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!

My Trip to Texas A&M and a Crash Course in Black Soldier Fly Larvae


I have corresponded with faculty at the Texas A&M poultry science department in the past, but it was a bit of a surprise to be invited several weeks ago to travel to College Station, Texas, to meet with Jeff Tomberlin who is with the Entomology Department there. Dr. Tomberlin has a Ph.D. in Entomology and is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the University's Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program, which he helped to develop. 

Take a Peek at My Week - June 11th - 17th


It was nice to be home all week this week, despite the three-day heatwave that held Maine (and most of the rest of the country) in its grip. But everyone made it through - without air conditioning! - and life went on. It's amazing what a difference just a week makes in the garden. We're already enjoying our first radishes! 

The Five Best Summertime Treats for Chickens


Chickens struggle as the mercury rises, but with these cooling, water-laden treats, you can help them get through the hot weather more comfortably. Like most animals, they handle the cold far better than heat, and heat exhaustion is a very real thing in backyard flocks.

Take a Peek at my Week - June 4th to 10th


This week was all about enjoying all the green grass, flowers and shoots poking out from the garden, before I had to get packed and jumped on a plane, heading down to Texas to Texas A&M to visit the Poultry Science Department there (more about that later!).  I managed to get some landscaping done in the run and weeded the vegetable garden during the first part of the week. We also saw our first snake (just a harmless milk snake) ...so I guess that means it's not winter any longer here in Maine! Enjoy this peek at our week.

Controlling Aphids in the Garden Naturally


When we moved to Maine, we inherited a beautiful perennial flower bed full of lupine. I had never grown lupine before, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that first summer to find them completely inundated with aphids. The aphids ignored every other plant in the garden, but our lupine were just covered with them.

Take a Peek at my Week - May 28th to June 3rd


While it was nice to be home all week, I can't say I relaxed. We had a busy week filming a new episode of my TV show early in the week (you can catch season one here if you missed it!). Shooting with the film crew is so much fun, but it makes for a really long day and I'm wiped out by the time they pack their gear and head back to Portland. Not to mention all the prep work before they arrive, making sure everything is mowed and scrubbed and trimmed and all the props are assembled. 

7 Tips to Help You Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs For More Money


The continuing trend of raising backyard chickens has had an unintended negative effect on those selling their extra eggs. Due to a steady supply of fresh eggs from backyard flocks and small local farms at markets, roadside stands and feed stores, egg prices are being kept artificially low. But there are some things you can do to help you sell your fresh eggs for a bit more money.

Take a Peek at my Week - May 21st to 27th

I feel like the tip of an iceberg. Just calmly floating along, but with so, so much underneath the surface that isn't visible. Or a duck. Yes, I feel like a duck, just floating along placidly on the pond, but underneath the surface my little legs are paddling as fast as they can!

How Long Does It Take a Chicken to Lay an Egg?


Many of you likely know that a hen lays an egg just about once every day. But how long does it actually take a chicken to lay an egg? 

Take a Peek at my Week - May 14th - 20th

This week was a roller coaster weather-wise. We endured temperatures over 90 degrees around mid-week, but then by Saturday night, it dipped down close to freezing.  Regardless, it's a beautiful time of year. The lilacs are just beginning to bloom, and we've got radishes and some lettuce peeking out of the garden soil already!

How to Make Homemade Electrolytes for Chickens


Having electolytes on hand in your chicken first aid kit is a good idea. Administered in cases of heat exhaustion, stress or dehydration, they could be the difference between life and death for an ailing hen or baby chick.

Take a Peek at my Week - May 7th - 13th

Hard to believe we've only lived in Maine now for just under two years. I feel like I've lived here forever! There's still so much I want to do (and we need to do!), but I'm happy with our progress, especially outside. Right away we planted some strawberries, plus raspberry and blueberry bushes, and I divided the gorgeous lilac bush that stands to one side of our front porch. I'm excited that all the cuttings seem to be doing great, so we should have lilacs and berries everywhere in a few years! 

9 Reasons to Break a Broody Hen


When you have a broody hen sitting on eggs that will never hatch (i.e. you don't have a rooster, or don't want more chicks so you're collecting all the eggs daily) it's best to break her of her broodiness - for her own good as well as for the good of the flock. 



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