Archives for June 2008

Leo the Survivor (Michael Vick’s Fiasco)

Photo Above: Leo at MSNBC–catch the video there.

Leo — rescued from heavy chains that confined him as one of the pit bulls in former NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring — is a lover, not a fighter. He now happily frolics in a clown collar as he makes the rounds at the Camino Infusion Center, where he brings comfort to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Despite his training as a killer, Leo is a sweetheart as he visits his friends on the ward.

Read more about Leo’s new life–and watch the video while you are at it! 

Chicken Pets: Ruffling Feathers or Going Green?

Photograph of Rhode Island Red courtesy of Sherool

So, over on the Pet Connection blog Kim mentioned her surprise to find chicken pets listing in Men’s Journal. The author of the article, Ragan Sutterfield, is a writer and farmer in Arkansas–where chickens in the yard are not something new–just a recent fad in the big urban areas.

Growing up we lived in Los Angeles County and had chickens as pets. So, I don’t think of this trend as something new. (Or maybe I have now hit the age where it is new and I am just old now–Ugh.)

The fine feathered friends had a coop but were allowed to roam in our large yard during the day under supervision. They were great at keeping down the weeds and bugs and I loved listening them.

We ate their eggs and maintained quite a group until a member of the local urban wildlife clan (a large raccoon) discovered them.

But our rooster, Oscar was mean. (He was actually one of the few animals in my life that I was afraid of!) As a fine specimen of the Plymouth Rock variety, this cockerel put up a good fight with the raccoon, saving his flock, but losing his life from the injuries several days later.

It was the only time we had a truce and it broke my heart. I was probably about eight years old or so.

Anyway, over the years we had Rhode Island Reds and later Silkies. If you are interested in chicken breeds try Henderson’s Chicken Breed Chart. Although I liked the colorful eggs of the Silkies , I preferred the personalties of the Rhode Island Reds.

In January of this year I discovered that some of my neighbors were raising chickens and so decided to video and cover the “breaking news about chicken pets.”

Then today I found this article talking about how pet chickens are ruffling feathers in Houston and don’t miss the chicken pet video.

I was recently interviewed about pet trends–basically I think that the pet industry pushes novelty animals and creates trends to make more money off of livestock (pets).

In this particular case, I am wondering if it is just how some people are getting back to nature…going green and all that.

After all you can get fresh eggs, fertilizer, maybe a few feathers, and keep down the weeds and bugs in the process–right?