It’s been rainy here and I so do not do well in cold wet weather. So nothing gets done. However, I did stay on top of the integration as I needed to get the little birds in the coop. I saw a post in Community Chickens that described the use of squirt bottles to discourage the big hens from beating up the smaller birds too much and I like it. A lot. My squirt bottle sprays more of a mist than a directed spray — I think I should change mine out for a directed spray — but the mist did work. The hens really don’t like it and it stops them in their tracks. So Brownie and Quintuplets spent the night in the coop.
What I found interesting is the big girls, while waiting on us to complete the coop, have already divided the upstairs into two parts: One where they lay eggs, and one where they sleep. The two Quintuplets above are in the laying area. It has a doors on both sides to allow me to reach in and gather eggs.
What you don’t see, and I’ll take a picture when we’ve finished moving the coop, is the opposite side of the laying area, just above the ramp. There’s a narrow walkway around the opening for the ramp and that is where the birds decided to sleep. Big girls at the top of the ramp, peepers to the side. Very cute.
Now I’m going to digress a bit — you’ll see I do that from time to time.
I started keeping bees a few years ago. I was doing okay until this last winter when they all died. So I’ll be picking up a nuc this weekend. To stay on top of bee news, I subscribe to the free email newsletter from Bee Culture and this week it contained a very interesting article on genetically modified food (GMOs).
The gist of the article is while consumers want to know if what they are eating is genetically modified through the use of proper labeling, Congress seems to disagree. They are adding an amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill that would revoke the rights of states to pass GMO-labeling laws. That seems very anti-consumer to me.
To quote Kim Flottum, author of the article: “The labeling of genetically modified food is ground zero of the controversy over GMOs made by companies like Monsanto and Dupont, and the issue is likely to grow even more divisive as food safety groups butt heads with Congress and Big Ag over the right to know what is on our plates.”
Congress is wrong on this one. Studies on the impact of GMOs on humans are inconclusive, however, what I’ve been able to read shows it might not be as benign as their creators say they are. More study is definitely needed. Preferably by government funded, independent researchers so there is no “taint” of corporate dollars skewing the results.
Even if they prove to be completely benign, consumers have the right to know what they are buying. (I mean seriously, wasn’t that one of the complaints from hardcore individuals about the mortgage scandal — that consumers should know what kind of mortgage they are buying?) That’s all consumers are requesting here — more information to make informed decisions.
Even if GMO food products prove to be completely benign, as a consumer, it’s my right to know what I am buying and to decide what to spend my money on. I can’t make an informed decision when companies are allowed to hide information. From where I sit, that is the critical piece in all of this, information. My right to know and to make decisions that are best for me. (I think there’s a whole free market argument in here as well, but that’s another discussion for another time.)