Eggs from your backyard chickens stay fresher if they aren't washed before storing them, but no one wants dirt- or poop-covered eggs on their counter, or worse in the refrigerator. So how can you ensure that you always collect clean eggs?
It's spring! Everything is muddy and mucky, but there's green popping up all over. It won't be long now before it's time to get the gardens planted. Spring is my favorite time of year. What's yours?
Hatching chicken eggs in an incubator (or under a hen) is very simple, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines. While it may seem to be a very easy process, small variations in egg handling, temperature or humidity can cause your eggs to not hatch, or to not hatch into healthy chicks. Follow these simple DO's and DON'Ts to achieve the best hatch rate possible.
This week heralded in the official start of spring, but signs have been in the air for awhile now here in Virginia. Egg production is booming and the first daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses have bloomed. Enjoy this peek at our week.
Spring is right around the corner and with spring comes baby animals - cute babies like chicks, ducklings and bunnies - but also baby predators, who will soon be trained to try and break into your chicken coop by their more experienced parents. Raccoon, opossums, foxes, coyotes, bears, skunks, weasels and others can all be a threat to your backyard flock, so a secure coop is a must.
Melting snow, crocuses and daffodils pushing through the cool, brown soil and longer days are all sure signs of spring. Another sure sign of spring is increased 'activity' in the barnyard. The boys start to get frisky and the girls start to go broody. Egg production picks up. Once we see these signs, we know spring is right around the corner!
Fermentation is nothing new. People have been using the process as a method of food preservation for hundreds and hundreds of years. Foods such as sourdough bread, buttermilk, cheese, pickles, kimchi, apple cider vinegar - even beer and wine - take advantage of fermenting. Animal feeds can also be fermented. There are numerous nutritional benefits to feeding fermented feed, and even better, it can save you money on your feed bill! Once again, the old-timers had it right!
Each spring I start seeds inside on the windowsill to get a jump on the growing season. It's getting to be that time of year again, so I've been saving my eggshells to make these cute seed starter cups. Functional and practical, they are not only a great way to recycle your eggshells, they also help prevent a fairly common plant disorder called 'blossom end rot'.
This past week was a weather roller coaster for us here in Virginia, and for much of the country in fact. We saw snow, freezing rain, temperatures near 70 degrees, and everything in between. The slightly longer days have resulted in a plethora of eggs in our nesting boxes. Enjoy!
I'm not a big soda drinker by any means, but I do enjoy ginger ale from time to time. This is my recipe to make your own homemade ginger ale, using just four ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. It's so easy and quick to make - and like everything else homemade, its healthier for your family because its all natural ingredients and you can control the amount (and type) of sweetener you use.
Those of you who read this blog or follow my Facebook page probably know that I love to make all kinds of fun treats for my chickens. One of my favorites to serve is warm oatmeal on a cold winter morning, with seeds, raisins and other yummy add-ins. I don't know if the treat actually warms their bellies, but I feel better serving them a hot meal first thing in the morning - and they sure gobble it up!