This week it was nice to just relax at home and do some gardening in preparation for the filming of a segment of Permaculture Chickens here on our farm next month. Between my trip to Little Rock earlier this month to attend P. Allen Smith's garden blogger event at Moss Mountain Farm and heading to Indianapolis next week to film an episode of the new chicken reality show Coop Dreams (which will air on Destination America starting this July), it was good to not have any commitments this past week. It's been a busy (and exciting) month, but as they say, there's no place like home. Enjoy these photos of our gardens!
The backyard chicken movement really seemed to gain some serious steam around 2008-2009, meaning that many of you (hopefully!) now have flocks consisting of chickens that are getting on in years. I'm in that boat. My oldest hen, our Australorp Charlotte, is our matriarch - and celebrated her sixth birthday this past February. Lately, I've been asked quite often by readers how long chickens live, how long they will lay eggs, and what I do with my aging hens. Well, here are the answers to these and other burning questions!
Since ancient times, man has been using spices as a seasoning for food. But spices do far more than just ramp up the flavor quotient in foods, they also deliver a dose of healthy benefits for both animals and people. So why not add some spice to your chickens' diet ?
Last week I was offered the fantastic opportunity to tour North Central Arkansas courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism as part of their #ARStory Road Trip promotion. Jan from Two Women and a Hoe and I were provided a car, itinerary and map - and set loose for three days to explore Arkansas and share our photos and adventures to help promote Arkansas tourism. I hope we did the state proud! Enjoy some of the photos from our trip! (Oh and as an aside, if you ever decide to visit Arkansas, do NOT throw out the paper map thinking its so 2005 and you'll just use your cell phone GPS to navigate....just a travel tip we learned the hard way.)
Most likely when you hear someone talking about free-range chickens, you picture a flock of hens happily roaming a grassy pasture searching for bugs and weeds. You might even refer to your own chickens as 'free-range' even though they are confined inside your fenced-in backyard. Either way, those are some darn happy chickens!
But when it comes to egg carton labeling, the array of terms can make your head spin. "Free-range", "Cage free", "Pasture raised" and then there's "Organic", "Vegetarian-fed" and "Hormone-free". Hopefully you don't have to rely on store bought eggs, but in case you do, let me help you decode exactly what each term means on that egg carton you see in the display case.
Did you know that despite sharing a name and often being prepared in similar ways, white potatoes and sweet potatoes aren't actually even related? They belong to two separate families, and as such, the simple question 'Can I feed my chickens potatoes?' doesn't have a simple answer.
Spring is in full bloom here in Virginia. It's my favorite time of year. The summer humidity hasn't moved in yet and the damp winter chill is gone. I spent the week working with some new sponsors to bring you information on some new, exciting natural chicken keeping products, and tried to enjoy being outside as much as possible. Enjoy this peek at my week!
Another week spent working on final edits for my book - hopefully in a week or so I'll be able to share some details and maybe even the cover with you! - and watching our baby ducklings grow up. Egg production is in full swing and it's another beautiful spring in Virginia.