Posts Tagged ‘Murtoff’

Live Clip from New Hampshire Public Radio


Well, here it is! http://player.nhpr.org/city-chickens!

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At long last! The Chicago Tonight coverage!


After a few false starts, Home to Roost made a debut on Chicago Tonight.

Chicago Tonight covered my fledgling business, consulting to individuals, garden groups, schools, et al.

Check out  the coverage here: http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2010/11/22/urban-chicken-consultant

Behind the Scenes: Pictures from Chicago Tonight Shooting


On October 22, 2010, I met the Chicago Tonight crew and Mary, the Columbia College student who is making a documentary about my urban chickens business at the house of Bruce, my client whose chicks were featured in the Wednesday Journal in July. Chicago Tonight interviewed us as I conducted a consult. Here are a few pix!

The story airs on Monday, 11/22, at 7 PM on Channel 11.

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10/30 Home to Roost Speaking at HalloweeM 2010


I’ll be at the Chicagoland Mensa group’s HalloweeM event on 10/30 at 12:30. For more information, see the Mensa site.

I’ll cover the basics of backyard hens and will bring along 2 feathered friends!

My First Chickens


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Roll back the years to 1985. I was in fourth grade, Mr. Summers’ science class. We did a project on embryology, lining up rows of white eggs marked + and 0, pointed end slightly downward, in a white styrofoam incubator. I remember peering through the plastic windows, looking at those eggs. Twenty-one days is a long time when you’re only 10 years old.

Mr. Summers taught us how to candle the eggs with a flashlight to determine the viability of the embryo. The phrase “one rotten egg spoils the whole bunch”… oh, wait, that’s the Swedish version… nevertheless, it’s true. Gases escaping from an infertile or unviable egg can ruin the hatch. We pulled those out and threw them away.

We used a scalpel and cut a tiny window in one hard calcium shell, using wax to seal it off with plastic wrap. Blood vessels carried oxygen-rich fluid to a tiny heart, beating a pulse of new life. I liked the egg with the window and candling. How exciting to see something come from nothing, a tiny life form from what would otherwise be breakfast.

The days passed. We turned the eggs. More days passed. And finally one day, there was moisture on the incubator windows. A tiny yellow chick, wet, weak, and weary, had arrived. The rest of the flock soon followed, and before long the little guys were dry, energetic balls of fluff.

Sadly, the one we’d had a window on, whose development we’d watched with curiosity over the last three weeks, didn’t make it. Like Schroedinger’s cat, it seemed the very observation of life in the making destroyed it. My 10-year-old’s heart was sad for that chick and sorry that our curiosity and desire to know more had killed it.

Did we want to take some home? was the question Mr. Summers posed. Of course, yes! My two little chicks landed in a cardboard box behind the chair in the living room. They were soon joined by my friend Sam’s chicks (her parents decided that chickens weren’t a good idea) and a fuzzy buff-colored chick from my Pappy. I’d inspect the box of avian energy several times a day, to which my mother said, “Don’t pester those chicks! You’ll kill them!”

Far from that: After all my high-quality handling, those were some of the tamest white Leghorns on the planet. Personalities became evident, and naming soon followed: Baby, the sweet, docile hen; Jitterbug, the slightly schizo, easily startled hen; Hot Stuff, alpha male; and his subservient sidekick, Little Boy. The buff-colored one, well, she  was just Red Hen.

A life-long fascination (obsession?) with chickens and other fowl followed hard on the heels of those first little fuzzy critters. I soon had my own incubator. I sold chicks at Easter, eggs to the neighbors, boxes of fowl at stock market. Ducks, peafowl, turkeys, quail, golden pheasants, geese, pigeons… The incubator was running almost all summer, and I candled and turned, and turned and candled, enjoying taking part in the process of new life. But I never cut a hole in an egg to watch a chick grow.

Home to Roost’s TV Appearance: WCIU Segment 9/21/2010 Morning Show


Jennifer Murtoff, Melissa Forman, Kimberly Burt, Jeanne Sparrow

WCIU , Channel 26, pulled in two female entrepreneurs, Kimberlee Burt, owner of A Child’s Space daycare, and Chicagoland’s urban chicken consultant for a spot on You and Me in the Morning on 9/21/2010.

I got up at 5:15, got dressed, did the hair, the makeup, and then loaded the cage into the back of a car I borrowed–not a good time for my vehicle to be in the shop! I was anticipating finding two sleepy hens who could be easily removed from their roosts, but no such luck. I tried persuading with food, water, and free-range time in the yard, but they weren’t cooperating. Finally I wrangled them out of the coop by pulling off the top cover and poking a stick to get them to move toward the entrance.

With hair, makeup, clothes, and jewelry still intact, I headed to the studio. Once inside, I noticed that the hens’ feet were a mess, so I scrubbed them with wet, soapy towels. One of the hens is a singer–much too risky for live TV–so we put the chickens in Block B. The studio told me this was the first time they’d had live animals.

It was a whirlwind show and quite random–Blago’s new gigs, the guy who balances stuff on his chin, day care, and chickens! The girls were very well behaved and even sat on the hosts’ laps!

Check out Part I, the lead-in ,here. Part II, the show clip is here:  Home to Roost’s and Jo Schmoe the Buff Orpington’s debut TV appearance. Dinosaur the Australorp also made an appearance (on Jeanne’s lap!), but she’s not in this clip. The show went well, and the hens were very well behaved!

A huge thanks to WCIU for this opportunity.

Home to Roost on AOL’s WalletPop site


A event at LaSalle Street Church downtown a few weeks ago landed an interview at Lavazza over gelato for the chicken purse and me!

Home to Roost’s AOL interview