July 2017
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Predators Are Very Real on a Farm

Today started out bad when I discovered one of our chickens dead. Then it got much worse. After I buried the first hen this morning, I found 3 more dead hens and 1 missing. The dead bodies appeared to have been attacked by a hawk. All 3 bodies were partially eaten but still in the […]

Goodbye to One of Our Hens

We lost our first adult hen today. She was a green egg laying Americana. She will be especially missed around Easter when the green eggs are very popular.

Her name was Spider McGuire Jr. Yes I mentioned before we named all of our birds. We have learned our lesson but it is too late […]

A Christmas Egg

I wanted to make a quick post on Christmas Eve to commemorate an important event in our journey to self-sufficiency. Two years ago we got our first chickens in August. The holidays are a time to focus on family. We had new members of our family – a flock of hens. As the holidays approached, […]

Composting with Chickens – A Permaculture Solution

Gardeners know the importance of compost. We compost grass clippings, leaves, kitchen waste – basically any organic matter we can get our hands on. The problem with traditional composting is that you need to turn the compost pile frequently to get a good finished product. That’s not a problem if you have help. Sometimes there […]

Surprise – It’s a Boy!

Back in August of 2013, we decided to get chickens and ordered 15 chicks through the mail. You can read about it in my earlier post here The Chick Is in the Mail. The package we ordered was 15 laying hens called the “rainbow layers.” The idea was that they would be all kinds of […]

A Lightweight Movable Chicken Run

In my previous post about the chicken run, I described how I built the permanent chicken run. I wanted to make sure the chickens always had a safe place to roam if we were seeing an increase in the threat from predators. What I learned quickly was that chickens will eliminate all living plant matter […]

A Simple But Effective Chicken Run

Chickens need a safe place to spend their days. Previously I described the feature-rich chicken coop I built for our hens. To go with the coop, I built an enclosed run to protect them from predators. The run was much less complicated than the coop. There were only a few requirements:

• Durability • Adequate […]

How I Solved Two Problems at Once with Chickens

This summer was so hot that our garden suffered. I suffered too. It got so hot that I often didn’t feel like doing chores like weeding. As a result, the weeds took control of the garden to the point where I stopped trying to pull them. I decided I would wait until cooler weather when […]

A Feature-Rich Chicken Coop Design

In my last post about chickens, I talked about the chicken tractor I overbuilt and the lessons I learned from it. You can read that post here: How (Not) to Build a Chicken Tractor. The biggest lesson I learned was to do more planning. So when it came time to build the chickens a permanent […]

How (Not) to Build a Chicken Tractor

When I left off in the last post about chickens, the young chicks had moved to the larger brooder in the garage that would be their home until about 8 weeks of age. They were going to need a permanent home when they outgrew the brooder. Bugs and plants are their natural diet. Free ranging […]