Thursday, August 6, 2009

What, no chickens?

I have finally decided with heavy heart that now is not the right time for us to get chickens. :(

The extreme heat we have been having over the past month or so has really had me thinking, and researching about how chickens cope with the heat. They apparently get stressed above 95 degrees or so according to several sources I have found, and of course days on end of 110 plus degree weather would in my opinion stress them out to the max.

Of course many people keep chickens successfully here in the valley of the scorching sun, with certain provisions to cool their chooks such as adding ice to their water, providing ample shade, using misters, and feeding them less. None of these things would be a problem for me to do, however, as worried as I am now about how they would cope, I know I would be worried to the extreme on a daily basis once I actually had the chickens, and the extreme temperatures hit. We have 100 degree plus temperatures for about five months of the year here, (although people living here will try to convince you it is for less time). My personality is such that I fret about our pets, and I know that the constant daily worry about keeping my chickens cool, and alive would probably tip me over the edge. That may sound weird to some but it is just the way I am made.

I feel really sad that I am having to let go of a dream of mine for now, but it is not forever, and when we finally do move somewhere more temperate, I will finally get my long awaited chooks.

So, that's that. I actually feel better now that the decision is made, and I will continue to live vicariously through others here in the valley who are successfully raising urban chickens.

13 comments:

leaner said...

I am so with you on that one. I am fret about my animals way too much, too. And yeah, over 100 for 5 months. I agree.

A friend of mine has chickens, but lives a little ways out of city limits. She has 2 acres and a horse corral that the chickens live in. But its not like she lives in the concrete jungle.

Amanda said...

If it helps at all, I think you've made the right decision, although I can imagine it hasn't been an easy one. :-(

Mo said...

Thanks for the support Leaner and Amanda! I am sure my general seasonal depression about the summer heat has contributed to my decision, but I still think it is the right one.

One thing that has helped me this summer is our little camping trips away, and I just know that with Robert at work all day, I would be constantly wondering how the chickens were doing if we do the same next year. Not worth it for me, or for the chickens.

Our plan to move up to the Northwest always seems to be two years away, or at least has been for the past five years or so. I really hope that it is not longer because my dreams are waiting.............

Amy said...

I have to admit, I'm sad to hear about your decision not to get any chickens. But I totally understand and support your decision.

I don't suppose you want any pigeons. Our pair have now produced three babies and are working on another egg.

Mo said...

Thanks Amy for the sympathy, and for the offer, but I think I will have to decline. We have enough pigeons of our own, the wild kind I mean! :)

bodaat said...

oh MoMo! i'm sorry that you can't have your chickens right now. but it sounds like you haven't lost hope just yet. :) the farm at south mountain keeps chickens. maybe you can talk to them about how they do it and not fret? it would be hard. i'm not sure i could do it b/c i would be so worried too. us animal lovers unite!

Marilyn said...

Add my name to the list of no chickens. I really would like them also, but I, too, am terribly worried about the heat. I know several people here who have them successfully but they are living under trees, which I have none in my suburban lot. Maybe someday....{sigh}

Barbee' said...

I know what you mean, Mo. I always treated our animals like children. I wouldn't be able to stand it if things were not right for them. I don't know about you, but I wilt in the heat and wouldn't be able to care for them properly. This just gives you more to look forward to, and more time to read and study what you need to know for well keeping. Or, maybe you have already done that. Decisions are so hard for me as I get older. I have had to give up my life-long dream, and am still grieving, but I am doing better. Here's to your future!

Mo said...

Bo, there are lots of people who do keep chickens here and manage it superbly but for me, I know I would be so anxious during the summer that it would be awful for all around me. Thank you for your support. x

Hi Marilyn, we do have trees, but even so, it has still been jolly hot. One day my friend, one day!

Dear Barbee, I am so sorry to hear about you having to let go of your dream. How hard that must be. My heart is with you. x

Mid-life Midwife, CPM said...

big hugs on your chicken decision. we finally just had a spell of really hot, humid days. our chickens dealt just fine, but did not look happy. they spent the daytime hours deep in dust baths cooling off. and it was only 95* here. tho the girls did have me worried.
maybe one day you'll live in the mountains you love to camp in! and you can have all the chickies you desire!

Mo said...

Thanks MLMW, I hope so, one day. :)

Titania said...

I am sorry that you can not get any chickens. I agree 38 C for five month is very hot. I guess it is rather a dry heat. We get sometimes in summer heatwaves.I think the highest I have experienced here on the coast is 36 C but very humid and uncomfortable. Generally only for a few days. Melbourne in the South can get over 42 C.
This time I won't forget to tell you how nice your header looks. I can smell the fragrance of the flowers and herbs in the summer heat!

Mo said...

Thank you Titania! It was taken at The Desert Botanical Garden here in Phoenix. I wish my garden looked even close to it! :)