Winter is coming, which means egg production will slow down on our little farm I know from history that I will run out of eggs at some point as my chickens stop laying While I will turn on supplemental light after they finish molting to jump start egg production again, I’m already thinking of ways to avoid having to buy grocery store eggs
Can we all agree that grocery store eggs are a little gross? We’re so spoiled with our wonderful, farm-fresh eggs If you’re flush with eggs now and wondering how to make eggs last through the winter, here
Welcome to the dog days of summer where the weather is hot, hotter, and hottest You might worry more about keeping your chickens warm in the winter, but the hot summer weather can be just as hard on chickens, and sometimes even worse than the cold
Recognize Signs of Heatstroke in Chickens
If you notice your chickens panting or spreading their wings during hot weather, don’t panic Like dogs, chickens pant to keep cool as neither have sweat glands Chickens will also spread out their wings to cool off
However, if you notice your chickens acting lifeless, lethargic, or their combs start
Dogs and poultry can be a match made in heaven or a nightmare, depending on a few factors If you want to keep backyard poultry and dogs at the same time, here’s what you need to know!
Consider the Breed
Some dogs are better suited for poultry than others Livestock guardian breeds like Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds, and Maremma have a lower prey drive and can be very helpful when it comes to protecting your poultry
We have two Great Pyrenees dogs on guard, and they are amazing at keeping away foxes, raccoons, and aerial predators like hawks and bald eagles as
A lot of people who keep backyard chickens also garden because it seems like a good combination Chickens can be really helpful for gardens, but they can also be very harmful If you’re curious about chickens and gardening, keep reading!
How Chickens Help Your Garden
Chickens can help out in the garden because they are natural tillers Turn them loose in your garden, and they immediately go to town, scratching and rearranging your dirt They can prep it in the fall, help spread out your compost or mulch, and have fun in the process
Their bedding is a great source of nitrogen
As the days get shorter and the weather eventually cools off, baking will once again be on my mind! I’ve taken a bit of a break during the hot summer months, but I am looking forward to reviving my sourdough starter and getting creative in the kitchen again If you’re interested in sourdough, here are a few tips and tricks to help you have success!
First, if you’re a real sourdough beginner, I recommend starting with a ready to go starter instead of trying to make your own You can make your own, but it’s pretty easy to get a
Geese get a bad rap (unfairly in my opinion), but we have found them to be a great addition to our homestead If you’re curious about geese, here’s what we’ve learned over the years of keeping them on our little farm
- Geese are large, loud, and in-charge They make great guard animals
We have a multi-tiered guarding system on our five-acre homestead to keep our birds safe The geese work together with the guineas and the Great Pyrenees to help keep everyone safe
Guineas are useful at alerting everyone that something is not quite right, the geese are great at
Have you ever found a shell-less egg in your chicken coop? Sometimes chickens lay eggs without shells, and all that’s left behind is a thin, rubbery egg
There are a few reasons your chickens may lay shell-less eggs: they’re new layers, they need more calcium in their diet, or they’re getting too much salt If your chickens have been drinking softened water, that could be the reason
If you notice thin shelled eggs, make sure your chickens get a good amount of calcium in their diet and that they’re drinking regular water that hasn’t been softened
Not only is it exciting to
To refrigerate or not to refrigerate farm fresh eggs That’s the question If you’ve traveled out of the US, you might have noticed that many countries don’t actually keep their eggs in the fridge Grocery stores throughout Europe keep their egg cartons at room temperature, and it’s the same in many countries around the globe
That begs the question, do we really have to refrigerate eggs?? It all boils down to three questions: do you wash your eggs, how quickly will you use the eggs, and what are you doing to avoid salmonella?
Starting seeds in eggshells is a great activity to do with your kids this summer! Now that school is almost out and last frost date has passed, it’s time to get going with warm crops for the summer garden
Eggshells make a great seed starting pot! Not only do they decompose once they’re planted, but they also enrich the soil with calcium and nitrogen during the decomposition process These two nutrients are essential for your seedlings and will help them grow well in the garden!
You don’t need a lot of supplies to start
Welcome to Part 3 of the Winter Chickens Series!
We are now several months into our winter chicken raising experience and loving it even more My girls are almost fully grown and are slowly integrating with my main flock They still live in their own chicken coop, but we do plan to move them to the main chicken coop later this summer
What I most love about these winter chickens, is that they should start laying eggs pretty soon! Most chickens will lay their first egg between 16 and 24 weeks of age My winter chickens arrived in late January