Archive for the ‘Chickens’ Category

I am SOOOOO happy to report, we just got word of the most recent zoning code amendments, that will soon head to city council for approval. It looks like they took our concerns seriously. And, although there are restrictions now, when previously there were no restrictions, in regards to agriculture and agricultural animals, we think the restrictions are fair, and well thought-out. Rob Franklin and the planning commission obviously took our suggestions to heart. And we wanted to thank them for that! So,

Thank you Solon Planning Commission for taking us seriously!

We had some doubts and you proved us wrong.

The current recommendations are not final. They have to be approved by the planning commission, and then head to the council, but I’m sure there will be no further detrimental changes to our cause.

A quick summary of the current code amendments include:

  • 3 chickens/10,000 sq ft for a max of 20 chickens, unless you have over 10 acres. (We don’t see a reason to have more than 20 chickens on a property like ours, so we’re cool with it.) They’ve banned roosters, which might have been something we would be interested in the future, but it’s a compromise we’re willing to accept. Roosters can be aggressive, so we understand their thought.
  • 1 goat, sheep, etc. per 1/2 acre, max. of 5, unless you have 10 or more acres. Again, we think this is fair, and won’t affect our long-term plans.
  • They included set-back requirements for animal houses, size limitations for animal housing, etc. All reasonable and understandable, both for respect to the neighbors, and health of the animals.
  • They specifically listed vegetable production as an accepted accessory use.

I’ll keep an eye out for any zingers that might be thrown in as the amendments head to city council, but we are VERY satisfied. That being said, we also owe YOU a huge Thank you! So many of you came to meetings, wrote letters, and made phone calls to support us. It warms my heart, and means more than words can say. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We would never had such a success with the city if it weren’t for your support.

Viva La Chickens in Solon! 🙂


Thanks again!


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I brought our newest members home yesterday:

photo (1) photo

I know for certain we have at least 3 Black australorps (the best egg layers in my experience) and one Light Brahma, in memory of my beloved Fancy Boots. The other 6 are a toss-up. I ordered a “Rare Breed Egg Layer” batch, so we’ll see what we get once they’re a little bigger. How fun! And they sure are cute little devils. 🙂

I’ve also been asked to write an opinion piece for the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the Pro’s of having backyard chickens in the ‘burbs. Flattering,  yet I can’t shake the niggling feeling that I’m opening myself up for some trouble!! Oh well…

In other news, my baby boy turned ONE last month. Can you believe it!?! I get a little choked up thinking about it. He’s so handsome, funny, and smart, just like his daddy.

photo (2)He had one heckuva party, too!! 🙂

We’re just counting down now until our baby girl gets here! 12 more weeks!! I can’t believe that either!

Thanks for checking in!


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We’ve been wondering since the fall what could have possibly taken 14 of our chickens in one night. With no signs at all of a fight, except for piles of feathers scattered over 2 acres of land, we assumed it was a few coyotes. I suspect we were partially right. Because the other day, I heard the strangest sound, in the middle of the day. I looked out the window, and right beside our house, I saw this:

037 038 040

She stood there and howled and called for a good 10 minutes before I scared her off. There were footprints right down our front sidewalk. Brazen Coyote! Crazy things happen during mating season, I suppose!

BUT! That’s not all!

A few days earlier, I saw our “suspected” bobcat on our driveway again. I hadn’t seen him for a few months. This time he was bigger, and meaner looking. No questions he was a bobcat this time! I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of him. But I did get a picture of his prints, which are ALL over our yard.

034About 2.5 inches top to bottom. Looks like we have a big (hungry!) one!

Naturally, since we lost our flock, we’ve been keeping our remaining girls on lock down. But, we’re planning to get crafty so they’ll be safe, but still able to scratch, peck and forage in fresh grass (without becoming lunch!) once the snow melts.

Anyone have any ideas?


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We were asked to be in a Solon Times article this week regarding the proposed zoning changes in our city. They wanted us to show off our chickens, since the city is trying to restrict chickens to 2 per household, and until the coyote attack, we had 18. So, we all piled into the coop. I chased a frantic hen around for a while, and then we got this:IMG_1892[1]Not too shabby! Right?!

