Plant a Nesting Box Herb Garden for your Chickens

(information partially excerpted from my book Gardening with Chickens: Plans and Plants for You and your Hens, Voyageur Press, 2016)

Birds have been observed in the wild lining their nests with all kinds of weeds, flowers, grasses, and herbs. Clearly they innately know something about the benefits of the plants to their newly hatched babies. Often we can enhance our chicken keeping as well as our own lives by mimicking what animals do in the wild. That’s one reason why I love using plants like the ones in this garden in my chickens’ nesting boxes.

Take a Peek at my Week February 12th - 18th

This week was all about snow here in Maine. First we were hit with a near-blizzard early in the week that dumped about two feet of snow on us over the course of two days. We barely had time to get it all shoveled and plowed, when the winds picked up and blew everything back into the paths we had made. Then we got almost another foot. And then Mother Nature decided that wasn't enough, so she gave us another few inches! 

Seven Homemade Chick Brooders You Can Set Up in a Pinch

I confess. I've done it. I think we've all done it. We innocently set out to the feed store one warm spring morning intending to just grab a bag of feed and maybe the latest chicken magazine, and instead we pull open the door to a cacophony of baby chicks peeping and are unable to resist. And just like that, we've got babies again!

Take a Peek a our Week - February 5th - 11th

What a fun week I had this week! I headed to Virginia for the Rockingham Cooperative Market Showcase where I gave a couple of chicken keeping presentations. I also recorded a radio show for the On the Farm program (WSVA) and a television segment for PBS which will air later this spring.

Keep Your Chicken Water Clean with a DIY Pallet Feeding Station

Chickens, like all animals, need constant access to fresh water. But as all you chicken keepers know, keeping their water clean can be a bit of a challenge between the dirt, straw and shavings they kick into it. And if you raise ducks also, then the challenge is a thousandfold more difficult. I tried all the various waterers on the market and wasn't completely happy with any of them. But finally I have solved the problem and my chicken and duck water now stays crystal clear. Amazing, I know!

Take a Peek at our Week - January 29th - February 4th

This week we relaxed on our farm and enjoyed a beautiful snowfall midweek. We hiked in the woods with our dogs, looking for animal tracks in the snow, had the wood stove going all day and just spent the week at home hanging out in advance of my trip to Virginia next week. If you live in the Harrisonburg/Roanoke/Salem area, I hope you'll come to the Rockingham Cooperative Market Showplace where I'll be giving away copies of my books and hopefully meeting lots of you in person. If not, check out the list of other events I'll be appearing at this year...and enjoy this peek at our week.

Paw Prints in the Snow - Learning to Recognize Chicken Predator Tracks

It's always a good idea to know what kind of predators you're up against who might want to harm your chickens. It's one thing to hear or read that there are various types of animals that live in your area, but it's a whole 'nother story to actually SEE evidence of them lurking.

Take a Peek at our Week January 22nd - 28th

This was a tough week around here. We lost one of our ducks, our Silver Appleyard named Ginger. I know you're not supposed to pick favorites, but I admit she was one of my favorites. So things have been a bit more subdued - I think the other ducks are grieving a bit right along with me - but of course life goes on. Part of raising animals and living in the country means losses, unfortunately, at times. But we have other animals to care for and a business to run...meanwhile Ginger will not be forgotten any time soon. Enjoy this peek at our week.

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. 
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