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Perfect Pie Crust to Use or Freeze – Recipes

...butter (6 ounces) and some water. When you scoop flour into a cup, it can be compacted or loose, and your measurement inaccurate. For consistency I use a digital scale (10 oz = 2 cups flour). An added benefit is that weighing speeds the process (no fluffing the flour necessary) Cut the butter into cubes. It should be frozen solid, so use your best chefs knife. If you find it too difficult to cut frozen butter, cut chilled butter into cubes and then freeze. Blending this dough with frozen butter is the key. I use a food processor, which can,...

Believe the Ears – HenBlog – Wednesday, October 7, 2015

...as dominance and aggression. That’s what it looks like, but such behavior arises from stress and is caused by management, not innate personality issues. We humans are voice-oriented. Sometimes we don’t notice the tension in our horses until we hear squeals, boards being kicked, or see bite marks. We should pay attention to the ears. Horses pin their ears before they escalate their body language to something more dramatic, like striking out with a front hoof or swinging around and kicking. In group pastures, most of the tension revolves around food. Horses pin ears to tell others to move away...

The Best Scrambled Eggs – HenBlog – Monday, February 17, 2014

...this morning, I watched as the Little Barn Ladies lined up to lay in the rabbit hutch....too funny! Do all 6 lay in there? Elizabeth Anne (TX) Eggs are a true comfort food. Too easy and very delicious. This is how we make eggs, too. Eggs for any meal! Carol Caldwell This is also how I make my scrambled eggs and the only time I add to this is special occasions such as Christmas morning breakfast when just as they are done I mix in some thinly sliced bits of smoked salmon. This makes it seem like a bit of...

Phoebe – The Vintage Hen – Thursday, January 22, 2015

Elizabeth Anne (TX) I am grateful you didn't wait too long to get Phoebe. She is great to watch during this cold weather. Thanks for this post. Patti She is so sweet :-) My bunny lives outside also & loves 'his' hens :-) Marie Ahhhhh. A beautiful photo of a beautiful bunny. Terry Golson Is he neutered? Mine have always been. Wondering if intact males do okay in a flock. Jonathan I have an intact male mini lop. He is fine with the hens once in a while he gets, well we shall say it appears he tries to make...

Spa Treatment Update – HenBlog – Monday, December 15, 2014

...soft shelled eggs. This past summer an egg broke before she laid it. She was walking around clearly in discomfort. After a soak in warm water and epsom salts, I was able to remove the remaining shell and the yolk and whites slid out. I believe that these baths have saved her life! Thanks so much! Donna YES! Well said Terry! It either works or it does not. I have saved hens with this treatment, but I have also lost more than I have saved just due to the facts you stated above. This has not been a good bird...

Nesting Box Bedding – HenBlog – Monday, March 23, 2015

...done something for two decades, doesn’t mean that I’m not open to doing things differently when my animals tell me that a change is necessary. Phoebe’s den is underneath the nesting boxes in the Little Barn. It’s where she sleeps at night and naps during the day. It’s her haven away from the antics of the chickens and their big feet. Her rabbit pellets are there, and her hay, which she fashions into a soft cushion, and nibbles on as well (yes, she eats in bed!) There are granite blocks that allow her access, but keep the chickens out. This...

Natural Coop Disinfectant – HenBlog – Tuesday, April 29, 2014

...of the girls, with her dinosaur feet, smashes another hen's egg while she's shoving everyone else aside. I try to collect the eggs a couple of times a day to prevent that, but I can't always get out there. Nonetheless, even I laugh at their antics. Karla Kuriger Wow, can't believe the chicken keeping book was declined. Sure, there are lots of "dummies" and "idiots" books out there, but truthfully, so many of us have come to regard you as a trusted expert - from vast experience. Maybe self-publish? I will send you some cups of coffee!!! Terry Golson :)...

