2008 . . . a year of luxury

2008 began with the sort of absurd juxtaposition we’ve come to expect from life in Los Angeles–loading 25 pounds of chicken feed into a $70,000 Jaguar (not our car for those keeping score). It was all part of a combination run to the feed store for chicken supplies and trip to the Getty Villa to scope out their Roman herb garden and ancient tchatzhahs.

The reason to hit the feed store was a return of schoolyard bully behavior from our pushy Rhode Island Red hen. We bought a bottle of Rooster Booster Pick-No-More Lotion™ to keep her from pecking the araucana hen. Thankfully the lotion, combined with a few other measures we’ll post about, seems to have stopped the problem. The lotion has lessened the amount and severity of the pecking and turned the araucana’s butt into a matted tarry mess. Mission accomplished!

While at the feed store we also picked up a copy of The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow. It’s a detailed guide to preventing and treating chicken diseases and problems. We’re new to poultry and, in just an hour of reading, have learned a lot from this book. It’s a must have for anyone thinking about getting chickens. Thanks to info in the book and our microscope, we’re looking forward to a year of DIY chicken fecal examinations and turning those parasite egg counts into a drinking game.

We’ll inaugurate a new year of posts with an entertaining excerpt from The Chicken Health Handbook,

Spontaneous sex change is a phenomenon whereby an old hen develops the characteristics of a cock, perhaps because an infected ovary has caused hormonal changes. The hen’s comb grows larger, she molts into male plumage, and she may crow or mount other hens. If the infection is successfully cured before the next molt, the “cock” will lay eggs. This phenomenon was once considered witchcraft, the most famous case being a “cock” named Basel who was burned at the stake in 1474 for laying eggs.”

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  1. Hi! I’m also in Los Angeles. (South LA, as in south of downtown 5-10 minutes) I’m finally getting chickens this year, after thinking about it for 2 years. (Making sure I really wanted to do this.) So I was wondering, what feed stores do you guys go to? The ones I’ve been looking up all seem pretty far away.

    Any suggestions as well on where to get the baby chicks? Have you ever bought them from a feed store? I’ve been looking at the LA Urban Chicken Enthusiasts board and there was a small list there, but not a ton of discussion.

  2. Hi Jess:

    We get most of our supplies from a feed store in Burbank called Damoors–it’s the closest to us. For chicks, we got ours at a feed store called East Valley Tack and Feed. Most of the rural tack stores have chicks this time of year. No fancy breeds, but functional ones. The LA Urban Chicken Enthusiasts may not have an active board but they do have meetings. I suggest you go to one–that might be another way of getting chicks or pullets or hens looking for a home. Good luck!

  3. Thank you for the information! And so quick! 🙂

    Your guy’s book is awesome. And keep on fighting the good fight on the whole trademark business.Some friends of mine and myself have read your blog for awhile. Just never posted before. You guys have a lot of local supporters and a lot of respect.

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