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!

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!


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