Baby chicks need a steady diet of chick feed to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients during their first few weeks of life, but after watching newly hatched chicks trail around after a mother hen, nibbling at grass and weeds, scratching through the dirt and eating bugs and worms, I believe that adding some nutritious supplements to the diet of all chicks, but especially those being raised in a brooder indoors, can be extremely beneficial for optimal health and growth.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
The scales on the legs of healthy chickens are smooth and lie flat. If you notice the scales on your chicken's legs starting to peel up, flake or look rough and uneven, she could be suffering from scaly leg mites.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
This week I worked on final edits for my new book coming out this fall, recorded an episode of The Chicken Show, worked on a photo shoot for Sloggers new Chicken boot line, officially became a Duluth Trading Company Ambassador - and of course spent an inordinate amount of time just watching our new ducklings play.
It's so nice to see blossoms on the apple trees and the wisteria already attracting bees, but sadly, soon we'll be leaving Virginia and returning to New England - where our hearts have always remained. Yup, that's right...the Fresh Eggs Daily Farm is FOR SALE!! Maybe we're nuts. We have a beautiful home and property here, and have made lots of good memories, but its time for us to head to snow country. We're Northerners through and through. So if you know anyone looking for a 6-acre hobby farm in Virginia....
Friday, April 17, 2015
-this post includes affiliate links-
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Diana Rodgers, host of The Modern Farm Girls Podcast and author of Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go and The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook and fellow chicken and duck keeper. We had fun talking about chickens, ducks, gardening and eating healthy. Of course we talked about Diana's new cookbook and a bit about my new book due out this fall. Just two farm girls chatting over cups of coffee. You can listen HERE.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Much as I love spring, its a season that's hard on the hands. All the cleaning, and mucking out stalls and chicken coops, gardening and outdoor work turn my hands dry and cracked, instead of soft and smooth.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Butterflies are beautiful additions to any backyard. I make sure to plant things in my garden to attract lots of butterflies each spring. In order to do this, it's important to plant a mix of 'nectar' plants that adult butterflies love - to entice them to hang around and lay their eggs, as well as 'food' or host plants for the caterpillars that hatch - to provide them energy and nutrition as they grow and eventually become butterflies themselves.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Well, I've gone and done it. I just couldn't resist any longer, so when I came back from the feed store today with four bags of feed, I also had three ducklings in a box on the front seat! I chose a Cayuga, a Black Swedish and a Khaki Campbell. Meet Kiwi, Elsa and Nellie. Here's a peek at the rest of our week.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
The short answer is "No". Eggs are laid with a natural coating on the shell that is applied as the last step in the laying process called the "bloom" or sometimes the "cuticle". This coating is the first line of defense in keeping air and bacteria out of the egg. Since eggshells are porous, if you wash your eggs as soon as you collect them, you are removing that natural barrier.
Monday, April 6, 2015
If you're like me, you're addicted to seeds. That means you have countless packets of seeds stored in boxes and baskets in your garage or in your garden shed tucked into terracotta pots or piled up on your potting bench. If you're also like me, you hate when things get misplaced and you can't immediately put your hands on what you need. So here's an easy fix to organize your seeds - using a basic photo album.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
As is typical for spring, the temperatures have been bouncing around - sunny and warm one day and then windy and chilly the next. But the chickens and ducks know spring is in the air and have been gracing us with nests full of beautiful eggs. The grass is slowly poking up through the ground and our dogwoods are blooming. Buds are appearing on the apple trees and there are flowers in the garden again. Enjoy a look at our week!
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
If you raise chickens (or ducks) and aren't making your own pasta, what are you waiting for? Fresh pasta far surpasses dried/store bought pasta in taste, texture and nutrition - no surprise there - and it's super easy (and fun) to make.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Eggs from your backyard chickens stay fresher if they aren't washed before storing them, but no one wants dirt- or poop-covered eggs on their counter, or worse in the refrigerator. So how can you ensure that you always collect clean eggs?
Saturday, March 28, 2015
It's spring! Everything is muddy and mucky, but there's green popping up all over. It won't be long now before it's time to get the gardens planted. Spring is my favorite time of year. What's yours?
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Hatching chicken eggs in an incubator (or under a hen) is very simple, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines. While it may seem to be a very easy process, small variations in egg handling, temperature or humidity can cause your eggs to not hatch, or to not hatch into healthy chicks. Follow these simple DO's and DON'Ts to achieve the best hatch rate possible.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
This week heralded in the official start of spring, but signs have been in the air for awhile now here in Virginia. Egg production is booming and the first daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses have bloomed. Enjoy this peek at our week.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Spring is right around the corner and with spring comes baby animals - cute babies like chicks, ducklings and bunnies - but also baby predators, who will soon be trained to try and break into your chicken coop by their more experienced parents. Raccoon, opossums, foxes, coyotes, bears, skunks, weasels and others can all be a threat to your backyard flock, so a secure coop is a must.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Melting snow, crocuses and daffodils pushing through the cool, brown soil and longer days are all sure signs of spring. Another sure sign of spring is increased 'activity' in the barnyard. The boys start to get frisky and the girls start to go broody. Egg production picks up. Once we see these signs, we know spring is right around the corner!