The Chickens Come Home to Roost in Silicon Valley
Millenials in general, and tech millenials in particular get a bad wrap. They’re the Tide Pod eaters allegedly. And they walk into a lot of glass doors and walls. They don’t change oil or flat tires well. And sometimes they feed into some of the negative reactions to preppers and prepping.
But we are not that different. In fact, it seems that some of the techiest techies, the computer wizards of silicon valley, are now into raising chickens. Can’t get more prepperish than that. Downright homesteading stuff!
The Washington Post (Yes, that WaPo) ran a story by Peter Holley about techies in California embracing the backyard chicken movement. Yes, they’re ways and methods are a little off, as you’ll read in the original, but they’re on to something. A few things. Check it out:
Photo by The Chicken Chick.
Johan Land is a techies techie. He’s head of a self-driving car project, a smart, hip, high stress executive with a world of demands. So, to relieve stress and return to nature, he’s added chickens to his family’s little urban, suburban homestead plot.
“‘It’s a fascinating thing to sit and watch the animals because instead of looking at a screen, you’re looking at the life cycle,” Land said. “It’s very different from the abstract work that I do.”
In America’s rural and working-class areas, keeping chickens has long been a thrifty way to provide fresh eggs. In recent years, the practice has emerged as an unlikely badge of urban modishness. But in the Bay Area — where the nation’s preeminent local food movement overlaps with the nation’s tech elite — egg-laying chickens are now a trendy, eco-conscious humblebrag on par with driving a Tesla.”
Now, I said the CA way is a little different. These chickens almost (heck, do) take on the role of pets. These people spend up to $20,000 for a coop that could be hand built for $300 – nicely. But, hey, they have the cash.
They track the birds with software naturally. And they outfit them with diapers. Yeah… The birds eat the best, gourmet food. No fire ants for the digital flock.
But the point is, they’re doing it. Whatever the reasons or the methods, these hipsters have at hand a ready source of good protein – and stress relief.
And, by manicuring the lifestyles of the fowl, their lives are greatly extended. I would have to guess the birds too enjoy peaceful, happy, stress-free lives. And that has to make them and their eggs taste a little better. Probably adds a little nutrition. Stress hormones acting on food animals is a real thing, not a biggie but something you can actually taste.
Most preppers, farmers, and rural folks don’t use words like “artisanal” to describe their livestock. Maybe there’s something to it.
Regardless, let this story be both an inspirational bit about good living through preparedness AND a feel good link between two not-so-separate cultures.
“Chicken-mania” is “sweeping the Bay Area,” they say. Could it perhaps also represent a little prepper mania? Could be. And it could all be good.
As a further word of encouragement – we use their world too! I’m typing this on a (cheap) computer using various software that came from the techies.
Read the rest and see how one side of the country is gradually embracing what the other has to offer. Now, next we have to introduce them to rabbits…
Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at www.perrinlovett.me. He is none too fond of government meddling.