lSeaChicklWho we are: Olivia (age 11), mom Stacey (who asks most of the questions on the forum), dad Neil.
Where we are: South Portland, MaineWe recently spent 2 years living on our sailboat and intend to go away again in a few years. Living on a sailboat is somehow satisfying in much the same way as raising chickens. You are in very close contact with nature and life is slowed down, simpler and very fulfilling. It's also, in a way, like homestead living, we're very self-sufficient on the boat, do everything together as a family, homeschool, and catch our own food for dinner. Right now we are living in a house in the tight suburbs, and after living aboard for 2 years it is difficult to be happy in suburbia. This sort of neighborhood feels even more cramped than our 39' boat! Raising chickens (along with our small organic garden) helps us enjoy life on land more!
Web site we made about raising hens in the city: www.SoPoChickens.org
We got interested in chickens because of an article in Mother Earth News. We did a lot of research and thought it was a really good idea. We're interested in sustainable living (as much as is feasible in suburbia), eating as locally as possible and eating organic food. We can't afford to do all of our shopping at Wild Oats and Whole Foods, though, so in the summer we have a small organic garden. We're hoping that our 4-6 hens will keep us in fresh organic eggs as well as be fun pets. We have gotten tons of great advice and info from this web site and especially the forum.
We made the mistake of calling our city to be sure that chickens were allowed. (Later, our city councilor said we should have just gotten them!) The city said NO. Olivia talked to all of our neighbors and they were all very supportive. Then she set up a meeting with our city councilor and gave a presentation about why the zoning ordinance should be changed to allow pet hens. He liked the idea and agreed to help try to change the law. This was back in early May, and it looked like it would be easy to get the law changed. Unfortunately, several of the City Councilors were VERY opposed!! As it turned out, we needed to do a LOT of work, basically start a little campaign, in order to try to convince them. We did a lot of emailing and walking around talking to residents, and have garnered a lot of support and media attention. It's been a long summer waiting!!!!! Here's the web site we put together to gain support; the media stories and TV news spots are linked on the the left: http://www.sailzora.com/chickens.htm. And IT PASSED September 5th!!!! We now have 6 girls: Phoebe(Barred Rock), Rita(Red Sex Link), Vanda(Silver Laced Wyandotte), Olympia(Black Australorp), Brunhilda (Buff Orpington) and Penelope (Easter Egger/ "Ameracauna"-type).
Our web site from our boat trip is at http://www.sailzora.com. We sailed from Maine toSouth America and back in 2004-2006.
We have one Siamese applehead cat named Daisy. Here's a picture of Olivia and Daisy from last summer:♥♥