After my experience with the American Robins and the mites, you might think that I’d wish all of the wild birds would leave my yard, but that’s not how I feel at all. I just don’t want them on my porch or in my barns. Yes, there’s an inherent risk that my hens will be in contact with their wild feathered cousins and contract a disease or parasites. But, prudent management (without going overboard and locking the hens up) minimizes the likelihood that my flock will be endangered. I’m happy to provide homes for bluebirds.



I’m delighted to see them reducing the insect population to feed their babies.



Those little ones are voracious and demanding!



I love seeing flashes of blue in the backyard.


I’m looking forward to watching the local bird population from my nest and mite-free porch.

(note: photographs taken by Steve)


  1. I noticed the new camera view last night in the little barn yard – WOW, it looks like HD on my computer!! And your bluebirds photos this morning a are wonderful way to start the day/month (very attractive “real estate” on Little Pond Farm I’d say; no wonder I only get house sparrows here).

    • Agree about the new camera & I’ve noticed the new different bunny hutch (even though she seems to prefer to be in the coop with the girls :)

      • Well, there’s that old saying, “you can lead a bunny to a perfectly lovely rabbit hutch, but you can’t make her sleep in it.” :)

        • Do you leave Phoebe to sleep with the hens if she has plunked herself down on “Buffy’s Spot” under the nesting boxes? The “animals in bed for the night” message came on before I could see how Steve handled that last night.

          • How do the girls like Phoebe’s new, lower/shorter hutch? They seemed to like to stand under the old hutch and they seem a bit more crowed now. Any complaints?
            The bluebird babies look ravenous! Thank you Steve for the great pics!!

            • Has Buffy stopped clucking when she sees Phoebe or the hens and Phoebe know just ignoring each other ?

  2. The bluebird is the state bird of Missouri. Well you couldn’t prove it by me. I believe I can count one hand the number of bluebirds I’ve seen.

    Love the shot to the bird flying off.

  3. Our 110 degree temps have been more than awful so I was briefly delighted last evening when I looked out and saw a bluebird on the fence, likely coming in for the water I had been misting for the hens most of the day.

  4. Hello Terry, I raise canaries and have chickens too, I have used Gardstar Garden & Poultry Dust for years and it works! Every year specially in the summer I keep an eye out for mites on my birds. Mite eggs WILL hybernate and hatch given the right conditions. My understanding is that bird mites do not live on the birds they feed off of them at night and hide in cravices during the day?
    For my hens I put the powder where they take their dust baths so they apply it themselves:)
    Don’t be afraid to put a little powder in birds nests you will not get rid of all of them but anything will help.
    Thank you for all your pictures specially those from the retirement home, they touch my heart.

    • You are right, they hide in wood, and even dusting can’t get in all of the cracks of my porch. So, off limits to Lily and me for awhile!

    • Mites do live on the host besides in wood, etc. at least in my experience. They can live on humans they like and hide in seams of clothing. They bite all day. They are just more active at night. A friend rescued a peahen who was so covered and weakened and thin by the mites that she had to have her put down. My old barred rock rooster got mites. Before I realized it and could help him, he was dropping them on the ground as he moved around, and they’d get on me.

      • Absolutely! Some will live on the hosts. But they also go into the wood during the day, which is one reason why they are so hard to get rid of, and it’s also why, when the infestation is just beginning, you don’t see it until it gets really bad.

  5. I was surprised to see rain and puddles just now in the run! I envy you rain as we’ve been having a heat wave in the Pasadena/Los Angeles area, especially concerning with a fear of local wildfires and the upcoming Fourth. Already it’s so dry. I’ve never been through back east humidity with heat, though. Must be miserable. I saw Buffy very early this morning kind of beak gaping which must have been an indication. Now she’s sheltered under the hutch from the rain. I like the new webcam view, and look forward to seeing what’s new.

  6. Great pictures of those bluebirds! Especially the one you caught of mama (papa?) in flight. Their house is lovely too; and it’s interesting that there is no perch outside their entrance. I know nothing about bluebird housing, but I’m sure there is a reason for that. :)
    Regarding the new camera, maybe it’s just my computer, but everything looks tall and skinny now… like wide angle has been squished to fit a narrower format. Is it just me?

    • Although I wish that the goaties suddenly became svelte, you’re right. IT Guy is working on a fix. Soon we’ll be switching over to a new hosting service and it will be fast-streaming! (It’s all very costly and complicated.)

      • Wow! Fast streaming will be great. Meanwhile, the girls are looking like runway models, and the boys far, far less chunky than their normal selves.

        Another off-subject question. Since Phoebe likes the little barn better than her coop, would it be practical, or even doable to eventually move her hay, etc. in there and eliminate the hutch? Would the chickens eat her food?

  7. You know it is neat that Phoebe is her own rabbit. I keep expecting her to act like Candy and that is not going to happen for sure. Thanks Terry, for letting Phoebe be Phoebe and do different things.Whatever Phoebe wants Phoebe …… (there is a song that goes with that)

  8. in reading the notes from viewers, i have come to think that i’m missing something! i see phoebe occasionally, but i’ve never seen her do and move around in the pictures or seen her little house that apparently she’s supposed ot live in.
    i try finding her w/ the places that my site offers – no luck can you help? i’d like to watch phoebe, altho it’s the girls and the goats that are my first thought. do enjoy everything i see, tho – and thanks for thinking of a great idea!

  9. Hi Terry,
    I think I’m messing up all your good instruction. I give my girls their “treats” at the end of the day. All the treats are in my Rachel Ray trash bowl. It’s usually filled half full by end of day. It’s a big bowl. I think their getting fat and not eating as much of their chicken crumbles. How much scrap food would you give them at the end of the day? There are seven 8 month old pullets eating out of the bowl. I put in oatmeal, rice, bread(limited), meal worms, crickets(worms and crickets doesn’t come from bowl), bananas, cucumbers, bokchoy, corn on cob,(limited), grits, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, squash, lettuce, coffee grounds, etc……Their poo isn’t looking so great either. I think I’m messing it up.

    • Stop with the worms, crickets, grits, grains, bread, rice. Just give them veggies and fruits In the morning. What they don’t eat by evening, remove and discard. Even better, install a compost pile in the run and let them shred all the veggies they don’t eat.

  10. Thanks for answering Terry. I empty my trash bowl in the (compost) in the run.(Good advice from a great chicken expert named Terry.) Ok, I’ll stop all but greens and fruits and will give them in a.m. Thanks a bunch.