Being Yippies Pays Off: Egg Recall

When we went to pick up the first delivery of meat from our CSA Janaan said that everyone in the parking lot was a Yuppie (Porsche, Range Rover) or a Hippie (Subaru, 4Runner). We decided that we were a hybrid because while I drive a Subaru and Janaan drives a 4Runner, we really both want to be driving Range Rovers. So we started calling ourselves Hyuppies. Then my friend Lisa said that Yippie had a better ring to it, and we agreed. So, we are now proud Yippies. Sidebar: we were at a family reunion this summer and I was so intent on recycling as much as possible that my aunt told me she was going to buy me a green swastika. That was possibly my proudest moment as a yippie, and for the record we took home THREE 55 gallon bags of recyclables from the reunion.

This summer we joined a meat CSA (more on that in another post), we have been going to the farmer's market almost weekly, Janaan has a garden, Mom and Dad are growing herbs and tomatoes and Mom and Janaan are currently canning like mad women (more on that too in another post). But perhaps our biggest commitment to yippiehood to date has been our chickens. (The whole process has been so epic and we've been blathering on so much about it that our sister Christina has told us that she does not want to hear another word about chickens at Sunday dinner. So, yeah, OK, we've been pretty obsessed.)

Janaan started doing research on urban chickens after we watched Food Inc. earlier this year. Then our Uncle Perry came to town and got us all jazzed up. He lives in Los Angeles and he has had backyard chickens for almost 20 years. So we formed a coop co-op (get it: coop co-op, heh heh heh) consisting of Janaan and Ed, me and Alek and our friends Barrett and Danielle. More or less, the deal was Barrett and Danielle would keep the chickens in their HUGE yard, Alek and I would build the coop and Ed and Janaan would raise the chicks. Then all of us would split the costs for feed and take turns cleaning the coop and we would feast on farm fresh eggs for 20 years! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

So, Janaan did a bunch of research and found out which chickens laid the best eggs, were winter hearty and were easy on the eyes. We ordered them from Murray McMurray and they arrived on a Sunday in June. You have to order them in batches of 24 and you get a "surprise" 25th chicken for free. Somehow we ended up with 27 healthy happy baby chicks which Janaan and Ed raised with lots of love until they were ready for transport to the coop. (We've since had two casualties due to a backyard predator of some sort and one is M.I.A. and presumed dead.)

Now I'm not going to lie, this chicken thing has been a total pain in the ass. Yes, that's right, I just wrote ass. Coordinating the six of us to decide to go ahead with this (love you sister!), figuring out which breeds to buy (thanks Uncle Perry!), building the coop on the coldest, rainiest day of summer - the ONLY day that we had time to build it (thanks Dad for all of your help and your tools!), the drama of getting the chicks on Sunday (a special thank you to the USPS agent at the downtown SLC office for making a special delivery that day!), keeping the chicks alive (thanks farmer Ed!), transporting the chicks to the coop, making sure they are fed and have fresh water every day (thanks Barrett and Danielle!), and rebuilding the coop so that varmints (yes, that's right, I just wrote varmints) can't get in and kill them has been quite an endeavor.

And after all this the chickens won't produce eggs for a while, maybe not until next spring if they really don't lay in the winter. But after today's recall of 500 million eggs (yes, 500 MILLION!!) all of the effort is TOTALLY WORTH IT.

If you're as excited about backyard chicken keeping as we are, be sure to check out the Martha Stewart Chicken Show, we know it really put us over the top with our chicken mania.


Kristen said...

I LOVE Yippies! I'm going to start calling people that.