Highlights from the London Pet Show. From the absurd to the adorable---and it includes the training of chickens!
Monday, April 22, 2013
|An Engraving of Queen Victoria's Poultry House at Home Park, Windsor (1854)|
It's not just celebrities who have a fascination with chickens. Throughout history, royalty has been smitten with chickens as well. Just take a gander at Queen Victoria's royal chicken abode. Pretty nice digs for poultry plumage!
And, it seems like the Brits are still rousing up the history of chickens--ever since chicken bones were discovered in an Iron Age pot at West Deeping in Lincolnshire. It seems, according to an article in House and Home by Jonathon Foyle that "a research collaboration between Bournemouth and Nottingham Universities" called “The Chicken Coop” "will bring together anthropologists, archaeologists and even theologists to understand the ascent of chicken husbandry."
Other royals have housed their chickens in grand palaces. At Versailles, there was the Royal Menagerie (1664) and a Russian aviary was built for Tsar Paul I.
My coop on the top of my hill for my fifteen chickens is the more proletariat of the coop estates. But, with all of its avian wire and redwood panels, it seems to do the job just fine.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
|The Goepoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943) - Salvador Dali|
This time of year signifies "the hatch" and this painting, The Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943), is a fascinating Dali that represents a hatch.
According to the Dali Museum's website: "The man breaking from the egg emerges out of the "new" nation, America, signaling a global transformation. Africa and South America are both enlarged, representing the growing importance of the Third World, while Europe is being crushed by the man's hand, indicating its diminishing importance as an international power. The draped cloth above and below the egg represents the 'placenta' of the new nation, which, as Dali shows with a drop of blood, can only be born through much pain and suffering. An androgynous older figure stands in the foreground and points to the emerging man, acknowledging the birth of this global transformation. The cowering child with its long shadow- the 'Geopoliticus Child' of the title-represents this new age."
Salvador Dali (1904-1989), a Spanish Catalin surrealist painter, was known for his eccentric ways and his paintings dripping with bizarre images. His artistic repertoire included film, photography, and sculpture. He collaborated with Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock. His wife, Gala, acted as his business manager and they were together for over 50 years.
It was my youngest brother who first introduced me to Dali's work when he showed meThe Persistence of Memory. I was in junior high and remember being both disgusted and fascinated by Dali. Who was this painter who rendered such deep meaning through such extraordinary images?
When I recently came across "The Geopoliticus Child..." painting, I was awestruck by Dali's "hatch". In Dali's painting, man emerges from the shell hand first, head still locked inside, feet pushing against the interior of the shell, struggling to break free.
Isn't that how life goes? As we being to morph into better beings, our minds are still grasping onto what is familiar, unwilling to let go -- of memories, of moments, of fears built from past experiences. We convince ourselves that we are "safer" in the darkness of our shells.
Yet, there is something inside of us that knows we can do better or be better. So, the hatch begins. First, we chirp inside our shells to let our family and friends know we need to be different. Then, we rock back-and-forth, creating a small earthquake of sorts, to see who is coming along with us. Once we're in position with supportive family and friends, we begin tapping at our shell, at first weak, then stronger, until a tiny shaft of gentle light breaks through. The light intensifies as our shell begins to crack away. At last, we stand free, on wobbly feet, facing our new being.
"Hatching" hurts. It requires stamina, fortitude, patience, and faith. It shakes up everything we have known and pretended to be. It demands that we create a strong belief in ourselves and conviction to our newly-discovered authenticity.
If you're considering a "hatch" but keep falling back into that place of fear, ask yourself which is scarier: The darkness of your shell or the light of a new beginning?
|An Olive Egger Hatches copyright Shobe Biz Communications|
Monday, March 25, 2013
|Cracking the Eggs Facts Wide Open|
For instance, did you know that the egg white contains 57% of the total egg's protein content and contains Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur?
Elizabeth Woods, a doctor, has a few more fun facts about eggs in her article, Amazing Facts About Eggs.
|The Hatch copyright: Shobe Biz Communications|
Since the chick is hatching at the time when most Europeans are awakening from an evening slumber, I think it's only appropriate that this chick be named a French name. Any ideas?
(An interesting fact about newly-hatched chicks from Backyard Chickens: Do not be in a hurry to take chicks out of the incubator. Gallinaceous birds, such as chickens, quail, and pheasants survive up to 3 days without feed or water. The yolk of the egg is drawn through the navel into the stomach of the baby bird before it hatches. That provided enough nourishment for the transitional period from the time the bird hatches, fluffs out, gains strength and becomes active enough to go out and seek food. Chicks continue to grow and develop in the incubator, before they receive food. Of course, they do not gain weight, but they do gain in stature, activity and use of their faculties.
They will instinctively be interested in drops of water, each other's toes, and other objects of possible experimentation. Do not assume from these evidences of interest that the chicks are hungry. It is simply nature's way of experimentation, exploration, and learning of the young. In general chicks are taken from the incubator after 24 hours. No harm is done if they are not taken out for 48 hours after they hatch.)
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
An article written by Shobhit Kaira in Parda Phash said that Brad Pitt not only brings home the bacon, he also brought home chickens, geese, ducks, goats, llamas, emus and rabbits to his French Chateau Mirava house that he shares with his fiancee Angelina Jolie's and their brood of six children. They now have quite a farm and Brad has to be one of the finer looking "Old MacDonald's"!
Here's an older blog on Celebrity Chicks with Chicks.
My English Doodle, Mango, needs a bit of training. For a one-year old, things could be worse, but let's just say that her habit of shredding every bit of paper or stuffed animal that she sees along with jumping up on any guests who walk through the door doesn't make for the best dog in the world. She's made some progress since her Puppy Academy days (which she nearly flunked), but not much.
So, I started asking around for trainers and Sheila recommended Sarah Browne, a trainer who formerly worked with animals at Sea World. A trainer from Sea World? Perfect. If Sarah can handle a ton of blubber, she can handle little medium-sized Mango.
So, I called Sarah and she asked me to meet her at the local mall, which I did. The training commenced. Sarah was so wonderful that people were stopping and asking her for her phone number. I swear Mango would have invited her out for margaritas if she could have.
During training, I casually mentioned to Sarah, "I also raise chickens. Perhaps you can come to my house and work with Mango so she doesn't chase the chickens."
Sarah looked at me with that wide-eyed trainer look and said, "Sure. But, in order to train the dogs, you also need to train the chickens."
Train the chickens? Gulp!
I asked her how exactly I was expected to do that. She said that the chickens would need to be desensitized to Mango so that they didn't fly when they saw her. "It's the flying that really makes a dog run after them," she said.
I started to count the required training time in my head. Fifteen chickens times ten hours a chicken (at least). One hundred and fifty hours? Yeah, right! Sweat started to trickle down the side of my face.
"But, I'm a working girl," I professed.
Sarah offered up the name Bob Bailey. He trains chickens to teach people how to train dogs, she said. I, of course, had never heard of Bob but Sarah assured me he's one of the top trainers in the U.S., and I trust Sarah.
So, here's a video of Bob training chickens.
Anyone have any luck with training their chicken? We'd love to hear your stories!