Summer, along with its oppressive heat and humidity, has arrived. Some of the best stuff on the homestead happens in summer (like the arrival of ducklings and a garden that’s starting to produce), but summer comes with struggles as well. Get summer tips for the garden, your livestock, and even tips for staying cool while you cook.
Raising backyard chickens is easy, but be warned, they are a gateway animal. You'll start with just a couple of chickens and before you know it you've got a flock large enough to produce eggs for the whole neighborhood. That leads to the acquisition of ducks. Then it's goats.
Chickens really are a great starter animal, though. They are low-maintenance and fairly low-cost. Learn how to raise backyard chickens with these articles. Remember, healthy and happy chickens lay the most delicious eggs.
Sand is the answer to an obsessive person’s dreams. Close your eyes and imagine: Beautifully manicured chicken feet, zen garden furrows in the ground, everything staying in it’s place instead of blowing around whenever a wing is flapped. Imagine walking in and smelling… nothing. Sand, my dear readers, is the answer.
Today you are getting Zoologist Jessica instead of Homesteader Jessica. For those of you that don’t know, I went to school for zoology, but decided that I didn’t want to live in a city, which is what led me to farming. One important aspect of animal care they taught me about in college was animal enrichment and how important it is to an animals health and overall well-being.
Animal enrichment is activities that create a more stimulating environment for the animals and elicit some of their natural behaviors such as exploration, foraging, locomotion, social interaction, manipulating objects, or simply playing.
There are plenty of lists of toxic and unsafe plants for chickens, but it is very hard to find plant options that can be used in your chicken area. I have compiled a list of plants that are deemed chicken-safe. The following plants are appropriate and worry-free for the areas chickens roam. The list tells you the zone said plant grows in as well as if the plant is an annual or perennial.
Sprouting fodder is something farmers have been done for generations. Fodder is defined as “food, especially dried hay or feed, for cattle and other livestock.” Sprouting fodder growing the fodder and allowing the livestock to eat it at a young stage. This feeding technique can offer a varied diet for livestock at a fraction of the price of traditional feeds. Although you can sprout a variety of grains, today I’m going to chat about sprouted barley because it’s a great all-around grain for livestock.
With Christmas right around the corner, chicken hobbyists and those dreaming of acquiring chickens in the spring are making their lists and checking them twice. Of course, on the top of every chicken lover’s list is poultry themed pajamas and the newest egg sorter. However, many chicken keepers reserve their Christmas wish list for that big-ticket item. A new chicken coop.