In Defense of Roosters

In Defense of Roosters

Seedmother DOES NOT ask for donations.

Seedmother is really an artist and commercial illustrator who happens to have an affinity for "chicken life". Chickens inspire my art and I want to share my appreciation of them with others who feel the same way. I have created an array of quality novelty products for the enjoyment of alektorophiles. (I made that up, alektorophobia means fear of chickens so I constructed a logical antonym/neologism).

If that sentiment and my artistic expression strikes your fancy as an effort worth supporting, I appreciate your business. But regardless, please enjoy, read the stories and maybe share a laugh or a tear. The stories are anthropomorphized but largely true, although, I've taken a few liberties with the chronology.

It's best to read the episodes from oldest to newest if this is your first visit.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Eggacy Lives On

The phone rang, I answered and all I heard was peep, peep, peep, a crank call? No way, it was code for "the chicks are here"! ChickenDad was on his way home from the hatchery with the children, I hurried out to the yard with my closest approximation to a baby blanket to greet them. OMG! Little adorables but this time I would be their Mom. Seven Sweet little red chicks…Seedmother was in love again.
I got out a towel and laid it out on the grass for the new babies, I thought we could snuggle a bit but they instinctively knew where the grass was and went for it immediately. I must admit I felt a bit rejected when I saw that they were much more interested in pecking little bugs on the lawn than being with their loving mother. I had been idealizing some tender Madonna & child moments like these.

Eventually, they would come to accept me. Still, what mother's heart wouldn't swell with love watching her child peacefully drift off under her protective gaze?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Frankencage

There was an old, corroded aluminum storage shed on the property and after careful consideration, John decided that it would be the best site for the chicken coop. So he razed the old structure at much personal discomfort and prepared the space and materials to start laying out the physical structure.
It was a race because the babies were on their way.
There were some old tent supports left over from a swap meet endeavor by our (wonderfully supportive, as it turns out) landlord and he gave us the go ahead to use them. I could smell the wood burning as John schemed out the design while he was clearing the land every night after work. Mostly he used scraps from the yard, he bought very little actually, and bit by bit both the garden and chicks' new digs were framed in. Since I had made the error of admitting I once used to sew, I was commandeered to help stitch the chicken wire and tent poles into a cat/rat/mongoose proof configuration. Hard work but it finally came together. When it was done it looked kinda baggy like my sweats after a hard workout. It won't ever appear in Architectual Digest but a safe, practical, serviceable home for egg-laying hens nonetheless.

Creating "Costco"

Chickendad seemed on a mission to create his own personal "Costco" to supply all of our food needs, protein in the form of eggs and (Seedmother is not quite ready for this one yet, but yeah, birds for meat) And lots of greens and veggies from the garden. He was driven by the thought of having all that food on hand to single handedly, plow through those mountains of ruins and vine. He bought a chipper to process the vines and created a huge heap of refined golden mulch, added chicken poop (store bought for starters) and wrapped it all up in a tarp to cook. He organized the debris to be repurposed for construction projects.
In record time he liberated a 30X80 ft. area of the most fertile, rain forest leaf drop, composted soil you've ever seen. Gorgeous black stuff full of earthworms, centipedes, beetles and other bug protein. Three weeks under a tarp to sterilize it and the gardens would be ready to plant.

Where was Seedmother? Peeling mangos…

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mangos from Heaven

The new house was situated under a mango tree that was having a rather good season evidenced by the continual bam, splat, fruit war sounds coming from the roof. John couldn't bear all that food becoming useless mush and climbed up on the roof everyday with a pole picker trying to save them from going gooshey and also to insure that we would enjoy tropical smoothies for the rest of the summer. Mmmmmmmmm…

He also dug and planted a small temporary lettuce/arugula patch to sustain us until the heavy work could be completed and the real garden could go in. We were eating from it's bounty in two weeks! As they say about Hawaii, plant and stand back with a hatchet…

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I'd always called jokingly called John "Chickendad" and now that we had this place, he immediately planned our new family by heading over to the local hatchery and ordering 6 Highlines, 6 Ameraucanas (hybrids of Araucanas), 6 Cornish (meat birds), a quail and a pheasant, the latter two to indulge my visual sensibilities and substitute for my lost roosters. They would arrive in 6 weeks so he was driven to get their home built.

It never would have gotten done if John wasn't the most ambitious, brute strength, tenacious procurer of foodstuffs ever born. His entire existence is centered on keeping the fridge stuffed. He pawed the earth, licked his chops, rubbed his hands together till they started smoking and got down to business.

From a strictly visual standpoint, I've always enjoyed the results of John's 3X a week weight lifting habit and now his commitment to lifting was about to pay off big time. Even though he was very well equipped to deal with this project, it turned out to be no small job even for a guy who lifts pianos for entertainment. There was 20 years worth of old rotting construction materials symbiotically lashed together with 20 years of prolific vine growth. Within that tangled mess he extricated a bath tub, a hot tub, a tombstone, a generation of kid's toys, a brigade of really cool flat sided red buckets, tires and even uncovered an old street sweeper!! No kidding.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


After looking at many disappointing, overpriced apartments and hot, dingy little houses on busy streets our collective karma (John's, mine, our dog Licky and John's son Shaun, the basketball guy and Licky's best friend) kicked in and we found the most magical little house by a dry stream with a very large yard. Room enough (with the landlord's permission) to have a garden!! And keep Licky! And chickens, just hens, no roosters! Every one was happy.

The price? We'd have to clear the surrounds to make it happen. John immediately got to work preparing the way while I tried to get over losing my chickens by writing this story and mooning over my thousands of chicken pictures & the memories I carried of our Moa family. I'd spent the last 6 months totally immersed in a series of Moa paintings and had studied them intimately everyday…their life was my life. Gosh, I wondered if they missed Seedmother like I missed them, they were always waiting on the front steps when I came out in the morning…Sigh…

The paintings were all gone to the gallery and I was alone.

We left our Gallus gallus behind but I needed to focus on starting a new little family with G. gallus domesticus. Cheer up Seedmother, new chicks were coming but much had to be done first.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Separating Eggs

We had to move. It was a disaster, what about the chickens?

That I had bonded with them in reality, probably mattered less to them (except for the seeds) than to me. They were, after all, wild chickens who belonged to the forest. But I was tortured nevertheless over being separated from them. I thought of capturing Sola and the chicks and bringing them along but as John pointed out, it would be so unfair to them.

What about Rusty? Well, he would stay and help protect Sola, besides the forest was full of food, they really didn't need to depend on our largess at all to survive. And our new neighbors whoever they turned out to be certainly wouldn't appreciate him. I tossed and turned every night.

What about the chicks? Well, they were getting to be teenagers, less than a month away from emancipation, think of how they've grown. Their flight feathers were in, and they were roosting up in the guava trees at night. They were well past the mongoose vulnerability stage. In fact, they were so able to take care of themselves they were stealing cat food from the old cat on the property, she was scared to death of them.

This would be really hard, logic demanded that I had to let go of chicken life. But my heart & mind were scrambled.