Why I Don’t Use Avian Vets – HenBlog – Monday, December 17, 2012

...Michael Phillips is one of my personal heroes. Terry, I used your Spa Treatment on a chicken I thought for sure was a goner and she is doing great! Tracy Byers Fabulous article and great comments! I always learn so much and have my own thoughts confirmed! This topic is a lengthy one in the "Backyards Chickens" class I teach, mainly because we are so trained to take our pets to the vet... Terry Golson Emily, I love hearing about such successes. sue noy Hi Terry, I really enjoyed reading this article. Here in UK I am very fortunate in...

Handling The Chicks – HenBlog – Thursday, April 18, 2013

...(it’s unlikely that every one of those children at the farm did) that your chicks won’t have issues. Still, I don’t pick up my chicks just for fun. My goal with chicks, with all animals, really, is for them to come to me. To do this, I pay attention to the animals’ reactions and needs. The first thing that I noticed was that the chicks all scurried into corners when I opened the barn door. Of course a door swinging open towards them, and sudden bright light and a big human looming over them, was terrifying. Now, as I approach...

Brood Coops – The Vintage Hen – Thursday, March 21, 2013

...my chicks a few weeks ago from Tractor Supply, and by day 2 or 3 one of my little yellow pullets started weezing, sneezing, coughing, and sounded raspy as all get out... soIactd with my best intentions and seperated her and gave her antibiotics, and "saved" her, no more sneezing weezing coughing or raspiness... I could understand why she ws growing so ridiculouly fast I mean she is like double the size of the other chicks of the "same" breed and age, Terry you saw the pic on my facebook. I came the the conclusion last night, that she must...

I Like Mules – The Vintage Hen – Monday, December 9, 2013

...his cause of living simply, out in nature. He has created a website and Facebook page. "Mule", his nickname, has been cited often for taking mules through cities. Very interesting. Fortunately, his mules seem okay. Website: 3Mules.com OR https://www.facebook.com/3Mules?fref=ts Michele b No experience here. Although I have always loved Donkeys. Thats a great photo! jean yes i have a mule story - an on-going mule story and i'll share - but later. my stray cat - the one who looked like a thug likes to help me type when he hears the keys rattle - and here he commes Michele...

Sweet Clementine – HenBlog – Thursday, April 10, 2014

...coos when she sees us. And gobbles down her favorite foods. Her comb stayed red. And, ever so slowly, she started to improve. From no leg strength, to lifting herself up for short periods, to standing straight for short periods. And she laid her first egg 3 days ago. She goes outside for dust baths - although not often enough with all of the rain we have had lately. Given her issues, we should have culled in the beginning. It is hard once you start nursing them - you get attached quick. I worry that like Clementine, Ursula will become...

Coop Ventilation – HenBlog – Friday, May 23, 2014

...frequently.) Only during blowing snowstorms do I close the pop-door. Otherwise, it stays open, even during the coldest of days, to bring fresh air in. (I do lock it closed at night to keep predators out.) Vents along eaves rarely move enough air. Some small coops have ridged roofs, which supposedly provide for plenty of ventilation. (This coop was found on PInterest; there was no link.) However, I know someone who built a coop similar to this and this past winter her hens had frostbite. The problem here is that there isn’t enough headroom. The chickens roost right near the...

Caper Goes to the Vet – HenBlog – Thursday, May 13, 2010

...of that target stick just about anywhere. So, instead of tugging and pulling, I simply had them go towards the stick. Still, Steve had to pick the boys up and put them in the van. The ride was surprisingly uneventful. A bit of meh-mehing. They were so busy learning how to stand up in a moving vehicle, that they didn’t try to dismantle the back seat. The drive to the vet’s office is only 20 minutes. We waited outside. The boys decided to do some landscaping for Dr. Sarah. These branches needed trimming. The boys noticed plants inside and offered...

