Friday, August 3, 2012

The new "Mother Earth" is here! The new "Mother Earth" is here!

That's right boys and girls, yesterday when I got home from work was that special time that rolls around every other month when I check the mail that's piled on the kitchen table, run through the house like The Jerk, and promptly lock myself in the "reading room" for long enough to scan each page and decide what I want to read first.

Granted, I don't usually get around to reading anything longer than a few paragraphs til the next day, but since it only happens every other month, and there's only about an hour's worth of material in each issue, I have to spread the enjoyment out over a few days.

Ive learned that if I gorge myself by reading cover to cover the first day, within a week or so I'm frantically flipping pages hoping I missed something, and by the end of the month I'm in a down-mouthed funk and kicking at the dog on my way to the mailbox.

So anyway, like I said before. I've always liked this magazine, though since the new owners took over it has gotten a little bullish with its political agenda. And it doesnt seem to have as many "backwoods-type" articles as it once did.
The home made crossbow and black powder squirrell hunting were among my favorites back in the day.

I still glean some handy information from each issue.

I also get several "D'oh! What the Hell is that?" moments.
Now, I realize that more and more people who live in urban and suburban areas are trying to be more self sufficient. And I truly do applaud that.
I also realize that when neighbors can wave to one another through the window as the rinse their supper dishes, or loan each other certain paper products without having to get off the throne, that aesthetics come into play more than they do here in North Reagan.

But I still have to ask who, from what planet, would figure paying $400-$800 for a 3 to 10-chicken coop, made of plastic, is at all in line with the ideals that founded "Mother Earth News" or homesteading in general?!

I'm not going to show you this thing, because if I link to it, one of you Rockafeller chicken adficiados may buy one and I couldn't have that on my conscience. And besides, if you want to pay $400 for a chicken coop, just let me know and I'll tell you where to send your check, for a one-of-a-kind, earth-friendly, delivered to your door in 4-6 weeks, coop that I guarantee with be nothing like anything your neighbor has!

I bet the folks who buy that thing are the same ones who told me "it's not any cheaper to raise chickens than it is to buy eggs..."
I guess it wouldn't be if you paid $75 sq.ft. For your coop!
I've got 10 chickens, 3 more hatched while I was gone, in a coop that cost me about $75 total.
And the chickens were free.
So for about a buck-seventy-five in scratch a week I average 14-20 eggs a week.
Nope. Not a bit cheaper than $2.25 a dozen from the store.

But back to my original rant...
I will say I rather admire the design and engineering that went into this thing, almost as much as I admire the company for actually convincing anyone trying to lead a more self-sufficient and frugal lifestyle to buy one. But come on! For that amount of money it should automatically feed, water, delouse, and collect the eggs of 10 chickens. And for another $50 it should move itself to a new spot in the yard every other day.

Y'all tell me, if you had $400-$500 hating around, would it even cross your mind to spend it on a coop for 10 chickens or less?
I know it wouldn't mine, even if I had it, which I don't.
And even if I did, and it did. I'm pretty sure the brain damaged dog would bite me over it, seein' as his ass sleeps in a an old Round Up barrel...


  1. I just found your blog via Ohiofarmgirl, and I'm so glad this was the first article I ended up reading. I do live in the city (trying to get away as hard as I can!), and I just bought my first flock o' hens. I've been browsing coop selections just for ideas as to what I might build for myself out of scrap lumber and cannot BELIEVE some of the prices. You wanna see something "special"...check out the "Agrarian" section of the Williams-Sonoma website. That's right--the store that specializes in $100 pot holders and $60 juice tumblers is now catering to the elite upper-crust of urban "homesteaders." Most remarkable about the uber expensive chicken coop is that it is entirely whitewashed, inside and out. Can you imagine trying to keep that thing looking nice? Oh right...anyone who shops the "Agrarian" section in Williams-Sonoma probably has servants to clean the coop for them. Glad I found yer blog!

  2. Found your blog from the same place. I'll be back for more.

  3. If you like the Mother Earth news, you will absolutely LOVE countryside magazine. do a search and find it! I like it because it is real people doing it and they don't have a million bucks to do it.