Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Chickeness in the news! Again!

I was recently interviewed by Minda Berbeco of, and her "Chickens in the City" article just came out on Monday, featuring her interview with me, as well as a couple of my pictures.  Check it out!

And in case you've missed my previous appearances, here are a few others...

In May of 2011, I was filmed by a crew from Animal Planet's "Pets 101" show for an episode featuring backyard farm animals that aired in November of 2011.  I currently have a copy of the episode, but lack the software or skill (or time to obtain either at the moment) to edit out my sections into something I can post on youtube, so if anyone is capable and willing to take on a small video-editing job, please let me know!

Boston's NPR radio station, WBUR, did a piece on urban chickens in July of 2011 (also entitled "Chickens in the City" and also featuring a few of my photos).  I was also mentioned in a related post.

On 18 May 2012, Chris Orchard with the Somerville Patch published an article that featured a bit about me after I spoke at a city meeting on the proposed zoning ordinance changes.

There's a post on the Somerville Urban Ag blog about a visit I made with a couple of my Chicken Ambassadors to Somerville City Hall to give an Urban Poultry 101 presentation on 31 May 2012.

And, finally, a loosely-related post describing, among other boxes, the "faux chicken coop/real green roof" digbox I created for Dig Boston.  Apparently my Digbox is currently living outside of the Legal Seafoods test kitchen just south of the World Trade Center in downtown Boston, so if you happen to walk by it and notice it needs some water, will you toss a drop or two its direction? 

So. Much. Excitement!  :D

"So then the chicken said to the duck..."

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Chickeness at Boston Greenfest!!

Breaking news:

The Chickeness will be making an appearance at Boston Greenfest at Boston City Hall Plaza this coming weekend!  OMG and also YAY!

This is, I believe, New England's largest green-focused festival, and will feature literally hundreds of vendors, exhibitors, performers, and interactive presentations, and all about being more GREEN!

I'll have a table at the festival with a few of my Chicken Ambassadors all day Friday and Sunday for people to meet in person, AND I'll be giving a "Backyard Birds 101" presentation at some point on one of those days (stay tuned for schedule and table location details).

AND to top it all off, I have a very exciting announcement that I intend to reveal at the festival this weekend, so come say hello and get a sneak preview!  :D

Friday, August 10, 2012

How can I make you happy?

There's a song by that name stuck in my head right now (check it out - Will Dailey is AWESOMESAUCE).

But first, a few things:

First: I'm on my way to Boston City Hall to help them figure out how to officially legalize chickens in the City of Boston.  YAY! 

(I attended an Aldermans' meeting for the City of Somerville on Weds night too - they're nearly ready to accept the ordinance changes that will add some more specific guidelines for our already-legal backyard birds.)

Second:  Did y'all know that my flock has a FB page?  Check there to get additional tips and tricks, links and info, and the occasional hilarious aside.  And if you like what you see, then please "like" what you see.  ;)

Third:  Just had a phone meeting the other day with Noah of Victory Chicken in New York City (Brooklyn, specifically), who is doing something like what I'm doing for the residents of NYC.  If you know folks in that lovely city, they have a resource like me there too!

And now to the big finish: How can I make you happy?

Answer: By helping you get your own flock of chickens, of course!  :D

Here are a few pictures of my client Lori S. of Somerville, the GORgeous coop she built with her husband, and her new flock of 4 Star hens I delivered on Wednesday morning - 3 Red Stars and 1 Black Star!

Isn't this fantastic?!  Lucky, lucky birds.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rent-a-coop, available now!

Feel like you're on the coop fence about whether chickens will actually fit into your daily life?

Oh boy do I have the solution for you...

You can Rent-a-Coop from The Chickeness!

If you live in the greater Boston area, you can rent a complete Chickeness Rent-a-Coop setup for 1 month or 3 months to be sure chicken-keeping will work for you!  You know... before committing to the responsibility of a new living creature that can live for 10 years or more... 

Rental coops come complete with everything you need, including:
*Coop with run (total footprint is variable, but about 4x8')
*3 laying hens
*bedding and food for the duration of your rental
*daily chicken care training
*monthly maintenance from The Chickeness, if requested (coop cleaning and bird check-up)
*unlimited email assistance from The Chickeness if you have any questions
*unlimited on-site assistance if any birds show signs of illness or injury

Our rental setups are also designed with some permanence in mind - that is, if you completely fall in love with that particular setup and/or those girls, the option to buy the whole setup on a permanent basis is definitely available to you (and most of your rental cost will go towards your purchase).

Rates include the monthly rental rate, delivery, installation, and pickup at the end of your rental period, and a partially-refundable deposit to cover any unexpected injuries to the birds or damages that might occur to the coop structure during your rental (of course I'll teach you everything you need to know to avoid any injury or damages, but things do happen sometimes).

All rates include the the entire rental fee for the duration of your contract, plus a refundable $150 deposit and $200 to cover everything associated with delivery and installation, chicken care training, and unlimited email and phone assistance from The Chickeness.

1-month rental with 3 hens - $150/month ($500 total for 1 month)
3-month rental with 3 hens - $125/month ($725 total for 3 months)
Purchase of complete rental setup - $1000 minus whatever you've already paid

If you have any questions (though see the FAQs below), or would like to schedule delivery of your rental coop, send me an email to chat about what you're looking for so we can find the best fit for your space and household, then we'll set up a time for me to come set it all up and show you what you need to know to care for your new girls!

Here are a couple of my easter egger hens checking out the "Coopette".  Your rental coop will have a similar design and appearance, but be just slightly smaller - this one is sized for 4-5 hens.

Rental coop FAQs
(for more general info, visit my favorite online resource,

Q - Will this setup work for the winter too?
A - Yep!  All of our coops are designed to be suitable for year-round use, and chickens have their own home-grown down coat that keeps them warm.

Q - Will I still get eggs without a rooster?
A - Definitely!  No rooster necessary.

Q - What kind of care do they need?
A - I see it as being pretty similar to a hamster.  You need to be sure they have appropriate housing, consistent access to clean water and healthy food, and that everyone is generally happy and healthy.  Beyond that, daily check-ins and egg collection takes about 5 minutes, weekly spot cleaning takes about 15 minutes, and monthly changing of bedding takes about 20-30 minutes.  Of course, I end up spending hours out there just watching them be the goofy little creatures they are, but that's entirely up to you.  ;D

Q - Can I rent for longer than 3 months?
A - Short answer - yes, maybe... let's talk. 
A - Longer answer - the point of this program is to give people who are genuinely interested in having their own *permanent* coop a chance to make sure it's the right thing for them and their family, and I feel that 1-3 months is plenty of time to make that decision.  I do not intend to rent coops to people with "seasonal" interest, if you know what I mean...   These are living animals, and I intend to keep their health and well-being as a top priority, which means ensuring people are serious about caring for them as with any other pet.

Q - Do I need to worry about pests, predators, smell, or noise?
A - If you are responsible about the setup and care of your coop, then not really.  Our coops are designed to be large enough for the number of birds we will provide you so they will have plenty of space and will be easy to keep clean.  They are also designed to keep out pests and predators, and food will be provided in pest-proof containers - eliminating access to food is the best way to prevent pests and predators from being a problem.  As for noise, hens make very little noise, aside from the occasional brawk!-ing that happens when they get excited about something (like if someone lays an egg, if a person walks by, if they find the water... they get excited about a wide variety of things), but overall they're a lot quieter than your typical neighborhood dog.

Have other questions?  Send me a note at or check out the info at or!