Twiggy Keeps Laying – HenBlog – Friday, November 14, 2014

...one Leghorn in a flock of seventeen birds of a variety of breeds. Twiggy is active and a tad flighty, but also personable, and her floppy comb makes her look a tad ridiculous. She’s curious and bold and is a fun foil to the more staid, heavier old-fashioned hens. Leghorns are not long-lived birds, but I’d like to have Twiggy around for a few more years. It’s important for her health that she rests and rejuvenates during the ten-week process that is the molt. It’s time to molt, Twiggy. Take a break! She says that she will when she’s ready....

Nesting Boxes – HenBlog – Thursday, June 15, 2006

...hens, which is usually plenty. But Snowball and Blackie are broody, so they have staked out two and are immovable. That leaves only one box. Marge claimed it this morning. Ginger glared impatiently at Marge, like a customer waiting in line at a restaurant who stares at the seated person who is finishing her dessert, preventing her from lingering over coffee. Marge stayed put. Perrie didn’t bother to wait. She hopped in – right on top of Snowball, shoving the little white hen to the back of the box. Snowball stayed put. It is time to order more nesting boxes....

Hens Don’t Have Teeth – HenBlog – Friday, April 20, 2012

...time he didn't treat then lingering infection til my doctor gave me antibiotics. Chemist painkillers were ineffective but oil of cloves saved my sanity! (Some would argue). Smells nice, tastes foul but very effective I found. Is lovely to have your girls to look at when I'm going to bed and miss my babies. I'm in Adelaide South Australia so get my nocturnal chook fix thro u. Thankyou. hope your pain free soon!!! Bobbie Get well soon Terry! My Sis has had problems with a root canal that she had for 2 months now. Get some rest. Janet Rodgers Terry,...

Cuckoo Marans Egg – HenBlog – Thursday, March 19, 2015

...all over the place. She's a splash so I wasn't sure what to expect. She's mostly a white hen with 4 splashes lol. But I don't mind. She is a sweet bird and very curious. She is my lap chicken and I love to listen to her talk. Her voice is so deep. Niall Anderson Of my four cuckoo marans bantams, 2 lay dark, speckled eggs and are always consistent; the other two, however, always lay brown paper bag colour, but sometimes with speckles, sometimes without. My two welsummers both lay darker eggs than the marans. Strage, as my emories...

Lily is on Bed Rest – HenBlog – Monday, May 18, 2015

...can't do. I think its amazing how well she runs and enjoys her life. She was not over weight either, just ran full out everywhere. She seems to self monitor..A truly wonderful dog! Chin up, Lily is strong and smart, she will be fine! Terry Golson Exactly what I had hoped to hear. At 12 I don't want her to go through surgery. She'll be fine on 3 legs, if only she's not in pain - hopefully after the injury stabilizes. Terry Golson Thank you. Terry Golson She makes short work of those bully sticks, too. And she's so smart...

Snoring Horse – HenBlog – Monday, November 16, 2015

...I don't have CIs (yet), but I do have a continually declining hearing loss. So things that I can here stop sounding like they used to sound. So I have to keep re-learning the same sounds. And, yep, "seeing" the sound sure helps. (That's the sound a motorcycle makes now?! That's not what it used to sound like.... Well, actually, it probably still sounds the same -- I'm just hearing the roar and the motor-sounds on fewer frequencies. Many thanks! --Carol Terry Golson I hope you never need CIs, but it's good to know that the option is out there!...

Worms – HenBlog – Thursday, January 21, 2010

...the worms in the intestinal tract. It's like teensy razor blades, so some people have concerns about the delicate chicken innards withstanding that over time. For production hens that aren't allowed to live more than a couple years, maybe it's less of a concern. What about pet hens? Tracy Byers You have sunshine today! What a blessing! We also have some here on the West Coast- sure lifts the spirits! Thanks for the info on the wormers and the DE. Our run was empty for 9 mos, then scraped clean before we brought in the new chicks, should I have...

