Ducks Molt Too!

August 29, 2017


When you raise chickens, you become accustomed to a flock of molting chickens each fall. The shorter days signal to their bodies to drop their old, broken feathers and grow in a nice new set before winter arrives to help them stay warm. It's easy to spot a molting chicken. She will have bare spots starting at her head and neck and moving down her body, with sharp quills poking through. With ducks, its not as obvious, with your only sign often being a run full of feathers. But ducks molt too!

Take a Peek at our Week - Aug 20th - 26th

August 26, 2017

We've just started picking ripe tomatoes from the garden, but already I can tell that fall is in the air. The nights are cooling down to near 40 degrees, so I potted some of my smaller basil plants and brought them inside and clipped others and have them in water on the kitchen windowsill. My basil always is the first to succumb to the cold, and I'm not quite ready to give up my caprese salads for lunch yet!

How Will the Eclipse Impact my Chickens and Ducks?

August 20, 2017


Never has a single event prompted so many questions from readers as the impending solar eclipse which will occur on Monday, August 21st, 2017. Mainly, chicken keepers have been worried about how the eclipse will affect their flock, concerned about their chickens possibly going blind from staring up at the sun, and to a lesser extent, curious about whether their chickens will not lay on that day or go to roost during the eclipse.

Take a Peek at our Week - Aug 13th - 19th

August 19, 2017



As some of you know, I spent last weekend in California doing a Fall Chick Days tour at Tractor Supply stores in Gilroy and Turlock which was sponsored by my friends at Manna Pro. It was a great trip - my first time in California! - but I was happy to come home. The garden is still producing tons of veggies (our tomatoes have finally started to ripen and no one loves sun-ripened tomato sandwich more than I do!), but egg production has ground to a virtual halt due to the shorter days and a few girls who already have started molting. 

Herbs for Hens: Basil

August 15, 2017


Basil is one of my favorite herbs to grow. Not only is it easy to start from seed, seedling or plant cutting, it smells so good when you brush past the plant! I love making homemade pesto and layering fresh basil leaves with slices of tomato picked from the garden and fresh mozzarella. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil ....I could eat that for lunch every day all summer long! 

Take a Peek at our Week - August 6th to 12th

August 12, 2017


The summer is flying by! I can't believe that we already are seeing molting chickens and the leaves changing color! We've got all kinds of pumpkins and squash in the garden and even a little watermelon. We've harvested lots of potatoes and the girls are enjoying a daily ration of lettuce, spinach, kale and other leafy greens from the garden. 

How Do Chickens Eat with No Teeth?

August 8, 2017


You might have heard the saying "rarer than hen's teeth", which means extremely scarce or difficult to find. This is because, like other wild birds, chickens have no teeth. Oh sure, a baby chick grows an egg tooth which helps it break out of the shell when it hatches, but that sole tooth falls off a few days after hatching. So for all intents and purposes, chickens don't have teeth - instead they have beaks. So how do they chew their food?

Take a Peek at our Week - July 30th to August 5th

August 5, 2017


This week it was good to be home and have a chance to relax a bit. I spent the week catching up on some garden weeding (we're harvesting potatoes, beets, chard, carrots, mini pumpkins and zucchini now), watching the Littles (I can't believe they will be five weeks old on Monday!) and working on my next book which is coming out next fall. I also headed to Bangor for the day on Tuesday to help repaint the raised beds at the Housing Authority community gardens as part of my volunteer work for the Maine Master Gardener program. Take a peek at my week! 

Easy Fall Protein-Rich Apple Treat for Molting Chickens

August 1, 2017


The shorter days heading into fall bring on the molting season for backyard chickens. During this time, which can last weeks or even months, they drop their old feathers and regrow brand new feathers to help them stay warm through the winter.
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