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Quiz: What Kind of Chicken Keeper Are You?

There are as many kinds of chicken keepers as there are breeds of chickens. And often the breeds you choose to keep can be a clue as to the type of chicken keeper you are. Read these fun, tongue-in-cheek profiles to figure out which kind of chicken keeper you are. Or maybe you already know....

A Week in Farm Photos - Shooting a TV Show Pilot August 14th-20th

Our farm was a flurry of excitement this week as we welcomed the film crew from WPXT/WPME-TV to shoot the pilot for a new television show I will be hosting. The 30-minute lifestyle show will bring to life my Facebook page and blog, encompassing chicken keeping, gardening and cooking with fresh eggs from the coop and fresh produce from the garden.  The chickens did great hitting their marks, but I think the ducks ultimately stole the show. Winston even got to star in one scene and got it perfect on the first take - I, on the other hand, needed two more tries until I got it right. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at our week as I got a crash course in voice-overs and B roll.

A Week in Farm Photos - August 7th-13th

According to the locals up here in Maine, this is the hottest, driest summer they can remember. I'ts been hot and dry around most of the country, so I'm sure you're all busy watering yours gardens and refilling your chickens' water several times a day. Despite the heat and lack of moisture though, our garden and flock are both thriving and life is good up here in the woods of Maine. Enjoy this peek at our week...which did end with a few nice rain showers and the arrival of advance copies of the new Farmers Almanac to which I was asked to contribute an article!

Why I Don't Keep a Rooster in My Backyard Chicken Flock

While roosters historically have played an extremely critical role in every flock of chickens, they have become largely obsolete in today's modern backyard flock. Many areas don't allow roosters, and even those who can have roosters are often opting to raise a hens-only flock. I am one of those people and I'll tell you why.

A Week in Farm Photos - July 31st - August 6th

The summer keeps marching along. The Littles are growing up and we have tomatoes ripening in the garden. We build a raised bed garden this week next to the chicken coop, and also started work on a wading pool down by the brook for Winston our corgi. We're thoroughly enjoying our first summer in Maine. Enjoy this peek at our week.

Introducing the Urban Coop Company Round Top Duck House

The story behind the new Round Top Duck House from Urban Coop Company begins many months ago. Montie Twining, the owner of the company, had been brainstorming - which if you know Montie, is no surprise! Anyway, their family raises ducks as well as chickens and he wanted to design a house just for the ducks. He reached out to me knowing that I also raise ducks, and asked if I would like to be involved in designing a new duck house for his coop line.

A Week in Farm Photos - July 24th - 30th

In about three weeks, we'll be celebrating the anniversary of our arrival in Maine. This past year has been one of transition - having my husband retired from the Navy and home all day took some getting used to! - and lots of changes. It's been exciting to see the flower gardens we inherited come to life and bloom with various native flowers and plants month after month. We've hiked in the woods and marveled at the local flora and fauna. We watch wild turkeys and deer in the field, and have seen our first fisher cat and heard coyotes howling after dark. Maine is a beautiful, wild, wonderful state and we look forward to many more years enjoying all it has to offer. Enjoy this peek at our week.

Chicken Coop Decor for the Posh Flock

Of course, the main purpose of a chicken coop is to keep your flock safe at night from predators, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but adding a little "cute" factor never hurts. I've been having fun decorating our coop and wanted to share some of the coop decor elements, as well as explain why they're functional, as well as decorative, in many cases.

A Week in Farm Photos - July 17th - 23rd

As a blanket of heat continues to hover over nearly the entire nation, we're still thankful we are here in Maine where it's at least a bit cooler than other parts of the country. Everyone is doing well, our gardens are thriving, the Littles are growing up ... and  I'm working on some new and exciting projects for the fall and beyond. I'll share more details in the coming weeks hopefully. Because when I say exciting ... I mean really exciting! In the meantime, enjoy this peek at our week, keep your waterers full of cold water and stay cool!

10 Tips for Keeping Bees (without Becoming a Beekeeper)

Beekeeping is all the rage lately. The majority of the top-selling books in the homesteading category on are beekeeping books. If chickens are the gateway livestock, then bees are quite easily one of the next few stops along the path to self-sufficiency.  But not everyone feels confident enough to don a suit and start messing with a bee colony. Not only that, buying the hives and requisite equipment requires a bit of an investment, as does the time caring for and maintaining the hive and collecting the honey.

