Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

“So what’s new with you?” I was asked recently.

“Chickens,” I replied.

“Come again?”

“Chickens,” I say, “We got chickens.”

 

When Carolyn asked if I thought having our own chickens was the most excellent idea ever, I thought she was off on just another one of her flights of fancy.

Like the time she wanted to transform the lawn at the side of the house to an “enchanted garden” filled with flowers and vegetables.  Or her other whimsical ideas, like building a swing set with a 6-by-6 timber between our trees.  And then there was the time she thought she would build a tree fort for our  boys in our already too-small backyard.  Well, I was right -the chicken coop was just another one of her wild ideas.  What I forgot was, all her supposedly harebrained schemes came true.

Now, I’m not against the idea of keeping chickens per se.  I just think we should get our eggs the way God intended – from the refrigerated section of my local Buy-Low.  Or served hot, between slices of ham and cheese in a McMuffin – yum! 

But Carolyn grew up with chickens and decided we too, would be a family with chickens. 

I stayed firmly opposed, but after she swung the support of our boys, my objections to keeping chickens were largely ignored and the coop construction was underway.  The unexpected benefit for Carolyn in all this was that she was free to build the coop exactly the way she wanted, without my type A interference and advice.  And build it she did, using discarded pallets and bits and pieces of old drawers and cupboard doors.  She even went to an auto-wrecker for parts.  The result is a study of her creative process – so many seemingly haphazard items thrown together to form a beautiful structure inside our garden shed that  flows outside, wrapping around the walls to a chicken run, fully fenced top, bottom and all four sides.

If you build it, they will come.  And come they did.  Four brown laying hens.  Carolyn and the boys picked them up one Saturday, late October from Fred and Bonnie’s farm up Salmon Valley Road.

 That day proved to be a busy one, as Carolyn and the boys settled our chickens in their new home.  Mid-afternoon, she had me make a snack for the boys. 

“I’ve been busy with the chickens all day and haven’t started dinner yet.  Can you get Charlie and James a snack now, because the chicken won’t be ready for another hour.”

“The what?” I ask.

“Chicken.  Roast chicken.  With mashed potatoes and peas.”

Oookay.  Apparently, I’m the only one who sees the conflict here…

 Fast-forward an hour.  Dinner’s ready.  Mommy calls the boys to come to the table.“What’s for dinner Mommy?” asks 3-year old Charlie.

“We’re having roast …. meat,” Carolyn says, finally seeing the irony of the situation, “with mashed potatoes and peas,” she adds quickly.

“I hate peas,” James whines.

“I hate peas,” Charlie parrots his big brother, “They’re dumb!” he adds, going one better.

“Okay,” says Mom, relieved of a disaster averted, “You don’t have to eat the peas.  Just eat the potatoes and the, uh, meat.  The potatoes have gravy,” she adds.

“Oh,” I say, “And what kind of gravy would that be, dear?”

Meat gravy,” Carolyn replies, staring daggers at me.

 We’ve had the chickens about 3 weeks now and we’re all of us, chickens included, settling into a comfortable routine.  We get one egg each from them most days and while I do enjoy the oh so fresh eggs, I haven’t yet gotten my head around the idea of cracking them open while they’re still warm.  Then again, I haven’t had an Egg McMuffin lately either, so perhaps I am learning to live with chickens.

 

REAL ESTATE NEWS

 October sales volumes increased from September levels, though not over the levels established over the summer.  Traditionally, we should have seen a dip in sales volumes over the summer with an upswing in the fall, but that has not happened this year.  As I write this, we are having our first serious snow fall (November 12).  It will be interesting to see if the buyers decide to hibernate until spring.

 Overall year-to-date sales volumes are significantly higher than 2011 levels and within 6 units of 2010 levels.  This is consistent with my estimate that sales volumes will see a very slow but steady increase as we move into 2013 and on into 2014, with prices either staying the same or dropping still.

 

North Okanagan Monthly Home Sales 2012 *

                   
                                             
 

May

May %

June

June %

July

July %

Aug

Aug %

Sep

Sep %

Oct

Oct %

TOTAL

TOTAL %

               

Under $100,000

4

3%

4

3%

4

3%

6

5%

4

4%

5

4%

45

4%

               

$101 - $200,000

26

17%

23

17%

22

17%

23

17%

19

17%

15

13%

183

16%

               

$201 - $300,000

34

23%

40

29%

37

28%

36

27%

41

37%

39

33%

327

28%

               

$301 - $400,000

44

30%

35

26%

38

29%

38

29%

20

18%

31

26%

305

26%

               

$401 - $500,000

19

13%

14

10%

12

9%

13

10%

8

7%

17

14%

140

12%

               

$501 - $600,000

12

8%

12

9%

10

8%

7

5%

7

6%

8

7%

73

6%

               

$601 - $700,000

8

5%

5

4%

3

2%

2

2%

7

6%

2

2%

36

3%

               

$701 - $800,000

0

0%

1

1%

2

2%

3

2%

3

3%

3

3%

23

2%

               

$801 - $900,000

0

0%

1

1%

1

1%

1

1%

2

2%

0

0%

7

1%

               

$901,000 +

2

1%

1

1%

2

2%

4

3%

1

1%

0

0%

16

1%

               

Totals 2012

149

 

136

 

131

 

133

 

112

 

120

 

1155

                 

2011 Sales

115

 

126

 

131

 

102

 

108

 

95

 

1017

                 

2010 Sales

151

 

109

 

102

 

100

 

132

 

107

 

1161

                 

* Statistics are gathered from Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) and subject to verification.

           

Details of Sales search parameters are available from Ken Dickson.

                   

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Ken Dickson

Ken Dickson

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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