A Busy Week – HenBlog – Monday, November 23, 2015

...all the finished ones. As always the selection looks great! Kim Perkins I agree with the first comment. The pear and cranberry sounds like a delightful combination! Durbin Goodwin This year for the first time ever my youngest daughter is hosting our Thanksgiving dinner. That does not mean I am off the hook being responsible for homemade stuffing, casseroles and pumpkin pies but somehow I sense that our traditions are changing. I feel like it is the changing of guard and feel a bit nostalgic but so proud that my daughter wants to carry on our many traditions. While we...

B is for Bantam – The Vintage Hen – Saturday, December 20, 2014

Michelle No, that really is a Y, it's just missing its descender. I suspect they used a flawed type block – back in the day when type was set by hand. Mikayla In my experience, instead of "Sebrights so gay", it should be written "Sebrights are Satan"... I can only speak for the cockerels, but he was horrible. I've heard from other people that sebrights aren't really their favorite in the flock... not the friendliest personalities. Terry Golson You're right! Terry Golson Obviously, we need to do our own alphabet next year! Start sending ideas :) Cheryl B is for...

The Broody Hen – HenBlog – Wednesday, June 16, 2010

...broody. She claims a nesting box and keeps everyone else out. She stops laying eggs. She’ll fluff up her feathers and look twice her size. She’ll pull out some of her breast feathers – if she had a clutch of eggs to hatch, her bare skin would keep them warm. Here is Twinkydink, showing broody behavior. Notice how she is hunkered down and her feathers are strewn about. Typically, a hen will stay broody for almost a month. If she had fertile eggs to hatch, she’d be on the nest for 21 days. But chickens don’t count and the time...

Pecking Order – HenBlog – Thursday, July 19, 2012

...as a brick, but she's put an egg out every day since 4 & 1/2 months. She's sweet and very talkative. If she hears me talking in the house she'll run to get a close as she can and she'll start jabbering.... When she sees my daughter she runs up to her and squats down so she'll pick her up.... Funny girl! Terry Golson Tell me you named her for Col. Sanders wife?! Debi M I've noticed that there arent as many nesting boxes as you have hens. Dont the hens like to have their own box? Kristine A long...

Trimming The Goats’ Hooves – HenBlog – Wednesday, September 18, 2013

...reward. In this case, cut up pieces of apple.     I’d be lying if I said that all goes according to plan. They are goats. Pip would rather sit in my lap than stand, and Caper would rather turn sideways. But, it’s a lot easier than trying to wrestle the boys immobile while plying sharp shears. In any event, with Steve clicking the goats for standing properly, and with me fearlessly wielding the cutters, the job gets done fairly quickly. Too quickly for the boys. That’s the thing about using training instead of restraint, it’s enjoyable for the animals....

Digging Dandelions – HenBlog – Wednesday, April 18, 2012

...everyday....prep time about 5 minutes and feeds 7 spoiled chickens...they do the tossing and the shreading. Wendy I shall enjoy watching you do that, while Candy and I sip gin in your lawn chairs. I let the luscious ones grow for Tortoise. I may not need them this year (sniff) Terry Golson Yes! Caper has a loud and distinctive voice. He's also the one who watches for me, sees me in the kitchen window and starts yelling. Terry Golson Sangria here. Not gin. Bobbie That is so adorable! Wendy How very European of you! Sheri What a treat for all,...

Nesting Box Drama – HenBlog – Tuesday, September 10, 2013

...But I'm patient. It will happen. Terry, I'm worried about my Delaware. She mouth breaths. Has been doing it for a couple of weeks now. Everything else seems normal. She also sounds a little hoarse. She's eating, drinking and her stool is formed and normal color. I've cut out any snacks that aren't nutritious at 15 weeks and give small servings of greens, vegetables and fruits. Any thoughts on this. I would appreciate it. Carol About a month ago I was in the back of my coop where the rollout nest boxes are, when out popped a little blue egg....

