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Showing posts from September, 2014

Backyard Evidence of Free-Range Chickens

When deciding our chickens would free-range in our fully fenced backyard I knew the landscaping was about to change in good ways and bad. Yes, chickens are good at keeping unwanted pests away, suppling fertilizer and controlling weeds, but they also love to eat prized plants, scratch up the lawn and wreak havoc on vegetable gardens.   
For those of you who are thinking about getting backyard chickens and plan to allow them to free-range, I will give you a glimpse of my backyard to show you what you may be getting yourself into. Here is evidence that I have free-range chickens:
Exhibit #1 Dust Bathing Holes

Exhibit #2 Sad looking Grasses
Exhibit #3 Scratched Lawn

Exhibit #4 Scattered Playground Chips
Exhibit #5 Trampled Ferns

Exhibit #6  Feathers Feathers Feathers!
Of course you can avoid the look of a rustic backyard by keeping your chickens contained full-time in a large run. To keep the damage to a minimum one could also do a combination of containment and free-range.  If you do plan on fre…

Tips From Our Junior Blogger: The Egg Float Test

Tuesday's Tip From Our Junior Blogger Chicken tending tips straight from the mouth of a 5-year-old!
The Egg Float Test
To see if your eggs are icky put them in water. There are teeny tiny holes on the egg shell that let air inside the egg. If your egg is really old that means lots and lots of air has been sent inside and this makes it float in water. 


If the egg is floating on the top of the water then that means there is lots of air that got inside.  The egg should be thrown away because that means it is really old and icky. 
If the egg is floating in the middle of the water that means you should cook it and eat it right away.

If the egg is on the bottom that means it's good to eat and you don't have to eat it right away like the egg that was floating in the middle.   
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More chicken tips from our 5-year-old Junior Blogger: Proper Holding Techniques Canine Coop Patrol Feed Your Flock Protecting Your Blueberry Bushes Flying Over Fe…

Don't Judge a Chicken By It's Photo

If you follow me on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you may have noticed that I like to post "picture perfect" photos of my children with their chickens. The images make it look like my children are playing nicely together, giggling and taking turns holding the chickens all while I am behind the camera snapping photos to remember the moment and cherish forever. Well, the following illustrates the reality of what usually happens behind the scenes of our weekly "photo shoots."
ChickinBoots - "Hey girls, do you want to go in the backyard and play?"
My girls - " YES!!!  Can we hold the chickens?"  (They ask that every time.)
ChickinBoots - "Sure!  Let me grab the camera."
The girls immediately shoot out the door, throw on their boots and bee-line for the chickens.  Then the chaos begins. Here are some things that can be heard from my girls during a typical photo shoot:
"I get to hold Nelly Dean first!"  

"Can …

Tips from Our Junior Blogger: Buff Orpington Chicken

Tuesday's Tip From Our Junior Blogger Chicken tending tips straight from the mouth of a 5-year-old!
Buff Orpington Chicken


The Buff Orpington chicken is big, golden and puffy.  Her booty is really fluffy. She lays brown eggs.  She has a medium sized comb, wattles and ears.  She doesn't like to be locked in the coop in the morning for too long. She sometimes talks to us when we go outside to hold her.  She is our chicken that likes to be held the most.





More chicken tips from our 5-year-old Junior Blogger: Proper Holding Techniques Canine Coop Patrol Feed Your Flock Protecting Your Blueberry Bushes Flying Over Fences Putting Your Chickens to Bed
How to Catch a Chicken
How to Stop a Chicken from Being a Bully
Clean the Chicken Coop
How to Find and Use a Chicken Sitter
Keep your Chickens Cool in Hot Weather
Poultry Dictionary
Chicken Diagram
Protecting your Dog from Sassy Chickens Panting Chickens
Plymouth Barred Rock Chicken
Easter Egger Chicken

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The #1 Rule When Owning Backyard Chickens

When we decided to have backyard chickens I knew there were going to be some bumps along the way and just recently we hit our biggest bump, yet.  Our Barred Rock chicken, Agnes, has become VERY noisy. Our 5-year-old refers to her as "Loud Mouth, Aggie."



She loudly bawks before she lays an egg.
She loudly bawks after she lays an egg.
She loudly bawks at any chicken who enters the coop when she is laying an egg.
She loudly bawks if there is a chicken in a nesting box that she wants to use.

She loudly bawks if she is alone.
We live in a suburban neighborhood with many surrounding houses. While we have not had any complaints about our noisy chicken, we knew it was just a matter of time.  When owning backyard chickens I believe the #1 rule is you must Respect Your Neighbor,so with a heavy heart my husband and I knew we had to re-home Agnes. I called our local farm store, Healing Ponds Farm and Garden Store, and explained our predicament. They responded, "Oh, you have a chatty chic…

Tips from Our Junior Blogger: Easter Egger Chickens

Tuesday's Tip From Our Junior Blogger Chicken tending tips straight from the mouth of a Kindergartener!


Easter Egger Chicken
The Easter Egger chicken is brown and black and lays blueish/greenish eggs. Some Easter Eggers lay pink or brown eggs. Easter Eggers have small combs, wattles and ears. Sometimes they have a beard, but ours doesn't have one.  She is very quiet, but makes a soft sound when she comes up to us or when we hold her.   Lots of things scare her like loud sounds or when we move really fast.  She likes to fly over fences.





Not sure of the difference between an Easter Egger or an Ameraucana?  Read here for The Junior Blogger's blog post that explains the two difference breeds. Ameraucana vs. Easter Egger



More chicken tips from our 5-year-old Junior Blogger: Read More Chicken tips from our Kindergarten Junior Blogger!

Come Check Out the Junior Blogger's New Chicken Dictionary!






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