March 2, 2011

City Chicken

I have to share this article from the New York Times that was forwarded to me by my co-worker. As way of background on the article, all of my co-workers live in Portland proper. Portland is a very chicken-friendly city, which you may have seen recently on Portlandia. When the woman asks to see the doseier on the chicken she is about to order for dinner I blushed because I have sat in a restaurant in Portland and asked "Can you tell me what farm this lamb is from?" What was I going to do? Not order the lamb if the waitress said "I'm not sure"? Anyway, many Portlanders own the standard 3 hens, kept in portable coops that roam around their backyards.

The NYT story, not to give anything away in case you decide to read it, is about chickens that live in a front yard and become neighborhood celebrities. On our farm, Junior could qualify as somewhat of a celeb. Junior is quite friendly. Anyone walking by gets a big "Baaahhh!" and if the person strolls over to the fence, Junior will come running down looking for a handout or just a few pets. When the weather is nice, I catch families making special trips to say hi to Junior.

One day a few summers back, I was walking down to get the newspaper and found 3 kids on parked bicycles feeding Junior blackberries. I stopped and they informed me that they had begged their parents to let them ride alone down the big hill to visit "the ram." I welcomed them back any time but suggested that Junior would prefer carrots or apples.

Eventually, hopefully not for a very long time, Junior will get old and die. We will probably have to have a service for the neighbors and put a memorial at the end of the driveway for passersby to pay their respects.

No comments: