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Backyard Chickens, Part 14 (or Why are my chickens bald and not laying?)

September 19, 2011

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chickens molt in the fall

The change of the seasons often bring welcome reminders of times past.  That crisp fall air with a hint of woodsmoke may remind you of campfires and marshmallows.  The piles of pumpkins at roadside stands may bring to mind Thanksgiving pies and extended family rarely seen.  The first frost makes me giddy with the possibility […]

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The Many Varied Uses Of DE (Diatomaceous Earth)

September 9, 2011

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What Is Diatomaceous Earth? If you are not familiar with DE, it stands for diatomaceous earth.  It is composed of the remains of microscopic aquatic organisms that formed layers that can be mined.  The safe, multi-purpose kind is a white powder (“amorphous silica”), labeled as “food grade.”  It contains minerals like iron and silica and […]

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Eating A Snake

September 1, 2011

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My youngest daughter reached into the nesting box to collect the day’s eggs as she had done many times before. It’s a routine that she enjoys, helping Mommy collect the eggs. Yet this time was different. She abruptly withdrew her hand with a startled shriek. “I don’t want to touch the snake!” Fortunately Laura was with […]

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Backyard Chickens, part 13 (Or “Where did my chickens go?”)

August 15, 2011

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As you wash the breakfast dishes, you look out the window and watch the chickens scratching for their morning bugs and weed seeds.  It’s a nice sight- a pretty flock of chickens doing what God intended them to.  But wait- yesterday you had 12 hens and now you only have 10. Predators When we first […]

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Backyard Chickens, Part 12 (Or “NOW where are the eggs?”)

July 25, 2011

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You thought you had solved your egg hunt problem, but they are starting to go missing again.  You can’t find any “rogue hens” nesting in the bushes.  What’s going on? Egg Thieves We have 2 big lovable mutts (that scare the pants off strangers and delivery people) that are incurable “egg-sucking dawgs” as country folk […]

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Backyard Chickens, Part 11 (or “We Have An Egg Hunt Every Day”)

June 27, 2011

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So, you’ve got a nice flock of chickens on your homestead, but a couple of problems have cropped up.  What do you do now?  In the next few installments, I’ll try to address some of them and share what we’ve learned and tried. The Chickens Don’t Lay Where I Want Them To. Sometimes I Can’t […]

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Backyard Chickens, Part 10 (Or What To Do With All Those Eggs)

June 20, 2011

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You built your coop, you’ve lovingly fed your little cluckers for 5 months, and finally, your patience pays off!  The first egg! If you are fortunate, it is a complete, intact egg.  (First attempts are occasionally a bit clumsy, with no shell- pretty cool to see, though- or oddly shaped).  You will remember and celebrate […]

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Backyard Chickens, Part 9 (or How to Store Eggs)

June 13, 2011

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Your chicks have finally come of age and the “henfruit” starts to show up.  Now, where do you put it? We are all familiar with the refrigerated case at our local grocery stores.  In it, we find the meat, milk, OJ, and eggs (and mingled in there are those whump-out-of-a-can-biscuits and EZ Cheez, but let’s […]

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Backyard Chickens, Part 8

June 6, 2011

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Should I get a rooster? The icon of the rooster atop a fencepost crowing for all he’s worth is part of that “farmy” image a lot of us have in our minds.  Don’t all “farmers” have roosters to tell them when to get up? It turns out that a lot of those ideas are folklore rather […]

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Backyard Chickens, Part 7

May 31, 2011

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In the previous installment, I addressed allowing a broody hen to set fertile eggs and then mother the resulting chicks.  There are times when that won’t work, though. Hens are usually not triggered to broodiness until the weather warms up and the number of daylight hours increase in the spring.  If that doesn’t fit your […]

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