Then, she pooped in my coat pocket. Oh well, it happens right?

The article is fairly benign, covering both “Sides” of the issue, which include the planning director essentially saying farm animals are bad, and us and our neighbors saying they are not! The weird part is, apparently the planning director, who does not live in our city, has his own farm with chickens and turkeys and what not. Does that strike you as odd, that a guy who wants the right to own these animals himself is trying to restrict our right? Hmmm…

Anyway, the battle is still waging, and it won’t be over until the November ballot I suspect. Until then, if you live in Solon, I implore you to contact your council representative or anyone on the planning commission and give them an earful. It’s the only way they’ll get the message that what we’re doing is GOOD!!



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I phoned the city this morning and confirmed that next week, February 11, at 7:30pm, public comment regarding the proposed zoning changes are being accepted following the planning commission meeting.

This will be in the council chambers at Solon City Hall:

34200 Bainbridge Rd, Cleveland, OH 44139


If you are able please, PLEASE come and support our right to feed our family with our own food!!

If you are unable to attend next week, there will be monthly meetings where public comments are accepted. I will keep you updated.

You can also phone the city council at:


And share your concerns. Or you can send a message to council members Here.

Even if you aren’t a fan of owning chickens or growing produce for farmer’s markets, the city government has no right to control where our food comes from. This directly impacts my family’s budget, and the way I feed my children. I don’t believe the government belongs in my kitchen! What about you?!

Please contact me at 216-903-2184 if you need a ride to the meeting next week, or need advice on what may be effective in telling the city council. Together we can make a difference!!



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This weekend has been warm, dry and beautiful. Perfect for getting our warm weather crops in the ground. But, things were a little crazy around the farm, too! Read on…

When we got to work, everyone was laying down on the job.



We even found the supervisor sleeping….again.


Birdie was the only helpful one, feverishly collecting dandelion seeds before they spread to the garden.


Unfortunately, Farmer Rich offended her by something he said, so she stormed off.


Then, as I was attempting to collect eggs, I ran into a turf war! Fancy “The Boots” was not please that Greta “No Thumbs” was occupying her territory. Yikes!  I didn’t stick around to see how it ended… 014

Despite the shenanigans, we managed to get our peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes planted. We have another bed prepped for our squash and pumpkins, to be planted later this week.


It’s shaping up to be a good season!


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Our 13 hens came home to us a few nights ago, a little spur of the moment. So, a hill-billy train? Indeed, it was.

My neighbor Mel has graciously been keeping our 13 chickens in her barn. She raised them from chicks, because they came right around the time our little farmer came. So, 14 babies at our place was a crowd. The plan all along has been to move them over to our property once the high tunnels were completed, so they could hang out in there, and till the soil for us. Unfortunately, there have been some unforeseen delays. And since the weather is FINALLY nice, it’s time to move them outside. So, Mel had a spare, mobile coop she let us borrow in the meantime. Getting said coop and chickens three doors down, on a busy street in the ‘burbs is something not to be missed. So, let me paint you a picture with, well, pictures.

Here we have Joe, Mel’s husband as the engineer, Farmer Rich, is steering the coop, and Mel is stabilizing it.

20130501-222624.jpg 20130501-222644.jpgI think it was at this point that I was giggling uncontrollably, and Mel shouts out “It’s a Hill-billy train!!” with her slight Texas accent. I, on the other hand, am of the hardy stock of central Pennsylvania mountain folk, and generally prefer “hick from the sticks,” but in this situation, the “hill-billy” in “hill-billy train” hit the nail on the head.


Where am I, you might ask? Besides taking pictures, I was bringing up the rear with RJ in the stroller. It was a sight, indeed.


If you were one of the lucky ones to drive passed us during the big move, thanks for giving us a wide berth, and not giving us the bird! (Ha! Pun intended!)


It was a fun time. And, now the girls are home, and enjoying the new, temporary digs.

So, a BIG thanks to neighbor Mel for everything! What we won’t do for our chickens!!


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