Love, Chickens and the Ikea Effect – HenBlog – Thursday, February 14, 2013

...the work that pays the bills. :-) nancy Excellent post! I know we certainly have more invested in our chickens, garden, etc. because we did it ourselves, than just paying someone else to set it all up, and the eggs/veggies/fruits/herbs all taste better (of course). Nancy, Little Homestead in Boise Donna Terry! We can fix you up with a Walker! Just say the word! :) Jen Stanton I too have a soft spot for Buffy. I think it's because she has a way of beating the odds. Just when it seems like she won't make it, she comes through somehow....

Beauty All Around – The Vintage Hen – Friday, October 18, 2013

This has been the most beautiful fall that I can remember. Possibly, I say that every autumn. But, this year it does seem extra-special. Maybe it’s because the weather has perfect and the blue skies set off the colors. Or maybe it’s been that I’ve been seeing it from the back of a horse. Still, some years the colors are dull. Some years the trees change, but a storm blows through, ripping the leaves off of the branches so that the show of color is only fleeting. A couple of years ago we had a snowstorm right before Halloween and...

A Life Transformed – HenBlog – Tuesday, December 17, 2013

...stories... Sara What a wonderful story. Congratulations on your success! Bea Gibson With everyone running around for the holiday and not stopping to smell the roses they all might just get something out of your life's challenge. I have RA and never thought of my self as indifferent but angry sometimes, yes. No one can imagine what is going on with someone else unless they have their own challenge to work through. I so want some chickens this spring but everyone is telling me I can't handle the care they need. I am so happy for you and Tonka. He's...

Rewards, Not Threats – HenBlog – Friday, February 5, 2016

...But it’s not simplistic! A horse can’t go happily with a rider on his back unless what he wears fits and is kept clean and supple. A saddle is strapped onto the horse with a band called a girth. The girth sits behind the horse’s elbows. All parts of a horse are sensitive, but this belly area is especially so. Saddles and girths need to fit the individual horse. A bad fit is comparable to you walking around in stiff shoes of the wrong size. Pretty soon you wouldn’t want to move. Also, some horses are fussier than others. Just...

The Real Opal – HenBlog – Monday, July 11, 2011

lauren scheuer Oh my goodness. Little Blue has a friend! I'm so happy. Long live their friendship. Georgene from Florida Well, the real Opal is just beautiful and those pics really make it obvious Opie was a HE. So glad Little Blue has a sitting buddy to pass the days with. Looks like Opal has adjusted from Ken's to her new home. Welcome ! KatieKing I know what you mean about having "all girls" ...two of the six pullets we purchased this spring turned out to be roosters :( Elizabeth Beller Lovely. She's the genuine article. I'm still worrying about...

Social Feather Picking – HenBlog – Monday, March 24, 2014

...to write about today is when this behavior becomes the social norm. Sometimes feather loss is due to a nutritional deficiency. The birds need roughage and calcium. Provide grit and oyster shell. There have been studies in industrial flocks that link aggression with lack of protein. If you’re overdoing the corn and bread treats, and your hens are filling up on kale and cabbage, this might be the case, but for most backyard flocks added protein doesn’t resolve the pecking. I’ve tried adding meat-based cat food and shelled sunflower seeds. The pecking continues. Sometimes feather loss is due to one...

Clip-Clop – HenBlog – Thursday, March 6, 2014

...a reason that traditional shoeing is still the primary way of protecting your horse's feet. Hooves grow like fingernails, and so anything put on, needs to come off and the hoof trimmed every 6 weeks or so. Shoeing with nails doesn't hurt the horse, (not when a skilled farrier is employed) and metal shoes can handle 1,000 pounds of horse pounding on them. My farrier continues to go to seminars on new products, and when she says she trusts them, I'll follow her lead. BTW, if I'd known the winter was going to be so snowy, Tonka would have got...

