Archive for February, 2009

Araucanas Available Next Week

Friday, February 27th, 2009

We’re pretty excited. Our biggest hatch of heritage breeds ever is just around the corner and the eggs are looking good!
We’re hatching a bunch of extra Araucanas in case anyone is interested. Everyone loves this particular breed, so we knew we had to bring in more.
Araucanas are famous for their beautiful blue-green eggs. Martha Stewart has been a stalwart fan of Araucanas and include them in her private flock.
Araucanas were always thought to have originated in breeds found in the Arauco Penninsula in south central Chile. Recent archeological findings however, have linked DNA of this breed to ancient chicken remains found in Polynesia, in particular, Tonga. This supports a theory that seafarers from the Polynesian nations had been visiting South and North America centuries before the Europeans’ arrival, and that it was the Polynesians who brought chickens to the Americas.
It is pretty neat how this particular breed of chicken is turning out to play an important role in establishing this theory, a theory that could change how people view the civilizations and cultures of the nations of the Pacific.
As the view of a more progressive and proactive Polynesia gains wider acceptance in the western academic world, perhaps more attention will also be given to the traditional Polynesian arts of cultivating soil and ecosystem-based food growing, instead of plantation mono-cropping that has been superimposed on island climates and terrain.
But getting back to Aracaunas. They’re really good foragers, can be very independent and hearty. They are known for their calm natures and can be friendly if hand-reared as chicks.
Their looks are pretty unusual too, with ear tuffs (giving some the Grandpa Addams look) and they are rumplessness, meaning no tail. They are, however, blessed with very distinguished coloring and a nice sturdy bearing. They are also reliable egg-layers. Yum. You can truly make green eggs and ham.
Give us a call or send an email if you are interested some Araucanas, the hatch is on Wednesday, March 4.
That will make them Piscean Araucanas.
Extra special.

The Miracle of Human Invention

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Here at Asagi Hatchery we come across all kinds of genius at work in the poultry lovers community, and it never ceases to amaze. Chicken tractor designs, seed forage cakes, and now, chicken diapers. We first came across chicken diapers in a fascinating and informative post by Chickenmom on YouTube. She’s home-rearing two bantams, figured out just what she needed to do, and is sharing it. She gives a good instructional on making a diaper for your chicken in seven minutes. We don’t know if it is the same woman, but there is a web site that tells you all about them and how to order. The website’s Home Page comes right out and addresses the obvious to get it out of the way: “You are afraid your friends and relatives think you have a screw loose. Well, fear no more! You are in the company of a steadily growing number of people who have discovered the joys of birdy companionship outside AND inside your home. With so many of us, we can’t all be wrong.” The diapers are fitted to go around the middle of the body, with a pocket that goes over the backside. It doesn’t restrict the movement of the chicken. The pocket design keeps mess away from feathers. Nice colors, even a rainbow print is available, for the diversity supportive. To order you send in the measurements of your chicken for a custom fit. Check it out if you are interested. If you’ve ever raised a chick, we’ll bet you can’t say that the thought of keeping it in the house never crossed your mind. Pretty hard to not to stand there and watch them for hours. And for at least a nanosecond wonder – why not? Ulisse Aldrovandi, the Italian 15th century lecturer, natural historian, orinthologist, creator of famous botanical gardens, and author of the most famous treatise on chickens, also had a special chicken. A brown hen that he raised and would let wander around his country house, and who would not go to sleep anywhere except near his books. We’re not advocating depriving a chicken of the great outdoors, but there are some who actually might prefer being indoors. We also know of some injured fowl being cared for indoors. It’s amazing how the internet is allowing for so much sharing, large and small. And chicken diapers may not be the cure for the ailing economy or the next big media event, but it could open up a possibility of a better life for another human being or chicken.

