Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Day With a Chicken Farmer - by Karen Telleen-Lawton

Noozhawk’s Karen Telleen-Lawton and husband David enjoy the fruits of their labor on the chicken farm. (Mark Tollefson photo)
This morning on Noozhawk.com, writer Karen Telleen-Lawton talks about her birthday gift given to her by her husband in A Day With A Chicken Farmer

Craving Adventures, a Santa Barbara-based adventure company, co-owned by Eve Sommer-Belin and Caroline Conner, arranged the delicious chicken culinary adventure at Fairview Gardens in Goleta, CA.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

PETA's Super Bowl Ad Campaign is for the Birds

Contributor Tim Nudd broke the news today in the AdFreak section of Adweek's online magazine that PETA's campaign, "Let them keep their damn wings..." is set to fly onto billboards in New York, Boston and Indianapolis for the 46th Super Bowl weekend. PETA's billboard campaign, shown above, asks Super Bowl fans to go vegan instead of eating the notoriously famous football dish--chicken wings. According to PETA's news release, over six hundred million chickens are killed for wing consumption for Super Bowl weekend.

It's a good thing that rivals New England Patriots and New York Giants are in this year's Super Bowl. If the Philadelphia Eagles entered the fray, PETA would really have something to squawk about.

Although I'm an advocate for the humane treatment of animals, I think PETA's campaign is a bit bird-brained. But, if you disagree, by all means, please check out PETA's recipes for mouth-watering Super Bowl weekend alternatives at http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/vegetarian-super-bowl-party.aspx.

To take a gander at some of PETA's controversial ads from years past: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/exclusive-first-look-at-petas-nsfw-new-super-bow

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why DID the Chicken Cross the Road?

                                                                                                                             Robin Loznak/Zuma

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Photographer Joel Sartore's Silkie Showgirls

Photographer Joel Sartore's Silkie Showgirls

National Geographic: The Great American Zoo Trip

Learn how many species are estimated to go extinct each day. Read how Mr. Sartore's feels his photography technique of capturing the species on black or white backgrounds "gives all species equal weight and importance. A tiny beetle is as interesting as a lion, and a two-toed sloth as cuddly as a panda bear."

* * *

I just placed my order for spring chicks, including black silkies. Their interesting attributes--down-like "fur", dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, docile nature, non-flying feathers, and five toes--make them somewhat of an anomaly in the poultry world. 

Being the history buff that I am, here's a little background on these, as Mr. Sartore calls them, "Silkie Showgirls":

Inveterate traveler and prolific writer Marco Polo was the first to mention the fur-like plumage of the Silkies during his 13th century Asian travels. The most well-documented origin of Silkies is China, although there is conjecture that they may have originated in Java or India. Silkies most probably arrived in the West via the Silk Route or through the maritime trade.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the black-skinned chicken is used to reinforce body immunity and protect  from emaciation and feebleness. Black-skinned chicken is also used to treat diabetes, anemia, menstrual cramps and postpartum disorders. 

Silkies are one of the oldest chicken breeds known. They are often exhibited in shows. Silkies do have a tendency to go broody making them excellent mothers.  They come in two types: bearded and non-bearded. 

For more information:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tiny rustic farms battle for survival in Los Angeles area

From today's Los Angeles Times--
Tiny rustic farms battle for survival in Los Angeles area

Chickens are part of the neighborhood in a portion of Tarzana zoned for 
residential-agriculturaluse. A developer wants to build an elder-care facility in the area
(Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times / January 13, 2012)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chickens, Flaxseed & Ovarian Cancer

Photo by Keith Skelton
Is it true that studies on chickens may provide the "golden egg" in understanding how flaxseed may decrease the severity of ovarian cancer in women?

According to Science Daily (May 2010),  University of Illinois researchers have discovered that a diet rich in flaxseed-- known for its omega-3 fatty acids-- actually "decreases the severity of ovarian cancer" in chickens. For hens, this is a very important matter because, by the age of four, nearly 50% of hens have ovarian cancer.

"The chicken is the only animal that spontaneously develops ovarian cancer on the surface of the ovaries like humans," said Dr. Janice Bahr, one of the nation's leading poultry researchers and professor emerita of University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences.

A study conducted by researchers Johnson and Giles, Use of Genetic Strains of Chicken in Studies of Ovarian Cancer," (Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 2006), cited that ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from all cancers in women. In fact, nearly 25,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year or 1 in every 57 women. Most ovarian tumors are not diagnosed until  Stage III or IV, where survival rates are only 5% to 40%. In citing Bahr's research, Aces News--a University of Illinois publication, stated that hens fed a flaxseed-enriched diet for over one year experienced a significant reduction in late stage tumors.

What makes hens another basis for study is that they ovulate nearly daily for one or two years. Researcher M. F. Fathalla hypothesized in 1971 that "frequent ovulation contributes to the risk for ovarian cancer." (A study of Fathalla's hypothesis by the National Cancer Institute in 1997 neither supports nor refutes his hypothesis.) Some studies showing that multi-year birth control use and full-term births significantly reduce the risk of ovarian cancer seem to support Fathalla's theory.

Flaxseed is also known to decrease weight in women, which is a benefit as obesity is another risk factor for ovarian cancer; and, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, flaxseed is an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, fiber, thiamin, and selenium and also provides copper and protein.

Bahr suggested that the success of flaxseed in reducing the severity of ovarian cancer in chickens, "may provide the basis for a clinical trial that evaluates the efficacy of flaxseed as a chemosuppressant of ovarian cancer in women."

Let's hope that future studies prove that flaxseed, the "golden egg" that decreases the severity of chicken's ovarian cancer, has the same effects on women.

For more information: visit Dr. Dale Buck Hales blog, CancerChix, http://cancerchix.blogspot.com/.

New clip from WSIL-TV, Illinois Chickens-Possible-Key-To-Treating-Ovarian-Cancer

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dancing in the New Year

When I spent New Year's in Sweden many year's ago, we danced in the New Year with the Chicken Dance. (Fireworks were an added bonus...and I'm not talking about the New Year's kiss.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the Chicken Dance, brace yourself...here we go...

Okay. So maybe the chicken dance isn't your "thing."

Even Chickens Can Be Politically Incorrect

Hmmm....this is not a family photo...
and...I'm sure there's a political statement here somewhere...
but the copywriter in me has inexplicably become a bird brain.