Big changes are coming on January 1, 2017 regarding how certain medications are going to be dispensed for chickens. Basically, the Veterinary Feed Directive will put a stop to over-the-counter sales of many of the antibiotics used for poultry and other livestock. In order to purchase medications that are currently on your feed store shelves, you will now need a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. That's it in a nutshell, but there's lots more information here on the USDA site.
Lots to be thankful for this holiday season. Everyone's healthy and happy, and we've even seen a bit of snow! The coop got a bit of new decor to keep the girls busy since they're spending more time inside than they do in the warmer months.
This week brought some exciting news that I'll be sharing soon (hint: it has to do with Martha Stewart!). I was also honored to be interviewed by Time magazine for an article. Yup, that Time magazine! No, not Woman of the Year! But still, pretty exciting nonetheless. I was also asked to contribute to Farmers Almanac again for next year's issue, which I eagerly agreed to, and one of my photos is going to be featured in a kids science magazine.
I've started work on my new book and will be turning in the outline and first chapter to my editor next week. All great news for backyard chicken keeping. It's really gone mainstream, which is a "good thing" as Martha would say!
Over the years raising ducks, I've learned that the cold rarely bothers them, but they're not really big fans of wind. I've also noticed that they love to hunker down in the shade of the evergreens that grace our property to nap, safe from aerial predators.
The Thanksgiving holiday almost upon us, and Christmas coming fast on its heels, I'm grateful that two of our four new spring chicks (pullets now!) have started laying eggs and the ducks are almost done molting, so we should have plenty of fresh eggs for holiday baking. I just can't bring myself to buy store bought eggs. Haven't for nearly 8 years and never plan to, ever again.
I've been busy promoting my new book Gardening with Chickens and doing lots of press and interviews for that - and I've already started some early work on my next book! Still polishing up my outline and some small details, but hopefully I'll have good news and more information for you on that soon. In the meantime, we're hoping for some snow soon to kick off the holidays here in Maine, but no one is complaining about these spring-like temperatures we've been enjoying lately. So, enjoy this peek at our week!
I think we can all agree that one of the reasons we raise our own chickens is to afford them a happy life, spent frolicking in the grass, chasing bugs and eating good-quality feed supplemented with healthy treats. We hardly want to emulate the large, commercial chickens farms...or do we?
It snowed! Just for a second and the flakes melted as soon as they hit the porch, but we have officially gotten our first snowfall here in Maine. This week brought continued slow egg production, lots of pretty pictures from around the farm, and I spent the later part of the week signing copies of my third book and getting them in the mail. Enjoy this peek at our week.
Fall is the perfect time to let your chickens wander freely in your garden. Once you have harvested your crops, you can let your chickens in to clean up the remaining stalks, vines, and stems. They'll help by breaking up all the organic matter and incorporating it into the soil where it will continue to break down.
No snow yet, but it's regularly dipping below freezing at night now. With a fresh layer of straw in the coop and yummy afternoon treats, the girls are just fine. This week we celebrated the release of my third book Gardening with Chickens and I'm excited to announce that my fourth book (that I'll start working on this winter) will likely be coming out in the spring of 2018. Seems like a long way away, but time flies when you're having fun, right? Enjoy this peek at our week.
I'm very excited to finally announce that my brand new book Gardening with Chickens: Plans and Plants for you and your Hens (Voyageur Press, 2016) is being released this week! Over a year in the making, the writing of this book was truly a labor of love which allowed me to combine two of my most favorite pastimes - gardening and chicken keeping!