Monday, February 23, 2015

Sushi Ball Treats for the Chickens

Several years ago, I took a sushi-making class at the Culinary Institute of Virginia. It was a lot of fun, and since we love sushi, I do make it occasionally at home when I have the time. So as I was going through the pantry the other day and saw all my sushi stuff tucked into a back corner - the nori sheets, vinegar, rice, etc. - a light bulb went off and I realized that the chickens would REALLY love a sushi treat. And so ... this happened.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos - February 15th - 21st

I know its not right to rejoice about snow when so much of the country (including my Mom in Massachusetts) is literally buried under several feet of the white stuff, but I really, really love snow - and we don't get near enough of it here in Virginia, so when we got about four inches earlier this week AND it stuck around for awhile, we were thrilled! The animals less so, but everyone rallied and did just fine even though we also experienced a low of 5 degrees - a record in the 12 years we've been living here. So enjoy our meager snowfall!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Are my Chicken Eggs Fertile?

One of the most common questions I get asked is "How do I know if my chicken eggs are fertile?" The short answer is, if you have a rooster, then all of the eggs you collect from your chickens are most likely fertile.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Risk of Avian Flu to Backyard Chicken Flocks

-free range chickens are more at risk than those kept in an enclosed/covered pen-
Whether you keep chickens or not, you've probably been hearing the news about the Avian Flu (avian influenza) which has been found primarily in chicken flocks in the Pacific Northwest. However, unless you live in that proximity, maybe you haven't been all that concerned about it. But the bad news is, it's spread by wild birds and it is spreading. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos - February 8th to 14th

This week brought us our first crocuses of spring, our second snowfall, and ended on an upnote with a Valentine dinner featuring lobsters shipped in from Maine with a batch of decadent homemade baked donuts for dessert. Oh, and the animals are all fine too! Enjoy this peek at our week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How Many Eggs Should I Eat a Day? A Week?

I eat lots of eggs. I mean lots. Naming my blog Fresh Eggs Daily could NOT be more apropos. I don't really keep track, but I would guess that I single-handedly eat probably at least a dozen and a half to two dozen eggs a week, easily, despite current federal dietary guidelines to limit egg consumption to one a day, or just seven a week. So how many eggs should you eat a in a day or a week? Should I worry about my cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease? Not necessarily.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Grow an Herbal First Aid Kit for Your Chickens

Growing herbs is easy and rewarding. Most aren't very picky about where you plant them, what you plant them in, or even if you water them very often. They thrive in sandy soil, full sun and basically like to just be left alone. Pruning or taking cuttings actually helps them grow, so you can help yourself to what you need all summer right from the garden. Herbs help to flavor your cooking, of course, but most herbs also have some powerful health benefits for both humans and animals. I grow an Herbal First Aid Kit Garden for our chickens each spring and then use the herbs both fresh and dried to keep my flock happy and healthy.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos February 1st - 7th

Signs of spring are arriving here in Virginia this week and I'm starting to get excited about planning this year's hatch schedule and gardens. It's still cold enough for gloves and a winter coat but the days are warm and sunny and everything is starting to come back to life after the winter. Egg production has increased and I've got my first broody hen of the season. Here's a peek at our week.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Permaculture Chickens Film Featuring Joel Salatin

I'm very excited to share with you a new project I'm involved with called Permaculture Chickens. It's an educational film about raising chickens in accordance with nature from hatching to the plate (and everything in between) and features the indomitable Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm, among other influential voices in the chicken keeping community.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine Heart Seed Treats for Your Chickens

My friend Julie from Julie's Garden Delights recently made some heart-shaped seed treats for the wild birds in her yard for Valentine's Day - which of course prompted me to come up with a chicken-friendly version for our flock. They were a big hit with all of our chickens and so easy to make!

Monday, February 2, 2015

20 Heat-Hardy Chicken Breeds

Chickens are far more likely to suffer heat exhaustion than problems relating to the cold, so if you live in a warm climate, choosing breeds of chickens that are heat-hardy is a good idea. If you live in a place that experiences both extremes - bitterly cold winters as well as hot, humid summers - you should still consider the heat-hardy breeds, since nearly all chickens are cold-hardy to a great extent.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Week in Farm Photos - January 25th - 31st

Here in Virginia, we escaped the huge amounts of snow much of the East got dumped on them earlier this week, but instead were pleasantly surprised with just a dusting.  The snow had all melted by the end of the day, but it gave us a bit winter magic - at a time when we're already seeing signs of spring - like emerging hyacinth and crocuses. Enjoy a peek at our week.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Plant an Edible Flower Garden for Your Chickens

Several years ago I lost interest in growing ornamental flowers once I started reading up on all the different varieties of edible flowers there are. Now I concentrate primarily on growing an edible flower garden with a mix of annuals, perennials and even some weeds. It's fun and easy; the blooms are great to garnish summer desserts, salads or mixed drinks - and of course, the chickens benefit from a bouquet of fresh, edible, nutritious flowers to eat.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide from the editors of Martha Stewart Living

You can't judge a book by its cover, but in this case, the absolutely beautiful cover is just a teaser for tons more eye candy inside this new cookbook. The editors of Martha Stewart Living have hit it out of the ballpark yet again with Clean Slate.: A Cookbook and Guide (Reset your Health, Detox your Body and Feel your Best).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why Should Eggs Be Stored Pointy End Down?

You've probably heard that eggs should be stored with the pointy end facing downwards, but often wondered why? Or maybe you've not ever heard that and you're reading it here for the first time. Either way, it's the truth. Eggs should be stored pointed end down. But why? Well, I'll explain it to you.