After much thought, calculation, and preparation, the broiler chicks have arrived. They are a feisty bunch, with some being so bold that they charge and peck at our fingers. This is what we want, though. Active birds. Broilers have a reputation of being lazy and prone to health issues, so we do a lot to encourage activity in our birds.
As you may have noticed, we’ve been more actively posting photos and videos to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We find this to be fun and it helps us to connect to other people who are as obsessed with chickens and good food as we are. But lately it seems like when we post something, within a few days someone else posts something very similiar. Are we really that influential?
Here’s a quiz question for ya: what are the top 5 farm animals? No singing Old MacDonald, that’s cheating! Continue reading “Which Farm Animal was searched for the most in 2015?”
I have been trying to practice restraint in our garden beds. Such a tough thing to do when you are excited as we are about growing our own food from seed! The lettuce, kale, and swiss chard are taking off and we even saw sweet peas this week! It all looks so pretty almost too pretty to eat. Continue reading “Garden Update Mid July”
What is the quintessential music to pair with farming? Maybe your gut is thinking country, which seems to pair so well with the image of the robust singer in a cowboy hat or people even riding horses in music videos. I love John Denver, but face it, if you think country is the ultimate farming music, you’re wrong. Continue reading “5 Reasons The Blues is the Only True Farming Music”
Midday chicken chores have me and the little girls running from one side of the yard to the other with water, food, and entertainment a few times a day. We fill up the food for the broiler chicks, who are doing really well in their bigger pen. I haul water, refill and clean waterers, and my three-year old pokes sticks and weeds into the fencing, for her entertainment and theirs. Today, however, we had an escape! Continue reading “How to catch a cockerel”
For the past year, our hens have truly ranged freely on our land. In the morning we open the door to the coop and leave the gate of the run wide open. Without much hesitation, the hens hop out of the coop and exit the run, beginning a day of adventurous scavenging and exploration. But recently, while the hens were ranging around in the woods about 50 feet from our house in the middle of the day (while we were outside!) we heard a… commotion. All but one of our hens came sprinting and panting to the house. My heart froze when I noticed a buff orpington was missing her tail feathers. I walked around in the woods for a few minutes and then I found the feathers of one of our plymouth barred rocks scattered in a few circles. Predators. Continue reading “Reflections on “Free Range””
Chicken and other livestock raised for meat qualifies for USDA Organic certification if it meets the following guidelines: all feed consumed by the animal needs to be 100% organic from early in life, they must never receive any antibiotics, hormones, or other treatments, and they must have access to the outdoors on untreated, organic land with sunlight and shelter available (source). From my research and experience, it would seem that organic practices alone don’t ensure the meat is tastier or even more nutritious than non-organic. So what is the difference? Continue reading “Is Organic Meat Really Better?”
As we take steps into this gardening season, it is important to give ourselves a moment and take a step back to reflect, plan, and prepare. Review a chapter on mulching in your favorite gardening book, take a walk around your garden beds and see how the soil is doing, and… take advice from big commercial farms? Wait, aren’t they evil? Continue reading “5 Lessons We Can Learn from Commercial Farming”