Archive for the ‘Layers’ Category

Step One: Wheelbarrow over a lot of rocks. Arrange them to make a border. Step Two: Lay out cardboard to smother grass, weeds, etc. (In retrospect, I would lay out the cardboard before setting out the rocks, that way the cardboard could be under the rocks. It was hard getting the cardboard over the greenery […]

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Jumbo Eggs

Did you know there are standards defining egg sizes? Chickens start out laying eggs that are relatively small. As they age the eggs they lay get bigger. We have been enjoying the small to medium-sized eggs our hens have been laying, many of them contain “double yolks” which makes them extra-nutritious. Today, however, we received a […]

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We moved the young hens into the new hoop house this week. They are getting used to the new roosts, but made themselves at home with the feeders and outdoor run.

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Mealworms!

Mealworms provide a great source of protein for our chickens and are also a great treat that can be used in training them. We were frustrated by the mealworms sold in local farm stores being all from China. To ensure the highest quality food for our chickens we decided to raise our own. We are […]

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In the first post of our hoop house build, I detailed how we built the frame for the hoop house. Here I will detail the rest of the process: covering it, getting it setup for chickens, and getting the chickens in it! We recently picked up some white tarps at a garage sale, in fact that purchase […]

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Part 2 of the series showing our new chicken coop, chicken yard, rabbitry, and apiary. Enjoy!

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Adrienne made this short video series showing the newly built chicken yard, rabbitry, apiary. Check back tomorrow for part 2!  

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Today I stumbled upon this article, which summarizes the results of numerous studies highlighting the health benefits of eating eggs. The author highlights how egg consumption has not been shown to increase cholesterol in most people, and how no research shows egg consumption links to heart disease. In fact, eggs contain many wonderful nutrients: B vitamins, […]

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We are building a hoop house!  This will house hens over the winter.  The bedding from the hens will decompose, creating great compost.  In the spring we’ll move the hens out and plant vegetables.   The basic structure for the hoop house is a 2×4 wood base, with two cattle panels as the hoop, connected […]

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We have our beehives in our chicken run, and some people have asked how the bees and chickens get along. Beekeepers said the hens would eat the bees, and others worried if the bees would harass the hens. We have found that the bees and the hens don’t interact at all. Then hens go all […]

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We often refer to the dogs as our “four-legged chickens” when they try to sneak into the chicken run for a snack of chicken feed.  Well today was a first: Noah the dog learned to drink from the chicken waterer!  Now those poor chickens really have to watch out, the dogs try to steal their food and […]

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In the last week we’ve been busy finishing a lot of projects around the farm.  Here’s some pictures of the week’s happenings.

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As we celebrated our first eggs from our laying hens, I wanted to mark the occasion by preparing them differently than our standard method of over medium.  I remembered a friend talking about egg-in-a-hole, and that seemed like an interesting way to make the eggs, especially since I had just made some bread!  I loosely […]

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We collected the first egg from our flock today!  For a couple of weeks we’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of eggs.  The earliest chickens are known to lay is 16 weeks, but the breeds we have typically lay later than that.  This egg came at 19.5 weeks.  For the hen that laid the egg, […]

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We started our first chicks with the typical feed setup: dry conventional feed in a basic plastic chick feeder.  Within weeks, though, we knew the basic setup wasn’t ideal.  We quickly switched to organic feed, and currently get our feed from Countryside Organics.  In the near future we plan on making our own custom feed […]

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We have some more chickens here on the farm!  We have exciting plans for laying hens, and we realized the 20 hens (well, 19 hens and 1 rooster) we have just wouldn’t be enough for all our plans.  So, we got more birds!  We picked up another two dozen laying hens.  A couple should be […]

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After getting these pygmy goats, we decided we were going to put them to work clearing land.  The challenge was what kind of fence can be moved around forested areas and holds in goats?  We decided on cattle panels because they’re sturdy and inexpensive.   Plus we had some pieces of cattle panels that came […]

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New Rooster

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Today we found out that a neighbor living in the suburbs needed help relocating a couple chickens they were raising. Like many of us they were excited to have the chance to have healthy, fresh, quality eggs, but they quickly realized the trouble with modern suburban living. One of their “hens” ended up being a […]

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Curious Hens

  Now that the meat chickens have been harvested, the laying hens enjoy investigating the portable pens!

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  This is the the waterer we use for our chickens.  The chickens learn quickly to hit the red nipples with their beaks in order to get water out.  We love this type of waterer for several reasons: chickens cannot access the stored water so it stays clean, refilling is as easy as taking off the lid, […]

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Hiding Hens!

When the laying hens are out free ranging, they have a favorite spot, under some shrubs by the shed, where they like to take a break, maybe have a dust bath, and hangout until they go out foraging again.  There are at least three hens there in this picture, although they’re hiding well!  

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New Digs

The chicks have outgrown the small brooder box we kept in our mud room. Luckily we bought this larger brooder box at the same time we bought the small one. We recently got it all setup to house the chicks until they are ready to be living outside. We put a few 2×4 scraps in […]

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Growing Chicks

This morning before work we tended to our chicks. As you can see they have grown very quickly! They are feathering out and excited for any opportunity to roost, jumping up on the ledge of the brooder box every time we open it. Our dog Whiskey is handling the chicks very well. She is showing […]

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The chicks are growing quickly and will soon be ready to live outside. Unfortunately, our busy work schedules preclude us from completing their main coop before they will be ready to venture outdoors. To meet their short-term outdoor needs we opted to build a chicken tractor that they could reside in until the main coop […]

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