It’s been a rough year

It’s been a rough year

Community, Gardening Humor
But not everyone is as lucky as I am ... (Okay, I couldn't resist a little humor) I got this email see, the chicken is what got me. The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. I ordered a burger at McDonald's, and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?" CEO's are now playing miniature golf. If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them . [caption id="attachment_3464" align="alignright" width="292"] This chicken had a rough year[/caption] Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM. Parents in Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their children's names. A truckload of Americans…
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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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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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The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness

Farm Animals, Healthy Eating
The FAO recently warned that global industrial meat production poses a serious threat to human health. BTW, Read the really frightening article in this month's Mother Earth News, The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness We all KNOW this. We all sense this. It is time we did more. Stop EATING this. There are AlWAYS alternatives. Eat less meat, buy from reputable growers that employ sustainable and HUMANE practices, raise your own sustainably or pay someone to, but do NOT support FACTORY FARMING! Here are some ideas on what YOU can DO Costs for factory farming are enormous, and as oil becomes more scarce or the price rises (whatever your philosophy) it will continue to provide the people with unhealthy, increasingly expensive meat. These are just a few…
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Dogs 1 Rooster 0

Dogs 1 Rooster 0

Chickens, Our Homestead
Well, it's a sad day at our little homestead today. I left the dogs outside for what was to be a warm night. I thought they would enjoy it. Mr. Red had been aggravating the hens so badly, that I had turned him out of the chicken coop last weekend. Now, you have to picture this, LOL A big, Rhode Island Red rooster, chasing a big black Labrador around the yard. Molly, our lab does NOT enjoy getting clipped in the back when she's not looking. Red holds his own every single day... until today. I guess, since Molly was trying to sleep and he woke up at the crack of dawn, as usual, he found her napping. You can probably imagine the rest. The worst of it was that…
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The ROOF is on the Chicken Coop

Chickens, Our Homestead
From the chicken run side closest to the house you can see how much progress we're making! I will be able to go in the gate and be out of the rain and they will have some shelter from the rain and still be able to be outside... so long as the rain is not blowing sideways. LOL We've stacked so many things off and on through the time we've been working on it that the wire is starting to sag in the middle, Errrr. But I think I can run some wire through it and it will be alright. Remind me, if I EVER build another chicken coop to NOT use 'chicken wire' it is a pain in the BUTT. Baby chicks get right through it, animals can push…
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Chicken Hawk in the Hen House!

Our Homestead
This was WAY weird.  I came out to get tools going for about three hours we came up with in the middle of the week to work on the chicken coop and there was squeaking and squawking going on. Mr. Red was jumping up and down, carrying on something fierce. But let me give you some history about that... The night before, I went in to make sure the babies were tucked in nice and sound. It was only their third night outside alone with a sole heat lamp. And while the night temps were hanging in the mid 50's, I didn't want to take any chances. So about three in the morning, I went out to make sure the light hadn't burned out or anything terrible, they still don't…
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Chicken Coop Progressing

Chicken Coop Progressing

Chickens, Our Homestead
What a long day, getting things square against all odds. The entire chicken coop frame was off square from the chicken run due to the fact that I wanted to use the 4x4's from the garden fence to build off of... seemed such a shame to let all that wood, cement, and hard work go to waste. You can see the autumn leaves are starting to really fall. Another reminder that we don't have long to go before it gets cold and the chicks still don't have a place to get out of the cold. Errrr. My son works during the day, goes to school three nights a week, has two children, one newly born August 28th and his brother will be two in November. His wife is taking online…
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Work Begins on the Chicken Coop

Chickens, Our Homestead
Well, my middle son Ryan, his wife Amanda, and my year and a half old grandson, Aiden had a fine 4th of July today! We worked on the chicken coop. All of us together and we had a ball! Well, okay, Aiden only kept the dog occupied, but he had fun watching his dad. This has been such a fun family project. It is going to rain tonight, so we got the left over wood we didn't have time to use covered up. I opted to not use treated lumber for the inside of the coop since it will all be covered and closed in ... the 4x4's are treated as they will be touching the soil, but the rest is above the ground. [caption id="attachment_2872" align="alignright" width="300"] north view…
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The baby chicks get a new home

Chickens, Our Homestead
This will have to do for a bit. We're not making really great progress on the chicken coop. Red is still in the chicken run and I don't trust the dogs to leave him be. The babies are so small, they can escape through the chicken wire. I'm going to have to use smaller wire around the bottom so if we have baby chicks later, they will be safe and sound inside the run. Still in my small living room. Last time, in the spring, we only had five, this time, there are eleven. This is going to get old really fast. LOL! [caption id="attachment_2880" align="alignright" width="300"] box of chicks[/caption] The heat makes the smell stronger, faster. At least they are safe from the dogs and cat. Strider (the cat)…
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