As promised when I embarked on my apprenticeship as an herbalist this past fall at The Herbal Academy of New England, I am sharing yet another wonderful concoction with you from my studies. This is from Unit Three which focuses on the alimentary (digestive) system and is a recipe for Ginger Simple Syrup that I think you'll enjoy.
Last week we reached an amazing 100,000 likes on our Facebook page! And best of all, we did it the old-fashioned way, one like at a time, by sharing good information that people have grown to trust over the past five years. Fresh Eggs Daily has grown larger than my wildest expectations and we owe it all to you: our readers, fans and sponsors.
It doesn't snow often in Virginia but when it does, we Yankees rejoice...and take loads of photos! Enjoy these snapshots of everyone enjoying snow on the farm this week. Okay, maybe the chickens didn't exactly enjoy it...but everyone else did!
Even before all the dog treat recalls in recent years, I have always loved making homemade treats for our dogs because I knew they were eating healthy, all natural ingredients. I haven't made them any treats in awhile, so when I recently had some leftover sweet potatoes, I decided it was time to whip up a batch. I have also subbed in pumpkin for the sweet potato....and can I just say, they were a huge hit, even with our super picky German Shepherd Bella!
Buying day-old baby chicks from a reputable breeder or hatchery will generally result in healthy chicks, but sometimes things still go wrong, and at times one will fall ill. Here's a quick guide to a few of the most common ailments and how to treat them naturally.
This week brought a few scattered snow flurries, more cold temperatures AND our very first blue Ameraucana egg E.V.E.R.! After hatching a bunch of Ameraucana and Araucana roosters, buying Easter Eggers that I was told were Ameraucanas but weren't, and various other calamities, our Blue Ameraucana, Virginia, finally laid her first egg - at 38 weeks old! It was a long wait but SO worth it!
Meanwhile our ducks continue to lay through the cold temperatures and short days, providing us a constant supplly of delicious fresh eggs.
When it's time to add to your flock, you can buy day-old chicks from a local farm or feed store, or order them to be shipped from a hatchery or breeder through the mail. But why not try instead hatching some chicks of your own?
This week, we got our share of Polar Vortex weather, with our temperatures ranging from a balmy 72 all the way down to a frigid, damp, bone-chilling 11 degrees (and yes, a 'wet' cold feels so much colder than a 'dry' cold!). Everyone did just fine though in their stalls, coop and houses filled with nice fresh straw and shavings and the ducks kept right on laying eggs without missing a beat. Our furry and feathered barnyard folks were all troopers, even though the ducks tried to fly south and Truffle, our bantam Chocolate Orp, and Violet, our Lavender Orp, both tried to dig to China!
Adding apple cider vinegar to your chickens' water a few times a week not only makes the water more palatable to them, it keeps your waterers cleaner and controls the bacteria both in the water and in the hens' digestive systems. It increases calcium (as well as other mineral) absorption, so your chickens will get more 'bang for the buck' from the layer feed and eggshells or oyster shell you provide them. ACV also acts as an antiseptic by killing the germs that cause respiratory problems - which chickens are extremely susceptible to - in the throat and promotes healthy mucous flow. ACV is even thought to combat coccidia. [Read more HERE about the benefits.] But will adding some ACV to the water keep it from freezing in the winter as some claim?
Back in November I embarked on the online Intermediate Herbalist Class at the Herbal Academy of New England and shared a bit about the course HERE. For my first exam, I made a batch of Elderberry Honey Cold Syrup, thereby completing the first unit in the course. This weekend I successfully passed Unit Two and for my final exam I made a batch of Spring Chicken Herbal Tonic. Perfect to boost your own or your chickens' health naturally, it's super easy to make!
Along with ringing in the New Year, January has also heralded in some temperatures below freezing (but no snow sadly!) so our week included hauling water buckets, breaking ice in water troughs and giving the chickens and ducks some healthy treats to keep them busy and warm. Enjoy these photos of our muddy, partially frozen farm!
As a woman approaching a 'certain age', one of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to take better care of myself to include exercising more, eating less (and better) and finding some easy, natural, homemade concoctions for better hair, skin, and nails. Starting with my skin, I have been reading up on egg white facials.