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Favorite Chicken Breeds

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Every winter I look forward to the chicken catalogs. I love flipping through, looking at the pictures, reading the descriptions and figuring out what I’d get if I had infinite money and space. Sadly I find both of those things in short supply so I have to cut back on my list. If you’ve ever found yourself in the same position you know my pain. I know how confusing it can be to settle on one, or a few chicken breeds so I asked a few of my blogger buddies what their number one chicken pick would be and why.

Favorite Chicken Breed - Chicken Scratch NY - Brahma

Just for fun we’ll start with my favorite. I absolutely adore my Brahmas. They’re a heavy breed and they do fantastically through our harsh winters, they’re SO FLUFFY and they have small combs so frostbite isn’t much of a concern. My ‘main man’ is a large Brahma and judging from the fact that all the chicks we hatch out are at least 1/2 Brahma (despite there being multiple Orpington roosters) he’s doing his job. They’re all very friendly and curious, even my rooster is a sweetie pie. [Read more…]

Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box – 6 Weeks Old

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Our surprise babies are 6 weeks old and I thought I’d share how they were doing. If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen some of their baby pictures!

Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box - Day 1
The Cackle Hatchery Hatchery’s Surprise box is basically an unknown quantity of poultry where you get at least 40 birds, when I was reading about it I saw that some people get ducks or turkeys in their boxes but we weren’t that lucky. [Read more…]

DIY Compost Sifter

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I’ve been digging up our severely overgrown garden beds. So far I’ve managed to overhaul 3 of the 4*16 foot beds (the last one is 3/4 full of garlic). Considering they were all filled with waist high weeds it was quite an undertaking! I spent a lot of time picking out rocks, roots and hard clumps of clay before I decided to make a soil screener.

DIY Compost Sifter with 8+ #Garden Uses
It’s easy to make, especially if you have some fancy tools. AND there are a bunch of uses, since the hardware cloth comes in a roll you might as well make a few.

[Read more…]

Dealing with Heat Stroke in Chickens

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Time for a Public Service Announcement for my fellow chicken owners. We’ve been having a heat wave here in New York. Three days (so far) over 90 degrees with no rain. These are perfect conditions for chickens to get heat stroke. The best course of action is, of course, prevention.

WW: A Few Good Eggs

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It seems like the girls are kicking it in to over drive a bit early, but I’m not going to complain! I’ve been getting at least 18 eggs a day [I got 22 last Saturday!] for the last few weeks. 
For those of you counting I’ve got 28 hens. 7 Brahmas, 7 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, 2 Buff Silkies (tiny but I get 1 silkie egg a day!) and 10 TSC chicks (at least 2 white leghorns, and some crazy egg hybrids). 
 18/28 might not seem like an awesome ration but I’ve got several girls that are showing signs of moulting (I wouldn’t want to lose my feathers just yet, it is only February!) and a few that the roosters pay a little too much attention to, if you get my meaning. Those ladies look a bit rough. The TSC specials are all fairly svelte compared to my brahmas and wyandottes so my guess is they aren’t laying too much with the cold weather.
I love the variety in size, shape and color I get from my backyard buddies. Even though I collect them every day, it still amazes me that those dumb little birds manage to provide me with food and income day in and day out.
 At the moment they are the only animals that contribute to the household income. 
[The alpacas are trying to convince me that they poop and their poop is good for the garden so they will in fact, be paying me lots come garden time]
We also have this on our kitchen counter:
Those are the eggs that are so dirty I don’t waste the time cleaning them or that freeze (and crack) or that I manage to crack on my way in to the house. Those go to Mr. Alfie. The cat doesn’t really like eggs unless she thinks she’s getting something away from the dog.
Sometimes if we have a lot of ‘bad eggs’ we let kids throw them at roosters. 
But you didn’t hear that from me. 
(Those boys are bullies!)