experience. To enjoy the running brooks and hear all the creatures. Nothing better except the sounds of children's laughter as they partake of the great bounty offered by Mother Earth and truly appreciate what is front of them. I agree, Anne, you and AW have your paradise as far as I can tell. I love your true stories.

Hazard, KY

#90779 Jul 10, 2013
Simple life, good life, extravagant life....any life not filled with pain is a good life if you ask me. Life is good, I almost bought the farm recently.
Man oh man I'm glad the good lord decided to let me live a while longer. I had a whole lot of things to do that I didn't even know I needed to do! Weeks and weeks in the hospitable hospital has made old imposter see how good this old shack really is.
I almost checked out for good folks, I am so glad to be alive! I'm going to court me a widow if my ticker will let me LOL, have a nice day. Life is good.
Ancient Wolf

Lexington, KY

#90780 Jul 10, 2013
Imposter wrote:
Simple life, good life, extravagant life....any life not filled with pain is a good life if you ask me. Life is good, I almost bought the farm recently.
Man oh man I'm glad the good lord decided to let me live a while longer. I had a whole lot of things to do that I didn't even know I needed to do! Weeks and weeks in the hospitable hospital has made old imposter see how good this old shack really is.
I almost checked out for good folks, I am so glad to be alive! I'm going to court me a widow if my ticker will let me LOL, have a nice day. Life is good.
I agree Imposter. I almost bought the farm twice myself a few years ago and I am still here thanks to the Good Lord and the skills of the surgeons and every day is a bonus and nothing else really matters. I will skip courting of the widows though. I am self sufficient and don't need any more responsibilities. But I will enjoy a few widow's company without any courting. LOL Life is very good. We just don't realize how good until it is almost gone.

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