Take a Peek at our Week - July 15 to 21

July 21, 2018

Ooops, I did it again! Since we had such a dismal hatch a week or so ago during the sudden heatwave, I just might have gotten some more chicks! I mean what was I to do?  I still had two broodies and really, really wanted some of the Ice Cream Bars (half Cream Legbar and half Isbar) from My Pet Chicken...

So yesterday morning, a peeping box arrived for me at the post office. Six active, healthy Littles. So that brings us up to a total of eight laying hens, one rooster, seven 7-week olds, one 2-week old, six day old chicks, plus eight ducks, four 7-week old ducklings, two dogs, a cat and a partridge in a pear tree.  

Just kidding about the partridge, although I did see a bunch of baby partridge in the driveway this morning on my way to Gray, Maine! They were cute. That's the first time I've seen partridge chicks.  After that chance encounter, I drive almost 2 hours south to spend a wonderful day at the Gray Public Library today participating in their Summer Author Series. 

I donated a copy of each of my books to the library director and was asked to sign a quilt square for a raffle they're having to raise money for the library. Other square have been signed by Tabitha and Stephen King, Tess Gerritsen, and other Maine authors, so that's pretty exciting! 

In other news this week, we started harvesting rhubarb, peas, wild blueberries and raspberries, and garlic as well. Despite having seriously neglected our garden, it's actually doing pretty well!  Enjoy this peek at our week.

The Rise of Natural Chicken Keeping

July 19, 2018

When we first started raising chickens back in 2009, I knew that I wanted to raise them naturally. That meant without using any chemicals or commercials medications - after all, we would be eating their eggs.

The whole point of starting a backyard flock (besides the fact that chickens make AWESOME pets and are super fun to watch and they love to sit on your lap!), was to know where our food was coming from and to know that it was as healthy as possible.

Why Do Chickens Bob Their Heads When They Walk?

July 17, 2018

Chickens, as well as pigeons, doves, cranes, magpie and quail among other birds, appear to bob their heads when they walk.

Some theories as to why they do this are to keep their balance or to provide depth perception, but most scientists agree that the real reason for why chickens bob their head when they walk is to maintain an acute sense of their surroundings.

Take a Peek at my Week - July 8 to 14

July 14, 2018

This week brought relief from the oppressive heat and humidity and Maine is back to being a great place to live! The days have been in the high 70s to low 80s and and the nights have been perfect for sleeping, in the 50s.

Herbs for Hens: When, Where & Why

July 10, 2018

Almost since the beginning of my chicken keeping journey, I've been incorporating herbs into my routine. I've read countless articles and scientific journals on the subject and spent even more hours just watching my chickens. 

Watching what they eat, what they don't, where they choose to take their dust baths. And I quickly became convinced that making a wide variety of herbs available to my chickens is what keeps them so healthy. 

Take a Peek at My Week - July 1 to 7

July 8, 2018

Sorry for the late post this week, but we had friends come stay with us and were busy doing the "tourist thing" with them this week. The early part of the week, as we welcomed July, we battled a crazy heat wave like the rest of the country and saw unheard of heat indices near 100 degrees. That meant ice water and cooling treats for all the animals, and lots of lazing around just trying to stay cool (without central air conditioning!). 

DIY Electrolyte Ice Cubes for your Chickens

July 3, 2018

Electrolytes in their water can really help backyard chickens immensely in the summer. Once the temperature rises much above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, they start to feel the effects. While chickens don't sweat like humans, they do lose fluids and electrolytes through panting, labored breathing, defecation and even egg laying!

You can just give them some plain Pedialyte, but I prefer to make my own electrolytes. You can stir the electrolyte powder into their water, or even better make some DIY Electrolyte Ice Cubes for them! 

How Do Chickens Stay Cool in the Summer?

July 2, 2018

Chickens don't have sweat glands like humans and so they can't sweat to stay cool. They can't just jump in a pond to cool off like ducks. Chickens can have a hard time when the heat of summer arrives. But once the temperatures start to rise, they do have some tricks in their arsenal to help them stay cool.

Take a Peek at our Week - June 24-30

June 30, 2018

This week I managed to tear myself away from the Littles (they'll be four weeks old this Sunday!) and - finally - get the top of our run done. As in, done right. We just had plastic poultry netting over the top, which has been great to keep out the hawks, but I've been worried that something like a weasel or fisher cat would climb up and over and tear right through it, so this week was the week to get that done. As you might already know if you follow on Facebook or Instagram, my husband and I did great at teamwork and got the whole project done with no yelling or crying (win for us!!!)

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