Apr 16, 2010
Remember last May when Victoria received a shipment of baby chicks?
Between something delaying my chicks from getting in the mail until after our mail plane already left yesterday, bad weather this morning – snowing and fog, and then the normal airline red tape, my poor baby chicks got here about a day late.
I had 19 DOA and one more expired a bit later. I THINK I brought about 10 back from near death, won’t know for sure until tomorrow or next day.
I was reminded of this entry after reading a post over at the Tundra Chicks blog. Saima talks about a box of chicks she received awhile back from Triple D Farms which piqued my curiosity. Could something as simple as a box of baby chicks make a difference in a rural community?
Triple D Farms not only ships many breeds of chicks throughout rural Alaska, they also ship just-hatched turkeys, geese, ducks and peacocks.
According to Mother Earth News:
Right before hatching, chicks and other baby poultry absorb the last of the yolk — their food source during incubation. For most species, this last bit of yolk provides enough nutrition to sustain the baby for about three days without eating or drinking, which makes shipping chicks through the mail possible, if they arrive quickly.
And how common are chickens in rural Alaska? The Village Rural Blog at the Anchorage Daily News asked that last October and here are some comments:
wrote on 10/06/2009 08:26:39 AM:
(snip) As for it being common, my grandmother’s sister has about 5 chickens that she keeps in a coop in the summer and her garage in the winter. I have 14. I think the Iten’s have a dozen or so in camp… Its becoming pretty common probably because of the rising grocery prices here in Kotz. The chickens that I have haven’t started laying eggs yet but they are coming on 20 weeks pretty fast and that is when they usually start to lay. I’m going to provide them with a light all winter so they can become seasoned layers by the spring. I plan on getting a couple of turkeys next spring to raise until the fall, we’ll see how that goes. Anyway I’ll try to get some pictures to you this week. Thanks for posting this.
wrote on 10/05/2009 03:20:21 PM:
The mayor in Grayling (on the yukon) has been raising chickens for about 6 years now. The Grayling school also started raising a different group of chickens last year. Its nice to have fresh eggs for a much cheaper price…..plus the chickens are fairly easy to care for.
wrote on 10/04/2009 11:19:39 PM:)
Igiugig, a small community on Lake Iliamna, has chickens too.
We heard about the last one from Vic after she returned from the sustainable gardening conference in March:
We then heard about Igiugig, in the northern part of Bristol Bay with about 60 people in the winter. This village serves a number of lodges and outside visitors in the summer. They have also been working on becoming sustainable for years in some pretty ground breaking ways.
They have a community food scraps for eggs program. Residents bring food scraps to a central location and in exchange are able to get fresh eggs from a community flock of chickens.
Chickens will never replace salmon in the kitchens of rural Alaska but their eggs could be an affordable supplement to the diets of many village residents. Flocks of chickens could translate into cash-based egg and poultry businesses as we follow the trend to eat locally.
We would like to hear from people who raise chickens in rural Alaska and other similar climates. What areas are best suited, what are the best breeds? How would a village get started such as Igiugig did?
We don’t like to get political here but for people who no longer consider Sarah Palin a politician, hop over to Tundra Chicks and read about Sarah Palin, the bossy white chicken…
So here’s Sarah Palin, she’s white, she’s proud of being white, and she lets everyone know that she’s the only white momma in the chicken house!
Here you see Miss Palin snacking on her favorite treat, popcorn. If another chicken comes into eyesight of her treat she will scream and peck until they leave her pile alone. Yeah, she’s my most bossiest chicken momma yet.
Coincidentally, chicken Sarah Palin came from the very same Double D Farm that hosted the real Sarah Palin’s Turkey pardoning.