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Hawaii SEED Talk on Food Security with Jeffrey Smith

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Our next post was going to be about chicken diapers, but something more important came up.
Hawaii SEED is sponsoring a state-wide tour with Jeffrey Smith, author of two very informative books on the health effects of GMO foods, “Seeds of Deception” and “Genetic Roulette.” He is also the founder of Institute for Responsible Technology and works internationally to educate communities about regaining control of our food supply from agricultural biotech companies.
For more information about the talks and about Hawaii SEED, see their website:
Talks have been organized on all islands, upcoming ones are:
Feb. 17, YBA Hall, HIlo, 6 p.m.
Feb. 21, Dragonfly Ranch, Kona, 5 p.m. Potluck, 7 p.m.
Feb. 22, Waialua Community Association, O’ahu. 6-7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23, Church of the Crossroads, University Ave., O’ahu. 6-7:30 p.m.
To give you an idea of who is also a part of this movement, and this is definitely a movement, the O’ahu part of this tour is also sponsored by Down to Earth, Slow Food O’ahu, Hawaii Health Guide, ‘Umeke Market, Kokua Hawai’i Foundation, Celestial Natural Foods, The Campaign for Healthy Eating in America.
In case you haven’t had a chance to get to know Hawaii SEED…
Hawaii SEED has been on the frontline here in Hawaii, conducting research, educating, organizing the public and farmers about the realities of the genetically engineered. They have published, to our knowledge, the only book (a info-packed 70 page pamphlet, “Facing Hawaii’s Future”) that clearly and substantially communicates the disturbing history of GMO in Hawai’i. They have also protected the islands in ways that cannot be measured. They have helped local farmers protect their crops from bio-tech neighbors, worked with Native Hawaiians and taro farmers to protect taro from patents, helped save our local coffee industry by preventing GMO coffee crops from coming in.
They have been persistently posing the tough questions to a lot of people who are not used to being questioned at all. Questions about the logic of taking a risk whose consequences have the potential to be as deeply irreversible to our bodies and our planet, as perhaps nothing else we have faced as a species. Is it logical to risk at that magnitude for profit or proprietorship of knowledge? At the cost of the entirety of the unique eco-system of the Hawaiian islands?
Thank you Hawaii SEED for always asking the tough questions.

One of the Things We Love

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

is Sol-u-Guard Botanical.
It comes in a stylish green spray bottle, smells really great, and cleans up after cute but messy creatures – without leaving a toxic cloud.
Sol-u-Guard Botanical is part of the EcoSense line of Melaleuca.
They call it a botanical formula because it contains oils of thyme, clove, lemongrass. Thyme and clove have been used for centuries as disinfectants and fumigators – to combat the unwanted on both surfaces and in the air.
The company claims that this formula has been proven to kill over 99.9% of bacteria on nonporous surfaces. The label also lists that it is suitable for use in residential, commercial, medical applications, including health care and food prep facilities like hospitals and nursing homes, day cares, restaurants, and vets.
We’ve been using it for over six years in our own homes. Several of us are very sensitive to toxic cleaners and find this product friendly, as well as effective.
It’s important to really disinfect well. But if you are constantly cleaning up after critters with a spray bottle, in your own home, you can end up with a situation more toxic than you know. If you feel the need to disinfect with a commercial cleaner, best to do that once a day, and let the place air out before letting your pets and family come back into the room. Small people and animals really get affected by certain chemicals in commercial cleaners.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to find cleaners that can be used more frequently without causing harm.
We’ve been carrying this one at the hatchery, because it is especially good for cleaning up after pets and leaves everything smelling like an herbal garden.
This post goes out especially to those with feathery housemates. You know who you are! Stay tuned for the next post when we explore the enterprise of chicken diapers.
If you have any other cleaning suggestions you might want to share, let us know!

First Heritage Hatch of 2009

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

We hope everyone is having a great start to a new year.
At the hatchery we’re preparing for our first heritage hatch for 2009!
A lot of people have been practicing a lot of patience, honing their wish lists, and making plans for building coops over the past months. We’ve gathered a lot of orders and will be happy to take yours if you are interested in the following breeds: Araucana, Silver Lace Wyandotte, Buff Orpington, Mille Fleur, Barred Plymouth Rock, Silkie, Java, White Crested Black Polish.
Remember, these are straight run, meaning that we are unable to designate or guarantee whether the chicks are male or female.
If you are interested, please call in your order!