Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hannah's Hens

When I read Barbara Kingslover's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I was completely drawn to the story of Lily, the 9 year old girl who very efficiently ran a business raising chickens and selling eggs. Little did I know that we have our own story so close to home. My recent visit to Hannah's Hen House was an introduction to the world of a dedicated and hard working pre-teen entrepreneur.

As I learned from Hannah's 4-H speech, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?", presented to me from the middle of her kitchen, the business began with a crate of 75 chicks that had literally missed the truck. In the absence of a hen house in the cold March temperatures, these chicks found a temporary home in the basement of the Michell ranch house. Fortunately, Hannah and her dad are both handy carpenters, and they were able to transform an out building into a comfy home for these chicks. By mid-July they had their first egg for breakfast. In Hannah's was DIVINE.

Today Hannah has more than 45 chickens and has expanded beyond the standard brown and reds we're used to seeing. Her other chickens, some of which will be shown this week at the Vernon Winter Carnvial, have fancy names to match their interesting looks: Chester, Funky, Beauty (trophy winner), Greya, and Spots to list a few.

Raising these animals requires a lot of research, resourcefulness, and knowledge. Even the vocabulary -- names of the different breeds, talk about getting broody and which ones prove to be great settlers -- is quite different from what Hannah's friends are used to hearing.

The chickens all seem very content in the comfortable beds Hannah built with her dad. One coop is the now refurbished Stake Lake ski hut, freshly painted and customized for her specialty chickens. It's so comfortable even Polly the pet rabbit has moved in! And of course they all roam freely when the temperatures permit.
Over time Hannah has learned a lot about what to feed her chickens to produce excellent quality eggs. They have a balanced diet of ground flax for omega 3, and oyster shells to make their shells hard. Also, by experimenting with a variety of scraps from the kitchen, she has learned that onions and citrus don't go over very well.

In fact, Hannah is considered a local expert and has even been invited to speak to university students in Thompson Rivers University Natural Resource Management program.

Of course there's the business side of raising chickens. Hannah keeps very careful records to ensure she has enough eggs for her regular customers, which includes her teacher, the bus driver, and friends. Until recently, even her dad wasn't allowed to eat eggs but now he is allowed 2 per day, but not until he puts in his time gathering eggs in the morning!
Although the winter months are considered slow season for egg production, Hannah welcomes new customers, and will gladly take your empty egg cartons and kitchen scraps for her chickens.

Are you interested in purchasing fresh eggs from Hannah? Just leave a comment on the blog, or call 250-374-0282. If there is enough interest in Lac Le Jeune we can organize delivery once a week.

UPDATE: Hanna won several ribbons at the Vernon Winter Carnival: Two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth. Plus she won ten dollars in the rooster crowing contest!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Time to order conifer seedlings

Are you interested in ordering conifer seedlings this year? Submit your name and the number of seedlings for each specie to Glen Sparrow ( by February 28, 2009. Payment is due upon pick-up of trees (probably in April sometime). Cost will be between 30 and 40 cents per seedling depending on species and stock size. Pine, spruce and fir should be available; larch and balsam may be possible.
Your Name:
Lodgepole Pine:
Total Number of Trees:

Hoar frost

This is a picture of hoar frost taken by Bev Lorimer last week. All of Lac Le Jeune was sparkling!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What's in your back yard?

We have seen a lot of tracks on the trails and around the neighbourhood but we're not all lucky enough to see the real thing! These photos were taken by Bryan Ruck in his back yard. Study the top one very carefully! There's a surprise in the woods. :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Demo Day at Stake Lake

If you're thinking it might be time for some new ski equipment this is a great way to make sure you get something you like. This Sunday (January 25) is Spoke 'N Motion x-country ski demo day. You can try new equipment on the Stake Lake trails between 11:00 and 3:00. Brands include Fischer, Swix, Atomic and Yoko.

Webcam snapshot from the afternoon of January 21

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Congratulations to speed skating medal winners!

Several speed skaters from Lac Le Jeune won medals at the January 10th Logan Lake LOop event, a regional competition.

Foster Wynne won gold in the peewee boys category and Gillian Mitchell won for peewee girls. Evan Wynne won gold for bantam boys. Sylvia Currie skated to bronze in the masters women. Don't ask how many women were in that category! :-)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Doggy care in Lac Le Jeune

Debra Miller, a Lac Le Jeune resident, is offering this really useful mobile doggy care service. After getting numerous requests from friends over the years, Debra finally turned her long-time hobby and passion into a business and walk the dog was born.

Walk the dog believes a good dog is a well-exercised dog! A firm believer in Cesar Millan’s (the dog whisperer) philosophy, exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order, are the cornerstones of a happy, balanced, and healthy canine. Adequate exercise, socialization and positive reinforcement are key. Whether your pooch needs a stroll around the block or a vigorous hike, a number of different services are offered geared towards your dog’s specific needs.

  • Potty Break
  • Neighborhood Walks
  • Hikes/Park Trips
  • Pet Sitting
  • Pick-up and drop-off services (vets’ office or groomers)
  • Kitty visits
walk the dog

Submitted by Debra Miller
Photo of Skippy by Frank Morton

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Moose spotting

Fortunately, Hana Struss had a camera with her on a walk yesterday. She came across this moose on the little lake lower road.

Photo by Hana Struss

Friday, January 2, 2009

Reminder about leghold traps

Trapping season is here again. Be watchful for leghold traps when you are out enjoying the winter. There are 3 LEGAL traplines that impact our area. My last reply from Barry Penner stated that the government is not prepared to make any changes to trapping regulations as trapping is such a small industry. Please remind friends or folks you meet out in the woods, especially people with dogs and/ or children. Most of the traps that have been seen around here are right next to logging roads that are accessible by truck or snowmobile. They are often baited with cow legs etc. Any dog is going to be curious. Please be careful.

Submitted by Bev Lorimer