This week saw a substantial drop in temperatures as well as the Thanksgiving holiday. I used the earlier part of the week to shoot some winter photos for a new project I'm working on (it was finally cold enough to put on a winter coat and gloves!) and then the later part of the week was spent enjoying good food and company with dear friends and family. I love sharing a slice of our life with you all each Saturday night. Hope your week was filled with friends, family and well-loved pets as well.
As we sit down to eat tomorrow with family and friends, we each should be reminded of all the blessings in our lives: a loving family, close friends, healthy animals, the ability to grow or raise some of our own food and a warm, safe place to live.
Wow, is it just me or did November fly by? We hope you all have wonderful plans to spend time with family, friends and loved ones over the holiday next week. Please enjoy a glimpse of life on our farm as we get ready for Thanksgiving and the colder weather.
Just like there's no crying in baseball, there are no sick days when you live on a farm. Animals still need to be fed and cared for no matter how cruddy you feel. Fortunately we manage to stay pretty healthy by living the same way as we raise our animals - with a varied diet filled with plenty of healthy food, lots of water, fresh air, exercise and natural preventives and immune system boosters.
Recently you might have noticed that your pullets, who used to scatter and run when you approached them, now stop, drop and squat at your feet. But before you pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself that all these weeks of bringing them treats has finally paid off and now they are cool with you petting them, keep reading to find out what that 'squat' really means.
Just when we think that winter has settled in on us, with the temperatures dipping into the high 20's at night, we have a beautiful sunny day in the 70s. Such is the weather here in Virginia. I'm not quite sure how the animals adapt, but they are all doing beautifully. Enjoy this photos of life on the farm from this past week.
|-photo courtesy the Herbal Academy of New England-|
I freely admit I am mostly self-taught in many areas of homesteading and chicken keeping. Over the years, I have read as much as I can from reputable sources including books and magazines, forums and websites moderated by experts in their field, etc. but have not embarked on any formal training or course of study ... until now.
As a general rule, chickens handle cold far better than heat, but in the winter they still will appreciate being provided a draft-free, dry coop, a sunny area in the yard out of the wind, fresh water and some treats that provide extra energy and warming properties. Boredom is also a worry in the winter, so keeping them busy can help alleviate pecking and other issues. I've put together my best advice to help your chickens through the winter.
It's autumn with a hint of winter here in Virginia. Frost on the ground in the mornings has forced me to pull out my lined barn jacket and gloves for morning chores. By afternoon it's crisp and sunny. The leaves are turning, creating a kaleidoscope of fall colors .... and there's a chance of snow next week. Fall into farm life with us!
Usually on the cutting edge of backyard chicken keeping (ha!), I feel like we're a bit late to the party this time. It seems there's a growing trend of making your own Flock Blocks and all the other chicken bloggers are all over that. You know, the Flock Block, the ubiquitous boredom-busting solid block of seeds and grains to help keep your chickens busy? (Just search Pinterest for Flock Block Substitute to see what I mean.)
So anyway, I decided to try my hand at making my own. After reading through a whole bunch of recipes on Google and Pinterest and taking stock of what I had on hand, this is my version of the Flock Block Knock Off (try saying that three times fast!)
And another week draws to a close. Fall is a beautiful season both visually and temperature-wise here in Virginia, so we're enjoying it immensely. The week flew by, a flurry of book interviews, writing assignments, organizing my first book signing and of course the regular 'farm stuff' ... because apparently writing a book doesn't exempt one from doing their chores!