How to Blow Out Eggs

Easter Egg Trees were a big deal when I was kid in Germany All the German families I knew loved heading outside to find the perfect branches for their trees, and then they spent hours blowing out eggs, decorating the eggs, and hanging them from a lovely “tree” they kept as a centerpiece on their table


Farm fresh eggs are so varied and pretty that I think you don’t have to do any decorating to create a lovey Easter Egg Tree with your fresh eggs as the centerpiece If you’d like to make your own Easter Egg Tree this year

Raising Winter Chicks Part 2

In the last post on raising winter chicks, we talked about the benefits of starting chicks in the winter This post will touch on a few of the concerns people sometimes have about winter chicks: heating requirements, when you can move the chicks out of the brooder, and shipping chicks during cold, winter weather


The Cons of Raising Chicks in the Winter


  1. Where will you keep your chicks?


You will need to consider that baby chicks need a lot of heat, with temperatures around 90F for the first week, and slowly decreasing as

Raising Chicks in the Winter Part 1

Most people think of spring as the ideal time to raise chicks, but chicks are available all year from Hoover’s Hatchery There are some good reasons you might want raise chicks in the winter and this post is the first in a three-part series on the topic of winter chicks

This first post will talk about pros of winter chicks, the second post will talk about some considerations (or potential cons) of raising chicks in the winter, and the third post will talk about how to keep those peeps warm in the event of power outage

Preventing Frostbite in Poultry

Chicken in the snowy backyards

Frostbite in poultry is a real concern during the winter Chickens, like people, are susceptible to frostbite When the temperatures plummet and the windchills pick up, we need to consider the chickens Making a few small changes can help them stay warmer during frigid weather


What is frostbite in chickens?


Chickens are susceptible to frostbite primarily on the combs and wattles, and sometimes on their feet You will notice frostbite in your chickens if their combs and wattles suddenly turn off color, and eventually become

Why We Like Raising Turkeys on Our Homestead

We enjoy keeping turkeys on our homestead While this is the first year that we have raised turkeys from poults, we have had a tom turkey named Tarzan for several years
Tarzan came to us after his original owner was busted by his city for having backyard birds in an area where they are not allowed He needed to re-home his birds and brought them all to us Originally, he thought he would pick the turkey up around Thanksgiving and eat him, but that did not come to pass

Instead, this turkey started roosting in the trees, my kids named him

Using Food Scraps To Feed Your Chickens

If you have chickens, there is no reason to toss leftover food or food scraps into the garbage Not only can you reduce landfill waste by feeding your chickens food scraps, but you can also save money on feed costs too!
If you’ve read anything about what you can and can’t feed chickens, you might be a little confused because different sources say different things That said, there is a general consensus on a few things that chickens really shouldn’t eat Here are a few things most people agree are not good for chickens:

  • Citrus peels (Although some people do

To Heat or Not to Heat the Chicken Coop

A big question on backyard chicken keepers’ minds when the snow starts to fly and the temperature start to drop is to heat the coop or not to heat the coop Some people emphatically say no way! And other chicken keepers think why wouldn’t you provide your chickens with a little bit of heat during cold weather? Ultimately the decision to heat or not to heat falls on you, but here’s some information to help you make your decision

Risk of Fire

First and foremost, heating the chicken coop with a glass heating lightbulb can be a recipe for

Tips for Integrating Chicks Into an Existing Flock

Oh happy day! Your baby chicks are fully feathered and you’re excited to put them in the chicken coop with the other chickens But wait! Don’t just put the new birds in the coop and assume everything will be awesome Your older flock might not take kindly to the new birds, and there are several things you need to do to keep the younger chickens safe
When integrating chickens, size matters If at all possible, wait until your chicks are roughly the same size as your exiting flock I have successfully integrated smaller chickens, but you will want to be

Summer Heat Busters for Chickens

Someone turned the heat on this past week! With temperatures in the 90s and heat warnings well over 100 degrees out here in Eastern Iowa, it’s important to keep your chickens cool Here are some summer heat busters for chickens Did you know that the summer heat is harder on chickens than the winter cold? If it’s sweltering where you are, here are a few quick ways to make sure that your chickens stay cool

Lots of water
Fresh, cold water during hot weather is so important not only for chickens, but for all of your animals Make sure that waterers

Raising Turkeys- How are They Different From Chickens?

This is our first year raising turkey poults, but we have had an adult Tom turkey, Tarzan, on our homestead for several years We enjoy keeping a mixed flock of birds and are excited to share what we’ve learned so far about turkeys versus chickens If you’re already familiar with raising chickens, turkeys are similar, but there are a few differences you will want to be aware of
Turkey Poults
Turkey poults are actually more fragile than chicks They are started in a similar brooder to chicks but are very sensitive to heat and light fluctuations The first three days are