Green (no)Beans – HenBlog – Monday, August 18, 2014

...w/ big red ones ready to eat. the peppers - one plant out of 6 is loaded w/ beautiful beg green sweet peppers - the others are bare brussels sprouts are crawling on the ground w/ baby sprouts on their stems. who can guess that outcome? John Putnam Be aware that if you save seeds from plants that are hybrids, the seeds will not produce the same plant as the parent ..... who knows what you will get. The only seeds you can reliably save are for non-hybrid and heirloom varieties. The seed packages sometimes give you this info .......

Barn Boots – HenBlog – Sunday, October 16, 2011

...short months they all end up looking like those pink boots. Replacing boots is one of the costs of having chickens and goats. Manure eats away at rubber, sunshine dries and cracks it, and cold makes it brittle. If I weren’t tromping around outside with my animals, my boots would look pristine. Disreputable boots are an indicator of a life well-lived. This morning, with no boots to wear, I mucked out the barn in my crocs. Goat “berries” smooshed on my socks, which were already damp from walking across the wet lawn. It’s time to go shopping for new boots....

Feather Picking – HenBlog – Friday, October 21, 2011

...how they are not too scraggly, except Matilda who is molting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21708545@N06/5398216563/in/set-72157624891346470 Elizabeth Also, I have a system for getting the peepers on successfully and preventing mass chaos, so if anyone needs more info, let me know. Terry Golson Interesting. What's funny is that you can find those peepers at antique stores - sold as something quaint and no longer in use! Your tale speaks to how deeply ingrained this pecking issue can be. It has a genetic component. Now that factory farms are under pressure to use floor systems, they're developing strains that don't peck, even under stress of...

Winter Care For The Not So Hardy – HenBlog – Tuesday, November 6, 2012

...their feathers and soaks their skin. Polish, with their huge top-knots end up with sodden heads. Combine wet hens with cold temperatures, and you end up with sick chickens and death. The breeders of the fancy birds that I talked with said that they keep their stock indoors during the winter. They only allow them outside when the ground is dry and the sky is clear. Wind is also a concern. Without sturdy outer feathers to block cold gusts, these fancy chickens get chilled to the bone. Outside areas require wind breaks (a wall of straw bales works fine.) All...

Dangerous Weather – HenBlog – Thursday, January 31, 2013

It is the last day of January and it is 58 degrees F. Everyone is sloshing through muck and puddles outside. Barn windows drip with condensation. As I write this, rain is coming down, a hard wind carrying it sideways. This is dangerous weather. When it is well below freezing and there’s ice on the windows and snow on the ground, I don’t worry. When the temperature rises, I do. Germs multiply in warm, moist air. Respiratory disease lurks in all barns, but when it is dry and cold it goes into hiding. Manure that has solidified into clumps on...

What’s Going On Here? – HenBlog – Monday, November 14, 2011

...my small flock of 5 one-year-old hens, and after 2 months, they are still squawkings, flyings, thumpings and flufflings every night. The weather has taken a turn for freezing just lately, and things still seem to be shifting. I was worried my girls were acting unusually disrupted, but apparently there is somewhat constant jockeying for position? This brings me to a related question, which perhaps you have previously addressed on this blog? And that is the question of how best to keep a small flock laying. My first hens are going into their second winter, and have definitely slowed down...

1916 Eggs – HenBlog – Thursday, January 6, 2011

1916 was a very good year for American farmers. Crops were abundant. The growing population in the cities clamored for more food, and improved transportation systems got it there faster and fresher. Even so, eggs remained a seasonal product, and they came from small flocks kept on pasture. Soon, that would change. Cold storage units were being built, so that summer eggs could be sold in the winter. Confinement systems were on the horizon, so that eggs would come from factories, not farms. But, in 1916, a farmer could keep a few hundred hens as part of a diversified farm,...

Care And Personality – HenBlog – Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thank you for your thoughtful and loving comments about Candy. What comes through is that you knew her. You understood that she was demanding, crotchety, sociable, curious and imperious. She had a wicked sense of humor, but was never mean. You knew this because Candy lived a life where she was able to express who she was. You knew her because you paid attention. You knew her because you didn’t want her to be anything other than what she was. It’s a message that I try to get across subtly, sideways through the stories that I write about my animals....

