We're told that this winter has been mild, at least by Maine standards, and now we're experiencing a bit of a a January thaw which is just fine with us. We still have plenty of snow has turned everything into a winter wonderland and is so pretty to look at, but it's not so terribly cold that I am worried about our chicken and ducks. We've hardly even had to worry about frozen water, since a tub set in the sunshine is staying relatively unfrozen. Enjoy this peek at our week.
store bought eggs and how old they potentially can be by the time you purchase them (45 days old or more, yes really!), and some people have argued that an egg will still be good to eat for months, well past the 'best by' or 'sell until' date on the egg carton. While it's true that an egg, correctly handled and stored, will last for up to 6 months, and still be perfectly safe to eat - will it actually be 'good'? I don't believe so. Here's why fresh really IS best.
As winter approaches, it's important to winterize your coop by adding a thick layer of fresh straw (or using the Deep Litter Method), covering the windows with clear plastic, providing vents up high for air flow, stacking straw bales along the inside walls as insulation and covering your nesting boxes with curtains to prevent the eggs from freezing, but it's just as important to winterize your run.
This week brought more of the same here in Maine. Snow, cold, wind and an overall feeling of being so fortunate to live in this beautiful state. The chickens are slowly beginning to lay egg again, although you'll notice they're largely absent from the photos since they have been hibernating in the coop for the most part. However, the ducks seem to enjoy the snow, and of course our dogs are having such fun.
I'm sure many of you have wood stoves, fire pits or fireplaces. As long as you're burning only "clean" wood - nothing chemically treated, pressure-treated, painted or stained - and no charcoal briquettes or commercial products like those slow-burning logs, the wood ash can be used in various ways around your coop and garden.
This week was all about shoveling snow and stacking wood! I discovered long-unused muscles I never even knew I had. And I just kept saying - who needs to go to the gym when where's so much snow to shovel!
But, seriously, we're loving our first winter in Maine. And the chickens and ducks are being such troopers and doing just fine with no heat in their coop. I haven't even had to plug in the heated water bowls yet - between the sun and black rubber tubs that the ducks play in all day long, the water is staying unfrozen, even in daytime temps in the 20s. The ducks have been laying right through this winter, and a few chickens are even starting up again, due to the slightly longer days. Enjoy this peek at our snowy week!
We raised horses for many years. That meant we always had carrots on hand. And what better way to use carrots than in an a delicious, moist spiced carrot cake!
I'm actually in Indianapolis this weekend attending Coop Camp (sponsored by the reality tv show Coop Dreams), but I wanted to share some of the photos from our farm this past week anyway with you. The temperature got down to zero degrees one night this past week (yes, that's right ZERO!) but with lots of straw in their coop, scratch grains before bed and good ventilation up high to let the moisture out, everyone did just fine. Although the chickens are very much not fans of the snow. But they did venture out a bit finally. Enjoy this peek at our week!
Each year I like to look back to see what you all are reading on my website. Which of my blog posts were most often searched and read throughout the year? It's interesting to me, and gives me a better idea of the topics you want to hear about in the coming year. Some, surprisingly enough, were brand new this year, others are from the archives - going back almost five years. So without further ado, here are the top ten most read posts of 2015!
This week was all about snow! It started snowing on Tuesday and snowed for the next day and a half, leaving us with about a foot of the white stuff. We're thrilled of course, the chickens not so much. They pretty much sat this past week out while the ducks and dogs partied it up! Enjoy this peek at our snowy week.
This past year was such a transitional time for Fresh Eggs Daily. I've worked hard these past few years and have finally managed to turn something that was an enjoyable hobby into a bona fide career.