Vietnam & Cambodia: Chickens, Eggs, and Things to Eat

I ran into chickens everywhere I went in Vietnam and Cambodia: The urban streets of Hanoi, the hamlets along the Mekong River in Cambodia, pecking and scratching on the grounds of Buddhist monasteries, amongst the ruins of ancient Angkorian temples, and for sale in the local markets. Warning: Like everywhere else in the world, the people of Southeast Asia eat chickens, and that is discussed here. They also eat eggs and any number of things we don’t eat in the US.

Virulent Newcastle Disease Can Kill Your Backyard Flock

In May of 2018, backyard chickens in Los Angeles County, California began to die – first in one backyard, then in another, then in many, many more.  It was the beginning of the spread of a terrible scourge known as Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND), a contagious and deadly viral disease that affects birds.  By January 2019, in spite of the heroic efforts by staff of the US Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, not only had vND found its way into large commercial flocks, it continued to spread through many, many more backyard flocks southern California. 

Six Silkie Chicks Grow Up

One bright morning in May, I traveled to Forest Lake, Minnesota where I adopted six baby chicks. By October, those babies were gone. In their place were six fine young cockerels and pullets. This post is about what happened in between.

A Children's Book: Gwen the Rescue Hen

Leslie Crawford has ably imagined and narrated this story of Gwen’s great adventure, and Sonja Stangl’s illustrations have perfectly captured the whimsy inherent in all things chicken.  Together they show children, and adults that “happily ever after” is a real thing—and making it happen can be as simple as letting chickens live like chickens.

A Carton of Eggs: Part 5—Vital Farms Organic Pasture-Raised Eggs

This is part five of a series about the information printed on egg cartons.  When you buy eggs with “cage-free” stamped on the carton, you probably think you’re doing the right thing.  Cage-free eggs are a huge improvement from eggs that come from hens living in tiny, cramped battery cage torture chambers. But as Vital Farms points out, hens laying cage free eggs probably live in one square foot of space in a cramped barn and never get to go outside.  Vital Farms advertises its eggs as “pasture raised” and guarantees that each hen gets 108 square feet of outdoor space.