Where I Belong – HenBlog – Tuesday, October 15, 2013

...going for a ride! :-) Terry Golson Can't imagine getting my legs around a Belgian's sides. Mica has done a good job of helping me to stretch out my hip joints! Terry Golson Thank goodness for husbands that get it. Steve is totally behind this decision. Kit in CA So happy for you :) Can't wait for more horse riding posts and pictures! Jean R The cadence of your post says it all. Wonderful news. Enjoy. Lesley S Like you I grew up in the city and my first experience with Horses was holidaying here on SSI on our summer...

Phoebe’s House – HenBlog – Thursday, June 20, 2013

..."Where's Phoebe?" Love it! Donna FIND PHOEBE! I spotted her ears behind the feeder! Amanda Haha, How cute! Love her little ears poking out. What a fun children's book idea! Like Where's Waldo? But instead, Where's Phoebe?? Jaye Quite a sweet, precocious little bunny! It looks like she has decided to turn Buffy's spot under the nesting boxes in little barn into her personal hangout:Buffy seems to have given up on that particular territorial dispute and mostly settles into her second choice spot in the corner under the roosts whenever she wants "alone time" now. It appears that Phoebe and...

Egg Yolk Color – HenBlog – Monday, November 17, 2014

...even Twiggy's "pale" egg is much more colourful than many of the commercial eggs I have seen before I switched to buying eggs from locally raised chickens. Ken And what stands out to me with Twiggy's eggs are those nice firm whites. For me that is one of many reasons a store bought egg turns me off. Terry Golson There's some research showing that chickens develop some food preferences during incubation - depending on the surround aromas. Terry Golson This is why I read the trade journals - they tout things that they do that they'd never tell the consuming...

Winter Dust Baths – HenBlog – Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chickens require dust baths for health and happiness. But, right now it’s 20º colder than usual for early March, there’s 18 inches of snow under the bushes where they usually take late winter dust baths, and there’s several feet of snow in their run. There’s no dirt, let alone loose, warm earth to get under their feathers and next to their skin to kill parasites. So, I went to K-Mart and purchased two kitty litter pans, and filled them with sand, fireplace ashes (all hardwoods) and food-grade diatomaceous earth. There’s a spot of sun in the HenCam run, so I...

Egg Laying Resumes – HenBlog – Tuesday, January 13, 2015

...Windows. It’s cloudy and dreary. The wind has been bitter cold. The chickens spend much of their time indoors. But I designed the barns to let light in. As soon as the sun rises, the hens wake up and become busy. They eat. They scratch. They preen. All of that activity during every minute of daylight shortens the winter laying hiatus, and so I have eggs in the basket even when sunset comes early and there’s snow on the ground. Think about it – sunshine streaming into your house makes you happy, doesn’t it? Your hens feel the same way....

Eggs From Old Hens – HenBlog – Tuesday, October 19, 2010

...after they have passed the spring months of their second year. During spring and early summer dressed hens command good prices." This is why the dual-purpose breeds were so important. Mr. Biggle goes on to point out that hens in their second year go into an unproductive broody period. This was before high-producing, egg-laying strains were developed (these have broodiness bred out.) What breeds do you have (you're not counting the pet silkies, are you?) Lucy Suitor Holt I agree. It's best to understand the process that causes that weirdness and let the puppies have the strange ones as treats....

Chickens and Dogs – HenBlog – Wednesday, May 28, 2014

...ignored puppy on a farm, she learned to hunt and eat rabbits and such. Added to that history is her highly reactive temperament. When she sees movement, she chases. She tears off like a streak first, and thinks later. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The local coyotes, herons, hawks, raccoons (and the list goes on) stay clear of our backyard. But, a dog with such a strong prey drive can’t always distinguish between a chicken scratching in the woods and a squirrel.   Some big dogs are fine with chickens. My late, great Nimbus, was the ideal dog to...