Chicken Laying Boxes

Chicken Laying Boxes

Chickens, Farm Animals
One of the most critical pieces of a new chicken coop is how and where to build the chicken laying boxes. This is important because if you don't give attention to a few, but basic rules, you have a healthy chicken coop, but lacking egg production. What to do and what to avoid. Nests should be placed in a darker corner of the coop. Hens like their privacy and prefer less light while they sit on the nest. With too much light and not enough privacy they can get nervous, even sometimes dropping their laying to about 3 a week. While many books will tell you that they will lay in smaller boxes, if you give your hens some space and make the cages between 12"x12" or even 14"x14", it…
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Florida lawmaker wants to make farm photos illegal

Chickens, Farm Animals
Along with mountains of oranges, tomatoes, and sugar, Florida's branch of Big Ag Inc. is a reliable producer of bad news. Whether it's the fight over proto-slavery conditions for its tomato workers, the push to perfect genetically modified oranges, or the outrage of the crony capitalist "solutions" to the environmental degradations of sugar plantations, it seems like there's always something rotten in the state of Florida. Oh, and did I mention that Florida also has a shockingly low number of organic farms? So I am not surprised to learn that a creative (not to mention unconstitutional and idiotic) solution to the grave problems with factory farms should arise in the Sunshine state (via the Florida Tribune and Matt Yglesias): SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a…
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Death of the Honey Bees

Bees, Farm Animals, Food Supply, Organic Pest & Disease Control
This is a reprint of a comprehensive article by Brit Amos. It is a sobering essay on the effects modern technology and biological chemistry is having on our food supply. GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North] America's crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize.[1] This essay will discuss the arguments and seriousness that affects the massive deaths and the decline of Bee colonies in North America. As well, it…
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Farmers Are Flocking to Manure

Farmers Are Flocking to Manure

Farm Animals, Organic Gardening, Small Scale Farming, Soil & Compost
The closest thing I can find to a directory on getting local manure is CraigsList. I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a location or farmer in your area that will happily supply you with enough manure to use for home organic gardening Then, I ran across this article, Why Farmers are Flocking to Manure that throws out this common statistic... "It has taken us about 100 years to reduce soil organic matter to dangerously low levels from about 5 percent, on average, to below 2 percent." That blog article was adapted from the book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind" So they are running out of chemical fertilizer. Go Figure. And how fast could our commercial farming industry make the move to organic farming?…
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National Bird Feeding Month

Farm Animals
So, it is too early to plant peas and you have plotted (and re-plotted) your spring garden. You have poured, at length, through every garden catalog, planned (and ordered) your list and STILL it is only the first week of February. There are, after all, a wide variety of interests in the organic garden beside the soil. They are just as busy, if not more in the winter and I often envy their energy even in the coldest months of winter... birds in the backyard.  Whether you are an intense bird feeder person or just enjoy seeing them flit about when you make your gardening excursions, you will find something of interest in our post today. February is National Bird Feeding Month, and to celebrate Nature Hills is running a…
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How do I prevent mice in my chicken coop?

How do I prevent mice in my chicken coop?

Chickens, Organic Pest & Disease Control
I love backyard chickens but I'm definitely not a fan of mice and rats. Just because you have chickens in your backyard, doesn't mean you also have to have mice or rats in your chicken coop. In most cases, it's the spilled grain that attracts mice into the chicken coop. Once inside, the mice may discover that there's also fresh water and may conclude that your chicken coop is actually quite cozy place to live! While both mice and chickens love grain and seeds, chickens are actually omnivores, which means they also eat meat. This means that a mouse that is a bit slow running through the coop, might find that he becomes a light snack for one of your chickens. I wouldn't however, rely on your chickens to keep…
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Baby Chicks Off the Lights

Baby Chicks Off the Lights

Chickens
These guys were on heat lamps until today. The temps overnight are still dipping in the low 40's, but TODAY it's going to be in the 80's and they get to be outside! The chicks are being 'weaned' from the heating lamp. They are getting feathered out. They are looking quite beautiful! It is going to rain this weekend. Now I can only hope they have the good sense to use their little ramp and come in out of the rain. Normally I wouldn't put them out until they are fully feathered, but the temps are in the 80's and they will be fine outdoors. They jumped and peeped and are having the best time with all the room to run, they don't quite know what to do with themselves.…
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Hatching Your Own Chickens

Hatching Your Own Chickens

Chickens, Farm Animals
It's probably likely that some of you will want to go one step further and hatch and raise your own chicks from your existing stock. Breeding chickens couldn't be easier and it's a worthwhile and rewarding project to get your kids involved in too. If your far enough from your nearest neighbors or lucky enough to have very understanding ones that don't mind being woken at the crack of down by an over zealous cockerel announcing the dawn of a new day then you are already half way towards getting your hens to breed. Firstly, you need make sure you have happy healthy hens in good breeding condition by following the guidelines in my earlier article. A plentiful supply of good food and the appropriate nesting facilities in the form…
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Secrets to Build a Chicken Coop Cheap and Easy

Secrets to Build a Chicken Coop Cheap and Easy

Chickens
If you ever thought about raising chickens or even building your own chicken coup for that matter, maybe it is time you actually did something about it. When you compare the price difference of building your own hen houses versus buying, you will be amazed at the amount of money you can save constructing them yourself. And it will not take as long or be as hard as you may have ever imagined. It is possible to get it done in a weekend or two. Before cutting your first 2-by-4 or nailing two boards together, it is a good idea to come up with a plan. Chickens need a clean dry nesting area along with some room to roam. They will forage for a portion of their own food if…
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Backyard Laying Hens- Free Range Eggs, For Free!

Backyard Laying Hens- Free Range Eggs, For Free!

Chickens, Farm Animals
Keeping your own stock of free range egg backyard laying hens is an enjoyable and rewarding pastime as more and more city folk are discovering with the increasing popularity of 'urban farming'. Hens can be kept in even the smallest of spaces as long as they have suitable shelter, a ready supply of food and small patch of ground to scratch around in. Hens can easily be bought as chicks from local farmers and smallholders. They will produce one egg per day per hen so even a couple of good layers will produce more than enough eggs for a family. They are easy to keep and feed and as long as you don't add a cockerel to the flock you wont get any complaints from the neighbors either! In no…
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