Friday Wrap-Up: Chicken, goat soap and bags, oh my!

Green Daily is posting a series on “The Suburban Chicken Farmer.” Does anyone out there have chickens? We are seriously considering it after we rip out our driveway this summer.

While we’re on the site (this is more of a Green Daily wrap-up, I guess!) their May Green Challenge is to not accept any (plastic, but also other) bags. I have been doing this for the better part of a year, and I love it! If you are a regular reader here, I hope you are not accepting bags, but let us know if you are inspired by this challenge to make it a real lifestyle goal! I think it’s one of the easiest ways to reduce your footprint AND the junk that piles up around the house. On the cheap side, if you ever must take a bag, make it be only for big stuff — then you can use the big bag as a trash-can liner afterward instead of using a newly bought bag. But mostly, avoid ’em!

And here is a recipe for goat’s milk soap (also via Green Daily) that looks really easy … once you’ve donned the protective gloves and mask, that is. Has anyone made their own soap? My bar is getting skimpy in the shower and I’m thinking about it …

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10 thoughts on “Friday Wrap-Up: Chicken, goat soap and bags, oh my!

  1. L'an says:

    I just heard about a seminar/class offered through the Denver Botanic Gardens about “city chickens”–maybe they’ll offer another one sometime soon so you can get the lowdown from (presumably) the experts?

    And, I’ve never actually made my own bar soap, but it is something I’ve really really wanted to do for a while. A colleague used to make her own in the basement–using lye and all–and I gather it really isn’t that complicated. Maybe we’ll have to coordinate a soap-making event!

  2. cheaplikeme says:

    Great! I see they have another one coming up at the end of this month. Maybe I will go … we now have a plan in place for where to put them.

    They do beekeeping, too, but not until August.

    And count me in for soap-making!

  3. Jenna says:

    I remember my bags… I just wish I didn’t have to fight baggers so much. When I bought a few canvas bags from the store, I turned my back for a moment and they double-bagged each bag. Separately. My personal favorite is the look of horror as I put “dirty” things into clean cloth bags. If I try and pick up meat from the local butchers (local meat) they helpfully try and wrap the packages in plastic bags to keep my bags “nice”. When I say I made the net bags out of cheap and washable cotton yarn they still look confused.

    Ah well. I figure if I rant enough they’ll learn. (That… and frankly I have started relating a story regarding something my cat did with a plastic bag and they look green and start carrying themselves! I’ll resist the TMI, and instead just say – what goes in must come out.) Now I just need to get the produce bags sewn.

    Good luck with the chickens.

  4. Celina says:

    I have “city” chickens and I LOVE them so much! Not only do i get fresh organic eggs every day, they are an absolute kick in the pants!

  5. jessimonster says:

    I want city chickens too! I would have figured there would be some sort of zoning requirement for chickens, but if you can keep them anywhere, that sounds like a great idea. I would love to have the fresh eggs!
    Of course, I don’t know how well this would go over with my two cats. Of course, they’d love it, but not in the way I’d want them to.

  6. cheaplikeme says:

    @jessimonster, check your local zoning requirements. Various cities have various requirements. In Seattle you can have pet goats, which makes me want to move …

    I have heard that cats are not too much of a trouble with chickens (I think because grown-up chickens can fight ’em off, or intimidate them enough?). But dogs (including roaming foxes, which live in many cities) and from what L’an heard, raccoons can be trouble.

    Also double check the cost of chicken feed to make sure it’s worth it. Hmm, maybe this is worth a whole post eh?

  7. organicneedle says:

    I have been off the bags for awhile too. I have expanded now to trying to buy less prepackaged things, but they don’t make it easy. So many organic fruits and veggies come in bags to prevent mingling with the pesty-versions I guess.

    As far as chicken or fish, I bring a used plastic bag with me, such as an old bread bag or orange bag. (I have a big phobia of contaminating my other stuff with chicken juice.)

  8. Jenny says:

    Chickens are awesome, soap is relatively easy (although sometimes finding lye is hard) and I must admit I accept bags on occasion. But I am resolved to do better! Thank you for the challenge!

  9. Megan says:

    We love our Chickens, and our angora goats and our sheep. And I love to hear the neighbors cows mooing. There is something so comforting in that sound.

    We are blessed to live just a mile or two out of the city limits, so we can have as many animals as we like. Which has been good for my fiber addiction and keeps my spinning wheel humming.

    chickens are fun. They do have personalities. But because we are all about them working for us, we haven’t named them due to the fact that they will one day be dinner.

    We bought 4 from craigslist about 9 months ago. We haven’t looked back since! We enjoy the responsibility that will one day be our kids (their have been to many instances of chickens on the loose for them to have sole responsibility right now).

    Many people will say free range is the way to go. And it is for some. But for me, not so. Hubby doesn’t like the thought of chickens eating and digging in our garden. I don’t like the thought of poop on the porch. And around here all we have are pasture fences. so I don’t like the thought of chicken as roadkill.

    What works for us is a nice roomy hen house made from what used to be a cutter bee house that we got from craigslist for $30. With a few alterations, such as adding nesting boxes, a perch, and a few doors for cleaning and collecting eggs, and for the hens, and we were done! We added a roomy run and voila! We have enough room for our original 4 chickens and the 5 chicks that we bought this past spring!

    The run that my hubby originally built for the chickens is now serving as a place for broody hens (currently 0), hens who might be sick (currently 0), and in a week or two, it will house the chicks until they are ready for the big hen house.

    I would highly recommend http://www.backyardchickens.com to anyone thinking about getting chickens. A few days reading that site and you will find that you NEED chickens! 🙂

  10. Patricia says:

    I also am thinking about keeping chickens, much to my family’s horror. I have read a couple of books from the library, one of which was extremely positive and the other made it sound like a lot of really hard work. I have read, however, that in Denver, there is a $50.00 annual fee but no maximum on how many you can keep as long as the neighbors don’t complain. Reading your blog and the comments has convinced me that I’m NOT crazy. Thanks.

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