What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Annapolis Backyard Hens

on February 14, 2015

Mr Gillybirds travels far and wide very regularly. I’m more of a home bird, preferring the comfort and familiarity of my nest of children, dogs and hens. Last week however I boarded a plane and headed across the Atlantic Ocean, touching down firstly in the quaint city of Annapolis. It was a packed schedule of meetings, dinners, breakfasts and general busyness, but being me, I got time to (a) visit a craft megastore and (b) find a blog post of hen related interest.

The City of Annapolis is old by USA standards, the harbour surrounded by mostly original wooden buildings from the 17th century, marks the place where Kunta Kinte of Roots fame was sold as a slave. Annapolis has the first treasury of the United States. It also is home to the elegant Naval College where we attended a service in the Naval Chapel with its most beautiful stained glass windows. It is very pretty even in the depths of winter. Homes have plenty of space round them. I mentioned to our lovely hosts that I was a hen keeper and was informed that hen keeping has become a popular hobby since legislation was passed in 2012 permitting home owners to keep them. The laws are very clear. Before getting your hens you are required to build a coop to a regulated size which has to be inspected and approved, to have your neighbours confirm they are happy with the prospect of feathered neighbours, you are encouraged to adopt rescue hens rather than buy hens, you are committed to taking good care by providing clean food and water, to visiting the vet in times of sickness and interestingly not to use them for human consumption, except for religious purposes.

It’s all very official compared to round our way. Looking out at our hosts spacious back yard, bordered by trees and an iced over majestic river, it seemed the ideal spot for a happy home for hens. I encouraged her to give it some consideration.

She mentioned that the city itself has embraced the idea of hen keeping, and twenty five and a half foot hen “blanks” had been given to various schools, businesses and art groups to decorate and place around the city to celebrate hens! Sadly I didn’t get time to jump out of a car and take photos. I did spot a Mona Lisa hen, but thanks to the joys of the Internet I’ve been able to find some just for you.

My favourite is the “sax and the city” hen, with me being both a hen keeper and saxophone player.

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