Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Friday! Time to kick back and relax with a few giggles before the weekend starts! So here we go.....

chicken jokes

Why did the rooster cross the road?
He wanted to impress the chicks!

What did the duck eat with his soup?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hatching terms and definitions decoded!

Hatching chicks can be a confusing process for someone just starting out. The different types of incubators are baffling, the eggs look so fragile and words get thrown around by 'the old pros' that you've never even heard before. Ugh! Right? Well, I've wracked my brain for every incubation term I could think of and compiled a list of terminology for you. Hope this helps you on your chick hatching adventure!

egg incubation terms & definitions

  • Air cell: The pocket of air inside the egg at the large end. The air cell gets larger as incubation progresses.
  • Albumen: The egg white
  • Blastoderm: This is the nucleus of the egg when it is fertilized. Seen on the yolk.
  • Blastodisc: This is the nucleus of the egg when it is unfertilized. Seen on the yolk.
  • Blood Ring: A line or ring of blood inside an egg that has started to develop into a chick but quit at an early stage.
  • Bloom: The protective coating on freshly laid eggs that helps seal the pores of the egg shell. This prevents bacteria from entering the egg. Also called the cuticle.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Chickens everywhere....even Instagram!

Well hello there stranger! It's great to have a minute to sit down and say hello. It's been incredibly busy here! Between poultry breeding season and a few family issues I almost haven't had time to breathe. We've also had several deaths in our flocks. 4 completely random with no illness....just drop over dead (2 different flocks) & all under 5 years old. Also 1 vent prolapse in yet another flock....a really bad one and I so wish I could have helped her, but the poor girl was suffering so much. The weirdest part of that one was it happened overnight on the roost, not while trying to lay!

Anyway, bad news aside lets talk chicken figurines again! I got a big kick out of a few gifts I got recently. Both are salt and pepper shaker sets, but both completely different. Cute right?

chicken salt & Pepper shakers

In celebration of my recent 100 week anniversary on Instagram, I want to invite you to visit me there. I post daily, mostly chicken pictures but occasionally some gardening stuff too. I've really enjoyed the last almost 2 years and if you're on there I'd like you to join me for some feathery fun!

That's about it for now, I'll be back with new posts very shortly. I hope you and your flock had a great 4th of July and enjoy your long weekend!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gardening for chickens

I learned a long time ago that when I plant my garden every year I need to plant what we will eat, not just what I want to grow. It sounds so logical, but all those pretty plants and seed packets tend to suck me in and next thing I know I have things planted that look great and grow great but I just can't use them all! lol Let me explain....kohlrabi. Yes, it actually is good, but we cant eat more then a little bit so when I buy a pack of 4 seedlings it is way too many. Especially since they are all the same age, so they are all ready for harvest at the same time. It's just too much. Same with pumpkins, hot peppers and a few other things. Some of these things I pass on to the chickens which is great for cutting the feed bill. I talk about that in the post Free Feed: Garden Rejects. I also grow many plants just for the chickens. Some of it we don't use like Amaranth (though we could eat the leaves). Others are just an overabundance of something we like. Here are a list of easy to grow, high producing crops that I grow just for the chickens...

Gardening for chickens

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"I just cleaned the coop" hand scrub

It seems like all I do anymore is clean these coops! The rain has been making mud everywhere and of course there's the constant supply of fresh poop that needs scraped and composted. No matter how I try I just can't keep myself as clean as I'd like to and when it comes time to wash up, I need a heavy scrub to get my hands super clean! Luckily I scored a great sale on a new product: Palmolive  'Soft on Hands' with Vitamin E dish liquid. Sounds perfect for making a hand scrub, right? Add Vitamin E fortified soap to a sugar scrub and it's a recipe for squeaky clean hands! Hand scrubs are one of the easiest body care products to make at home. This is the easiest recipe of them all. It uses nothing but sugar and soap, plus a cute little jar!

DIY homesteaders hand scrub

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Instagram Sunday #5

This past week has been pretty darn busy! In fact, the weeks are just getting busier and busier as the season progresses! We went to another poultry swap, this time at the Butler TSC. It was not as busy as usual, but that's probably because another swap that is usually the 2nd Saturday of the month ran the same day. Whoops! It was still a good time though, I love chatting with all the other backyard chicken keepers.

I got one of these little gems from the d'Uccle coop this week. I don't normally find these in the nest box, they are often just laying in the run somewhere. It's almost like their too small to trigger the 'gotta go lay an egg' feeling. I've always called them wind eggs, but on Instagram we discussed how other people call them fart eggs or fairy eggs. What do you call them?

fairy egg

Our cat loves the chicks! She's an old lazy mama cat (fixed now) and has absolutely no desire to chase the chicks. She lets them hop all over her and even snuggle into her fur and nap. She's so gentle with them. It's super cute!

cat loves chicks

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