Herbs for Hens: Basil


Basil is one of my favorite herbs to grow. Not only is it easy to start from seed, seedling or plant cutting, it smells so good when you brush past the plant! I love making homemade pesto and layering fresh basil leaves with slices of tomato picked from the garden and fresh mozzarella. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil ....I could eat that for lunch every day all summer long! 

Take a Peek a our Week - August 6th to 12th


The summer is flying by! I can't believe that we already are seeing molting chickens and the leaves changing color! We've got all kinds of pumpkins and squash in the garden and even a little watermelon. We've harvested lots of potatoes and the girls are enjoying a daily ration of lettuce, spinach, kale and other leafy greens from the garden. 

How Do Chickens Eat with No Teeth?


You might have heard the saying "rarer than hen's teeth", which means extremely scarce or difficult to find. This is because, like other wild birds, chickens have no teeth. Oh sure, a baby chick grows an egg tooth which helps it break out of the shell when it hatches, but that sole tooth falls off a few days after hatching. So for all intents and purposes, chickens don't have teeth - instead they have beaks. So how do they chew their food?

Take a Peek at our Week - July 30th to August 5th


This week it was good to be home and have a chance to relax a bit. I spent the week catching up on some garden weeding (we're harvesting potatoes, beets, chard, carrots, mini pumpkins and zucchini now), watching the Littles (I can't believe they will be five weeks old on Monday!) and working on my next book which is coming out next fall. I also headed to Bangor for the day on Tuesday to help repaint the raised beds at the Housing Authority community gardens as part of my volunteer work for the Maine Master Gardener program. Take a peek at my week! 

Easy Fall Protein-Rich Apple Treat for Molting Chickens


The shorter days heading into fall bring on the molting season for backyard chickens. During this time, which can last weeks or even months, they drop their old feathers and regrow brand new feathers to help them stay warm through the winter.

The Time I Met Dr. Pol at the Las Vegas Superzoo Trade Show


One of the perks of my job is meeting all kinds of interesting people - and sometimes some famous people too! That was the case this week when I headed to Las Vegas to attend SuperZoo 2017, which is the country's largest trade show for pet retailers. I was attending the show at the invitation of Byron Parker - you may not recognize his name, but he invented Happy Hen Treats back in the day (yup, seriously!) - and the folks at Red River Commodities. They have a great new line of chicken scratch grains and mixed grain/seed/nut/insect treats coming out and I was honored to be asked to help man their booth and be their on-site 'chicken expert' for the various industry buyers who would be stopping by.

Sweet Potato Sausage Frittata with Farm Fresh Eggs


I love making frittatas for dinner in the summer because, unlike a quiche, a frittata doesn't have a crust, so it's super fast and easy to toss some garden veggies and leftover meat in with a dozen eggs and some cheese and throw it in the oven. Oh, and did I mention that this recipe requires a DOZEN eggs? It's the perfect way to use up eggs when your girls are in high gear in the egg production department.

Take a Peek at our Week - July 16th - 22nd


This week was a good week, albeit a hot one, at least by Maine standards. The temperatures got close to 90 degrees with higher humidity than we're used to up here. But the three- day heat wave, which featured lots of chilled watermelon, frozen treats and pool time for the ducks, is over and the temperatures are back to their normal 70s-80s by day and 50s-60s by night. The Littles are growing so fast. They'll be three weeks old on Monday, and we're enjoying loads of vegetables from the garden. Enjoy this peek at our week!

Tidbitting - What It Is and Why Chickens Do It


Have you ever noticed a mother hen cluck in a series of high-pitched notes while she's scratching in the dirt and then drop something onto the ground? She's doing what is known as "tidbitting".

Take a Peek at our Week - July 9th - 15th



This was a busy week for us! In between playing with our new baby chicks (see last week's post!), the film crew was out to our farm to shoot another episode for my TV show. Season two will start in September, so stay tuned for details about that. I also have been working on my new book that will be coming out next fall - and putting the final touches on my next book that will be out in January. To round out the week, Violet and I did a Skype interview with the Wall Street Journal yesterday which was a lot of fun. We've got peas, lettuce and garlic in the garden and flowers everywhere.

When Can I Move my Chicks to the Brooder from the Incubator?

After waiting patiently for three long weeks for your eggs to hatch, it's hard to wait a minute more to move your newly hatched chicks to the brooder you have set up for them, but it really is best for them to just leave them right where they are - in the incubator. There's really no rush to move them. 

Take a Peek at Our Week - July 2nd to 8th


Our gardens look gorgeous, the flowers out front are blooming, we're collecting eggs by the basketful and our dogs are their usual irresistible selves. But I know what you're waiting for....BABY CHICK PICS!!!! So without further ado, take a peek at our week. And welcome our brand new batch of eleven Littles - they're a fun combination of Blue/Black Splash Ameraucanas, Ameriflowers and Cuckoo Bluebars we hatched from hatching eggs from our friends at My Pet Chicken.

Take a Peek at our Week - June 25 - July 1st


Where in the world did June go? It seems like it just flew by. Hard to believe it's July already. Our garden is producing radishes faster than we can eat them (or feed them to the chickens!) and our tomatoes, peppers and potatoes have tiny blooms on them. The chickens and ducks are laying more eggs than we can eat or give away, and it's hard to remember back to last winter when I was dying for a fresh egg!

Water Belly or Ascites in Backyard Chicken Flocks

Ascites, or "water belly" as it's more commonly called, isn't a terribly frequent occurrence in backyard flocks, since it tends to be more prevalent in fast-growing broilers or meat birds, but if you notice your chicken's abdomen is swollen and distended, it's something to consider.

Take a Peek at my Week - June 18th - 24th


This week was a typical week here in Maine. A few thunderstorms and some rain, and then nice cool temps at night (great sleeping weather!). Our garden is growing like gangbusters, the chickens are happily laying eggs, and we've got eggs under a broody hen that should hatch next week. Enjoy this peek at our week!


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