First ever Detroit chicken races!

The first ever chicken races were held in Detroit on Sunday. Seventeen Detroit-based hens competed in the races.

The word  “competed” implies there was actually some racing. The chickens seemed rather indifferent. Now and then a couple birds sprinted, but at the end of the event, none reached the finish line.

Noting the chickens’ disinterest in the foot race, the race promoter wisely changed the rules so that the bird closest to the finish line after 3 minutes was declared the victor.

It was a great time, especially hearing the pre-race scuttlebutt from some of the chicken owners.

“She laid an egg this morning. That’s a great sign.”

“Dude, don’t smoke near my chicken! She’s gotta race.”

Although they didn’t win, Team Cluckstrong was among the more organized teams with T-shirts and Team Cluckstrong arm bands (and leg band for the bird.)

Overall, it was a great time — the silly side of urban ag.

Our Detroit chicken race photo gallery is on-line.

The Detroit News has more coverage of the event.

There’s also a Detroit Chicken Race page on Facebook.

And here’s a short, but interesting video from the Detroit Free Press.

Watch the video on the
Freep
Web site
here
.




Call me the goat whisperer

img00158-20090707-1216Today I had a bike ride and lunch with Steve Roach, the Detroit director for the League of Michigan Bicyclists.

I took him on a little route past my favorite local downtown Detroit goat farm. As we’re checking out the goats, a baby goat comes strolling down the sidewalk and gave us a baby Bahhh. The small goat had clearly escaped.

This definitely raised the interest of the other goats, one of whom we guessed was the mom.

While trying to approach the baby goat, it awkwardly ran back to where it presumably escaped through the fence.

I softly grabbed him and carried him over to where the fence was the shortest. The other goats followed us and we definitely interested in the goat-break 2009. I lowered the baby back in the fenced area.

I asked Steve if he had anticipated us rescuing goats during today’s ride. Ah, no.


Urban Farms blossoming in Detroit

Today I rode over to the Georgia Street Community Garden on Detroit’s eastside, not far from the Better Maid potato chip factory.  Cub is developing the garden first for growing vegetables and later for fruit trees.  Members of the DetroitYES forums came by today to help kick start the garden effort.  It was simply a great day to work outside and meet other DetroitYES forum members as well.

The Ford tractor shown in the gallery below was from another nearby urban farm.  The more I bike around Detroit, the more of these I’m bumping into.  A new community garden is underway on Second Avenue in Highland Park.  I noticed an established garden over in North Corktown.  And then there are the goats.

It’s a great thing to grow your own food.  It costs less, it’s fresher, and it’s local.  With all the vacant land and lower density,  urban farming is something Detroit can pull off easier than nearly any other urban city.


Goats and the City

On Easter morning, I hoped on my bike and rode towards downtown. There were a lot of folks waiting for buses on Woodward. I love being that friendly bike guy. My hellos returned many smiles and “Happy Easters”.

Not having enough time to ride the Riverwalk, I headed west to Trumbull and south towards Old Tiger Stadium. Just north of I-75 and near the shadows of the Motor City Casino are some goats. Seriously. Not just one or two, but a whole family of them with a bunch of hens and roosters.

Welcome Urban Farming in Detroit

With more than half of your population gone and large swaths of vacated open land, urban farming seems like a fine choice. The Greening of Detroit and Eastern Market Corporation are both involved in spreading the urban farming idea. As I bike around the City, I don’t always see goats, but I do see more large garden plots. According to the Greening folks, some of those urban farmers are now seeing their excess food at Eastern Market.

With sprawl continuing to push the country further away from my home in Royal Oak, it’s exciting to see it reborn closer to home.


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