I’ve Flown the Coop

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While Kelly restores our breakfast nook, I’m at a two day poultry seminar sponsored by the California Department of Food & Agriculture. The point of my attendance is to learn good husbandry practices and share them with you, our dear readers. I’ll break down the voluminous information into a series of future blog posts. The takeaways from yesterday’s session:

  • Buy chickens that have been vaccinated for Marek’s disease. This is the most common problem with backyard chickens and it’s entirely preventable.
  • If you have a sick or dead chicken and live in California, send it to the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHHFS) for a free necropsy. Here’s a list of the labs and their contact information. Call for instructions and don’t freeze the carcass. If you bring a sick chicken they will euthanize it for you.
  • UC Cooperative Extension has a

new backyard poultry website

    .

Thanks to Craig Ruggless of Winnetka Farms for tipping me off to this class.

Free Online Chicken Behavior Course

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Thank you to reader James for this tip:

Coursera is offering a 5 week online course on chicken behavior, taught by the staff of Scotland’s Rural College.

For those of you who haven’t heard about Coursera, it’s an online platform offering free courses in a wide variety of subjects, taught by professors from genuine big name universities, via video. The classes may or may not also include homework and discussion groups, but these are optional, and required only for those who wish to receive a certificate of course completion (which is not the same as credit from the host university.)

The chicken class has already started, but don’t worry, you can jump in and catch up. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe you can look at the class video any time, but you may not be able to access the teachers via the forums after the official course run is finished. This one is in its first week still. We’ll be watching!

041 Sounds of the Homestead

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Kelly and Erik discuss some of the unusual sounds heard around the Root Simple compound: chickens, cats, bees and, yes, Kaiser Permanente’s music on hold.

If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

016 The Urban Bestiary with Lyanda Lynn Haupt

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On the sixteenth episode of the Root Simple Podcast we interview naturalist Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of The Urban Bestiary, Crow Planet, Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent and Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds.

During the podcast Lyanda covers:

  • The effect of the drought on urban wildlife
  • Invasive species
  • How to get along with wildlife such as skunks, possums, raccoons and coytes
  • The problem with relocating animals (except rats!)
  • Moles and gophers
  • Seeing raccoons during the day
  • Root Simple’s CritterCam
  • Possums!
  • Preventative measures
  • How to encourage wild animals and increase diversity by planting native plants and trees

Lyanda also answers listener questions about hawks, coyotes, and feral cats.

Lyanda blogs at The Tangled Nest.

If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.