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

Pest Management in the Chicken Coop

Pests can be a real problem in the chicken coop Snakes, rodents, and wild birds are all pests to keep out of the coop Not only can they eat the chicken feed and eggs, they can also spread diseases, and worst-case scenario, cause your chickens to die Fortunately, with a little bit of forethought and organization, you can keep coop pests to a minimum

Mice and rats carry disease, eat chicken feed, and attract other pests like snakes Luckily, there are a few easy ways to keep rodents out of the chicken coop First, make sure there aren’t any holes

Make This Your Year to Start Keeping Chickens!

Spring is right around the corner and that means warm weather, spring bulbs, and baby chicks If you’ve been on the fence about starting that chicken flock, 2019 is your year! Here are several reasons why you should stop putting off your first order and start your backyard chicken journey this year!

There is not much cuter than baby chicks Their peeping is precious, and the potential is enormous Chicks have taught my family so many useful skills Together, we have learned how to be mindful of the creatures we bring to

How to Help Your Chickens Through a Molt

Have you noticed that your chickens start to lose some of their feathers late in the summer every year? A couple times a year, chickens go through a process called molting where they lose feathers and their egg production drops off Molting usually happens in adult birds twice a year (in the fall and spring) as the amount of daylight changes

Chickens go through several molts as they grow Their first molt happens when they lose their baby down and grow in feathers when they’re only about a week old Then they molt again around eight to twelve weeks, and

How to Easily Prepare Your Chickens for Winter

Winter is coming!

If you believe the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we’re in for another cold, snowy, and icy winter across the Midwest That means it’s time to start thinking about how you will keep your chickens warm this winter There are several things you can do to make the winter much more pleasant for our feathered friends Preparing now means you won’t have to brave the elements to make sure your chickens stay warm

The debate on whether or not chickens need a heat source during winter is alive and well Some people