By Vicki McKee
August 14, 2007
In World War I, families were encouraged to grow "Victory gardens" --which included chickens and rabbits for eggs and meat as well as fruits, vegetables and herbs. Today, the health food gurus are telling us we should eat "locally grown" food... we're kind of a long way from a farmer's market, and self-sufficiency could one day be essential to survival.
In times of uncertain economy and never-ending war, it only makes sense to grow your own food. Ducks or chickens are enjoyable pets that can contribute greatly to that goal, not only by providing fresh eggs (and if you've ever eaten a "real" egg, you won't want to buy the commercial product again), but also by their contributions to composting and pest control. (Ducks even eat slugs--and chickens will eat the smaller slugs).
Ketchikan, according to US Census Bureau standards, falls at least 40,000 people short of being classified as "urban"; however, there are those who object to people having animals in the "city". We have had complaints about our chickens, and have been inspected four times in the last month by Animal Control. Each time the complaints were found to be groundless. We do have a rooster, who we lock away in a cage in a practically sound-proof room at night so that we are the only ones who hear his early morning crows. His daytime crowing is not much competition for the float planes, traffic, ravens, and other noises around the neighborhood-- and several people have told us they love the sound of our rooster. We put a lot of work into our chickens, and feel that they are worth it. Each one can be picked up and petted, and they lay the most delicious eggs, with shells in beautiful shades of blue, green and pink. We are kind of like kids on Easter morning every day. And our garden (which pretty much takes up the other half of our front yard) is becoming more spectacular than ever before. I hope, by the time I reach retirement age, to be growing most of my own food. Even though my yard is small, I think it is possible, and I've only just begun.
Received August 11, 2007 - Published August 14, 2007
About: "Have lived and worked in Ketchikan for almost ten years. Interested in organic gardening and sustainable living. Proud owner of a wonderful flock of Ameraucana/Easter Egg chickens on 3rd Avenue."
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