The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 17, 2003


Pet chickens in Carlisle

Many people in Carlisle share their property with fascinating birds whose antics are amusing and entertaining and who might reward their diligent owners with an edible delight called an egg. This year I decided to join them and now I understand the appeal of fancy chickens. It has nothing to do with economics; it is simply a hobby, domestic bird watching.

I learned that to sell or trade or publicly display my chickens I must first call the Massachusetts Bureau of Animal Health Poultry Inspector to come out and "test" my flock. This is a free service designed to limit poultry diseases. Megan McGrath or Ed Hagman at 1-617-626-1796 will come out, test the flock and put Massachusetts leg bands on your birds. Then you will have Pampered Pet Chickens with "bracelets" and a certificate declaring your birds to be certified disease free!

I think it's a good idea to get your Carlisle flock of chickens tested. Talk with the inspector who is a pleasant, knowledgeable resource. Another resource is our town recycling center. Your chicken house can be tiled in elegant Italian tile, have clear cedar siding with blue foam insulation and Anderson windows, all free if you hit the right bins at the right time. Your chickens may enjoy their layer pellets from inlaid antique dishes and drink warmed water from crock-pots under fancy brass lighting fixtures all from your Carlisle neighbors! Golf balls in nest boxes made of recycled bookshelves encourage the pullets to produce.

Ahh, living in Carlisle · it's like having a whole town to help you slow down, relax and watch the chickens peck the ground. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, (or insects and seeds depending on your species) right here, right now. Life is good · except for the predators, so make the chicken house fox-, coyote-, skunk- and raccoon-proof so your chickens, who will put themselves away at dusk, can be locked in safely.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito