Basic Chicken Etiquette for the Family Dog - The Importance of Training

~Bella and Violet checking each other out through the safety of fencing~
When we got our first chickens several years ago, we had an aging (10 year old) German Shepherd. It never even dawned on us to worry about Sadie around the new chickens because she was naturally so intelligent and well-behaved, she seemed to instinctively know what was expected of her.  

~Sadie and our very first chickens sharing the back patio~




A is for Albumen - Decoding Chicken Terms


When you start raising chickens, you are bound to run into terms, abbreviations and phrases that might seem like a foreign language at first. Here is my non-scientific, layman's guide to some of the more common terms and their meanings:

A Week in Farm Photos - November 18th-24th

Thanksgiving is but a distant memory, and winter is fast approaching.  We're expecting our first real frost tonight, so we tried to finish up a few last-minute outdoor chores today despite the 46 degree weather.  Please enjoy these few scenes from the previous week around the farm.



  




  
  

Thanks for stopping by to visit!


Our Thanksgiving Feast and Giving Thanks


As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I decided to take a break from baking and cooking and share with you some of the reasons, both big and small, monumental and inconsequential, that I am thankful for the life I lead.

The All-Natural Chicken First Aid Kit - Fifteen Essential Items


Too often in backyard chicken keeping, injury or illness occurs that needs to be treated quickly.  Since many products used to treat poultry are not readily available locally, and many vets don't treat chickens, it is my recommendation to be prepared and keep these critical items stocked at all times. Hopefully you will never need them, but at least you'll be ready if you do.  

Sometimes Less is More


Once upon a time, eons ago, when we only had five hens, I knew which egg belonged to each hen.  Grace, our Buff, laid plump pale tan eggs. Charlotte, our Australorp, laid almost round pinkish eggs.  Orange Chicken, our Rhode Island Red, laid bullet-shaped tan eggs.  Lucy, our Marans laid dark speckled eggs. PeeWee, our Easter Egger, laid mint green eggs and PJ, our other EE, laid pale green eggs.

A Week in Farm Photos - November 11-17

This week our ten photos celebrate the fall colors and beauty of nature. Enjoy!








  



Plastic Easter Egg Scratch Treat Balls


Plastic Easter eggs are a wonderful way to teach young pullets where to lay their eggs. Leave a few in the nesting boxes and they will soon catch on.  But when you're done with the eggs, don't toss them in the trash.  Here's a simple way to re-use them as treat balls for the chickens.

Hobby Farms Chickens Magazine Feature



Several weeks ago I was contacted by the editor of Hobby Farms/Bowtie Publications and asked to be their Featured Chicken Keeper in the upcoming issue of Chickens magazine. I immediately accepted! A huge fan of Hobby Farms, and especially their bimonthly Chickens publication, I was honored that I (and Fresh Eggs Daily) had somehow come up on their radar. It's been hard keeping quiet and waiting patiently for the issue to be published, but it's finally here! My issue arrived several days ago and I couldn't be more excited to read the article that resulted from my interview.

S is for Salmonella ... and for Sage! Treat your Chickens Naturally


When someone says 'Salmonella' you most likely immediately think uncooked eggs or poultry, and you would be right (although it can be contracted from eating contaminated produce as well).  Salmonella IS most often contracted from un- or under-cooked poultry products, and in fact it is estimated that 1 in 20,000 eggs contain Salmonella.  So should you be concerned about salmonella in your backyard flock?  Well, let's take a look at what Salmonella is, how it is contracted and if it can be prevented.

A Week in Farm Photos November 4th - 10th

The last two weeks have brought some weather challenges to much of the country. We have been lucky here in Virginia to escape with only rain followed by much cooler temperatures.  No hard frost yet, but getting close.  I hope you enjoy this glimpse of life on our farm.





 


 



Holiday Egg Nog made with Farm Fresh Eggs



One of the many benefits of raising backyard chickens is the knowledge that the eggs I cook and bake with are fresh and have been handled properly.  I feel confident making recipes that include partially cooked eggs as long as I am using eggs laid by our hens and try to include many varied egg dishes in our family's weekly menus as well as our holiday menus.

Why Aren't My Chickens Laying Eggs Anymore? 20 Reasons for a Drop in Egg Production



A decrease in egg production this time of year is perfectly normal and most likely attributable to shorter days and molting hens, but it can also be something a bit more formidable.  Egg production naturally ebbs and flows in a backyard flock. Chickens are extremely routine-oriented and any change in routine can throw off their laying.

A Week in Farm Photos October 28th - Nov 3rd

This week brought a bit of Hurricane Sandy in the form of three days of steady rain followed by a distinct autumn chill to the air.  This is our favorite time of year here on the farm.  This week also marked my first write-up in a popular chicken magazine, which was so exciting!   Enjoy some of my favorite pics from the week.

Five Creative Uses for Shelf Liner for the Chicken Keeper


Rubber shelf liner...you know the stuff. It comes in a half dozen colors and is great at keeping things from sliding around in your cabinets and drawers, keeping stacked dishes or pots from getting scratched, and a million other little things around the house.