Monday, April 20, 2015

How to train a chicken to walk on a harness & leash

By now you've seen the picture. It's all over FB and every other social media site. The picture of those little pink chicken harnesses hanging on a display rack. How many people have tagged you in it? I have been linked to it quite a few times already! It sounds like a simple idea. You put that cute little harness on your chicken, snap on the leash and take a walk down the block. Sadly, it's not quite that simple. I found out the hard way that it's more of a process then that. You can probably get it done in about a week though if you have the time. Think of it more like you would approach training a cat. First you need to get them used to the feel of the harness, before you actually use it. I'll explain...

train your chicken to walk on a leash!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday funnies

Once a month I post a few chicken jokes and call it Friday Funnies. I find jokes everywhere I can...books, online & people just tell me jokes when they find out I have chickens. I never post pictures though because for one, I think my FF post picture is pretty funny anyway. That little Silkie was yelling his head off at me! It was the first one I had hatched that year and I set him on the gator seat and took the picture while he just kept hollering. Boy does he look mad!

Friday fnnies, chicken jokes

Like anyone else with chickens I take a LOT of pictures and end up posting most of them on Instagram. I also have a son that helps me out with the chickens. He's pretty close to several of them and I've ended up with lots of funny pictures of him and the chickens. Especially Elsa, she adores him! Those pictures often get posted to IG. Well, the following picture was such a hit that I had to add the caption to it....and that is how this months Friday Funnies came to be a picture instead of jokes.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Deep Litter method: the clean up

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and if you use the deep litter method eventually you just have to clean the chicken coop. Deep litter is awesome because it cuts coop cleaning down to a minimum. I just scrape poop boards when needed and add litter and Diatomaceous Earth once in awhile and my maintenance schedule is super easy! About once a year however, it all needs to come out and we start all over again. Cleaning it all up is a pretty easy process though, this is how I do it:

deep litter method: the clean up

I have a wood floor so I shovel out my coop completely and scrape off anything stuck to the floor. Composted deep litter should look like the picture. It's a dry, dirt like substance with some pieces of litter throughout. I allow the coop a few hours to air out then add in fresh litter. I also throw a few shovels of the dry dirty litter back in the coop and mix it up to add back some of the microbes and bacteria that help the composting process.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Funnies

It's the weekend! Almost time to kick back, relax and kiss this stressful week goodbye! Let's start it out laughing...

 funny chicken jokes

What happens when a duck tells a joke?
Everyone quacks up!

How is a sofa like a roast turkey?
They're both full of stuffing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St Patricks day!

Q-Tip was in a festive mood today and wanted to wish you all a Happy St Patrick's day! She said  to tell you don't drink too much green beer, but have a great day!

Happy St Patrick's day chicken

From all of us here at the farm......Have a safe celebration!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Why I believe in Backyard Chickens.

I recently stumbled upon some links to a commercial egg facilities 'inside' pictures and entered into a heated discussion on treatment of animals. On one side we had the activists so inflamed about that particular treatment that they're calling for a boycott of all egg production and consumption. On the other side is me. Just me and my belief's that while what they say is common practice in egg production is disturbing, owning chickens and consuming their eggs is a completely humane practice. There was also a minority of participants that I'll call the naysayers. They either didn't believe or didn't want to believe this was the truth about egg production farms. Now I will mention that we're talking about keeping chickens for eggs, which is what the majority of home based chicken owners do anyway. I'm not getting into meat here, the discussion was only about eggs. 

why everyone should raise chickens for eggs

The main part of the discussion centered on humane treatment of the animals. Simply put things like debeaking, several chickens in 1 cage and filth under the cages are quite common in egg producing facilities. The animals don't get health care, so the sick ones just die or are culled to make room for the healthy ones. The quality of feed is sometimes questionable and the noise and smell can be unbearable. I'm not disagreeing with any of this! (I'm also not saying it's every single facility!) I'm simply saying that while those techniques are absolutely horrible....for every home that keeps backyard chickens, that's less eggs that are being purchased at the store. Less eggs being purchased at the store tips the balance of supply and demand. Less demand drives down the price which is turn makes it a less profitable business and then we get a beautiful little statistic like this:
Today, there are approximately 175 egg producing companies with flocks of 75,000 hens or more. These companies represent about 99 percent of all the hens in the United States.** In 1994, there were around 350 companies with flocks of 75,000 hens or more.3
(Taken from the American Egg Board website on 3/05/2014)
Do you see what's happened here? As the popularity of backyard chickens and homesteading has risen in the last 20 years the number of egg producing companies has dropped by 1/2! Why are these 'activists' calling for us to quit raising our own chickens for eggs when it's doing so much good? This doesn't make sense to me.  
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