Showing posts with label farm fresh eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farm fresh eggs. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Have Chickens? Avoid making these 15 MISTAKES!

At the beginning of the summer, our family became the proud owners of Chickens...(key the BANJO!) and so the farm life had begun.  We started with three (3) chickens that were about a year old (or so we were told), they were seasoned, which made it that much easier for us, the beginners
A few days before the girls arrived, Hubby found a coop on CL that just needed a little work, for a tiny investment of $30. It was a real nice coop once he cleaned it all up.  
We picked a spot in the yard and then, I come home from work one day and there are now three (3) chickens occupying our homestead
I must say, if you are on the fence about getting chickens, they are super easy to care for. We are a little scared to handle them, as our chickens are not the friendliest bunch, but they come to us when we feed them and cluck when we talk to them. Basic chicken care is fairly simple as well. 

Like all living things, they need fresh food and fresh water daily. They like my kitchen scraps, which are very good for them, but I still avoid giving the girls anything rotten, as that can be harmful to them. 

But, as easy as Chickens are...there are still some mistakes that you can make and if at all possible, I am here to help you avoid these! 
  1. Avoid bringing home your chickens BEFORE you have finished their coop. (really, this just adds extra stress to the handy man who is busy working on their home, and new chickens that you want to free range, still need to be penned for a little bit of time before "free ranging").
  2. Melt your brooder with your heading lamp. (this one is something I am taking note of, as the winter months start to approach)
  3. Don't check the chicks for pasty butt. (no explanation needed here.) 
  4. Leave your chickens food out for the rats. (there are special dishes people and they work great. We don't have RATS per-say...field mice is our creature of habit)
  5. Make your coop impossible to clean. (Hubby made our coop and was very diligent in making sure latches and doors were accessible just for this reasoning)
  6. Leave your coop opened at night for a raccoon buffet. (we have Hawks and Coyotes!)
  7. Get more birds than you have space to keep. (Yes, we did this! This is why the girls got an upgrade) (sh!)
  8. Get the wrong breeds for your climate. (this is more important than you might know. Do you research!)
  9. Keep them in too small of an area. (give these girls room to run!)
  10. Let them roam about the neighborhood. (you might end up with one less chicken and your neighbor might be eating good tonight- js)
  11. Let them eat poisonous plants in your yard. (knowledge is power)
  12. Buy meat bird without a plan to butcher. (again, education. The chickens have a purpose)
  13. Keep an illegal rooster in a city neighborhood. (need I say more?)
  14. Make your mobile chicken coop too heavy to move. (you will be in a pickle!) 
  15. And last but not least...the NUMBER ONE mistake of all...repeat ANY of THESE MISTAKES above! (Um, have you not learned anything?)
It has been an experience on our home front, a positive one, having chickens.  We even added to our chickens, introducing three (3) more, which were surprisingly welcomed with open arms by the three (3) OGs. 

Now, they live in harmony among one another and it has been awesome to watch them mix and mingle and exciting for the girls to collect eggs daily. This does not mean that we do not continue to learn, everyday there is research, everyday there is something new we need to know or find out and everyday there is something that we improve upon. 


Happy Roost... more eggs Produced!

Our 6 year olds picture of Chicken Dogge (2015) 

Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Ways to Put Your Chickens to Work For You

Is there anything better than fresh eggs? 
But what if, in addition to the eggs, your chickens could provide an extra hand (or foot, as it were) in your gardening efforts? Taking advantage of their natural desire to forage is a smart way for gardeners to get a little bit of free labor, and the chickens will love it!

Put them in the garden.

Let your girls scratch and peck their way through your planting areas before you plant your crops. They’ll help eliminate pests in the soil and quickly knock down the weeds, making garden prep easier on your back. And if you’re planning to add any natural amendments to the soil—manure, compost, blood meal—sprinkle it on the ground before you move the girls in and they’ll distribute it for you.

Let them work your compost.

If you’ve had a compost pile for any amount of time, you know how it teems with bugs and grubs

This is a veritable chicken buffet! 

Those creepy crawlers are a great natural source of protein for the girls. And in their efforts to find those delicious little nibbles, they’ll scratch through your pile, helping to break it down even faster. If your compost is ready for use and you’ll be spreading it in an area that doesn’t need to be protected from chickens, all you need to do is put the compost in a pile where you want it. In no time flat, the chickens will have it spread out for you

Have them shred for you.

Chickens confined to one area can still be a big help in your gardening system. When the garden generates lots of leaves and small trimmings, instead of putting them in the compost pile, toss some into the chicken pen and let your girls go to town. 

Entertainment for them, and nice shredded yard waste mixed with chicken manure for you. 
(Once it’s all shredded, you’ll need to set this lovely mixture aside for a month or so to age in order to avoid burning your plants with the fresh chicken manure.) 

Let them tackle tough yard areas.

If you  have an area of very aggressive grass with lots of clumping roots that needs to be eliminated, put your girls to work! Moving your chickens into a portable fenced area so they can happily scratch and gobble up what’s there, all the while loosening the roots and eliminating a ton of work for you.

Turn kitchen waste into eggs.

 You could compost your kitchen scraps, but by feeding them to the chickens, you save on feed and get an egg for the breakfast table the next morning.

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