My Top Tips for Keeping Chickens When you Work All Day


When no one is home all day, it can be daunting to think about devoting time taking care of a dog or cat, much less a flock of backyard chickens! But chickens are actually very easy to raise once you have your set-up and routine figured out - and a small flock of 5 or 6 hens will likely provide your family with plenty of eggs.

Take a Peek at Our Week January 15th - 21st


This week was pretty exciting around here. Weatherwise, we had the normal mix of snow, sleet, ice, and a bit of rain. Par for the course for winter in Maine, I guess. 

FREE Customizable Printable Egg Production Chart


Tracking your chickens' egg production is not only fun, it's a really good way to monitor the health of your flock. Often a reduction in laying is the first sign that something is wrong, since laying eggs takes so much energy out of a chicken, so by keeping track of who is laying what - when - you can sometimes get a jump on anything that's gone awry.

Take a Peek at our Week January 8th - 14th


This week the weather ran the gamut, showing us a true New England January week. We started the week with a foot and a half of snow that soon became sheets of ice as the temperatures warmed a bit and everything started melting. Continued warm temperatures and then a day of rain really took a toll on the snow, leaving us by week's end with grass showing through and temperatures near 50 degrees. But by Saturday morning, we were back in the single digits.

So Just How Loud IS a Rooster's Crow?

More and more suburban areas are starting to allow a small flock of backyard chickens, but many are still banning roosters - citing 'round-the-clock crowing as an annoyance to neighbors. So I decided to do a bit of research to find out just how loud a rooster's crow is.

Take a Peek at our Week January 1st - 7th


Well, it's a new year - and it has started off with a literal BANG! This week our chickens were featured in no less than three magazines: American Farmhouse Style, Hobby Farms Chicken Coops & Playgrounds and Natural Chicken Keeping. My new book Gardening with Chickens is selling really well...but most exciting, I appeared on NBC's local Maine news and entertainment show 207. You can watch HERE as I chat with hosts Rob Caldwell and Caroline Cornish about chickens, ducks, gardening and living in Maine!

Lessons Learned about Maine Living


I was born and raised in Massachusetts and spent a few weeks several summers in a row at a friend’s grandparents house on the beach in Kennebunkport, Maine. Then I spent the next decade slowly working my way down the east coast - first to Rhode Island to college - then to Manhattan for my first job on Wall Street. I eventually met – and married – my Navy husband and spent a few years in Pensacola, Florida, then we moved to Virginia where he retired from the Navy base in Norfolk. 

Top Ten Chicken Keeping Blog Posts of 2016


Each year around this time I like to take a look back to see what the most popular articles were on my blog for the year. It's always interesting to see what you all are interested in learning about caring for your chickens. So, without further ado, here's the list of the top ten most-read articles of 2016.

Take a Peek at our Week December 25th - 31st


2016 has been quite the year! Lots of ups and downs, but mostly ups - fortunately - around here. This last week of the year, we experienced our first true Maine Nor'Easter which dumped about a foot of wet, heavy snow down on everything, knocking out our power for almost 24 hours and leaving us with a gorgeous winter wonderland to enjoy - once we got done shoveling and plowing and sanding that is....

Besides Feed - What Else Does a Chicken Need?

A good-quality layer feed is the cornerstone to optimal flock health, but in addition to a well-balanced feed (maybe with a few natural supplements thrown in to boost immune systems and overall health), chickens also need two important things added to their diet. Namely, insoluble grit and a calcium supplement.

Take a Peek at our Week December 18th - 24th

As I sit here on Christmas Eve watching the snow gently fall, it's hard not to reflect on the past year. A new book, a television show, speaking at Disney's Epcot Center, meeting Nancy Fuller from the Food Network's Farmhouse Rules and enjoying our first full year in our new home here in Maine! It's been a crazy busy year, but it's hard not to be extremely grateful for the opportunities that I've been presented over the last five years.

Oatmeal for Chickens

Oatmeal, chickens, treat, treats for chickens, backyard chickens, homesteading

Oats are an excellent source of vitamins, protein and antioxidants - and chickens love them. Raw oats can help treat pasty butt in baby chicks and warm oatmeal is a nutritious warming treat for your flock in the winter. Adding a bit of cinnamon and cayenne pepper is also beneficial to your flock, especially in the winter.

Take a Peek at Our Week - December 11th - 17th


This weeks was an exciting one around here! Winter has set in for good and we got lots of snow and temperatures down to -10 degrees overnight. The chickens and ducks are all fine with lots of straw in their coop and scratch grains before bed, although I'm sure they're looking forward to spring! We humans spent one whole day stacking wood for the wood stove, so the house should be nice and toasty all winter long!

Best Warming Winter Treats for your Chickens!


Winter treats for your chickens serve a couple of important purposes. Unlike warm weather treats that should be water-laden, cooling foods such as watermelon, cucumber or frozen berries, cold weather treats should be high-protein, high-carb, high-fat foods to help give your chickens energy to stay warm and to keep weight on.

DIY Foraged Winterberry Holiday Window Boxes for your Chicken Coop

window box forage winter decor diy

Sure you can go out and buy all kinds of beautiful (expensive) holiday decorations for your home (and coop!) worthy of a spread in Romantic Homes or House Beautiful magazine, but I prefer to save a little money, head out to the woods and make my own holiday decor.
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