Beekeeping isn't a venture you should dive into without any previous knowledge or research.  Queen bees die, colonies can starve over the winter, bears ransack the hives looking for honey... in short, stuff happens. 

A Week in Farm Photos - July 10th - 16th

Like much of the country, Maine was in the throes of a heatwave this past week. Unlike our home in Virginia, our home here in Maine isn't air-conditioned, so when the mercury rises above 90 degrees, we seek refuge outside in the shade on our front porch, take the dogs to the lake to swim, go for ice cream and make sure we kept drinking lots of cool, crisp water from our well. The chickens and ducks weren't too happy about the heat, but we reminded them that it's still far cooler here than it is in the South. The garden is producing delicious fresh veggies, we've been picking wild Maine blueberries, and of course we have fresh eggs. Life is good. Stay cool and enjoy a peek at our steamy week!

All about Chicken Crops and Poultry Digestion - Sour, Impacted and Pendulous Crop

A chicken's digestive system is very different from a human's. Since chickens don't have teeth, they need a way to grind up the food they eat so their bodies can digest it. And that is the purpose of a chicken crop.

A Week in Farm Photos - July 3rd through 9th

This holiday week finally brought us some much-needed rain and the garden is thriving. We harvested our first peas, radishes and collard greens, all started from seed this spring. Someone told me that Maine summers are our reward for braving Maine winters, and isn't that the truth! The weather has been just perfect. Warm and sunny by day with a bit of a breeze and then cool and crisp at night. Perfect for sleeping. We're enjoying watching the wildlife that shares our farm with us, including snowshoe rabbits, red squirrels, wild turkeys and an abundance of song birds. Enjoy this peek at our week!

Egg Yolk Ravioli on a Bed of Basil Marinara Sauce

We love eating breakfast for dinner, and do so often, considering all the eggs we collect from our chickens. This recipe comes together pretty quickly, making it a perfect middle of the week dinner. It's the perfect opportunity to use both fresh tomatoes from the garden and fresh eggs from your coop! 

7 Natural Non-Toxic Weed Control Methods for a Chicken-Friendly Yard and Garden

When you start raising chickens, you soon realize that they can - and will - eat just about anything they can reach or grab. Unfortunately though, they won't eat ALL the weeds in your yard or garden, although they do love to eat lots of common weeds - and weeds are super nutritious for them! But ultimately, there will come a time when you need to kill some weeds.

A Week in Farm Photos - June 26th - July 2nd

As we head into this July 4th holiday weekend during which we celebrate our country's freedom from tyranny and oppression, I'm reminded how grateful I am for the freedoms allowed us. The freedom to raise chickens and grow our own food, the freedom to own firearms to protect our animals and families, the freedom to think and say what we like, state our opinions, and live life on our own terms. However those freedoms have an inherent dark side. Freedom of speech can evolve into haters and trolls spewing their garbage publicly online, and of course guns in the wrong hands sometimes leads to mass shootings and other hate crimes. So this weekend, appreciate your freedoms and use them for good not evil, be kind to others and always, always raise a backyard full of chickens.

Easy Windowsill Herb Garden in Eggshells

If you enjoy cooking with herbs like I do, keeping a variety of fresh herbs close at hand is a necessity. This easy herb "garden" is so simple to create and puts your herbs right at your fingers tips on the kitchen windowsill. Not to mention, it makes a pretty addition to any kitchen. So start saving those eggshells!

A Week in Farm Photos June 19th - 25th

It's been an absolutely gorgeous week here in Maine. Nice way to herald in summer! I've enjoyed wandering around our property finding new native flowers and weeds, a hidden blueberry patch that we cleared of debris, another patch of wintergreen, and lots of wild black raspberries in addition to lots of perennial herbs and flowers. We have corn, tomatoes, garlic, eggplant, hot peppers, peas and pumpkins growing in the vegetable garden. Our Littles are almost a month old now and thriving under Annie's tutelage and the Middles are almost ready to join the Big Girls in the run, as they are nearly three months old. Enjoy this peek at our week.