We’ve had two of our hens going broody all spring, named Dolores O’Riordan and Billie Holiday. Most chickens today have had the instinct to sit on a clutch of eggs bred out of them. Broody hens don’t lay eggs, which isn’t great for industrial egg production. This leaves humans to take over the hatching process. … More Warning: Cute Chicks Ahead — Thanks to the Victorian Technology Institute for Help with a Broody Hen
In this episode we harvest apples and turn them into sauce, dehydrated fruit, cider, and juice. We also have a look at our pantry in January. … More Foodmageddon, Episode 25: Chicken Butchery
Our grow-your-own project is underway. Right now, we’re in the planning stages. In February, we get a month of “business as usual,” to order and plan for the upcoming decrease of fossil fuels in our food system. Starting in March, we’ll only have a quarter of our trips to the grocery store and less shipping … More Foodmageddon: Grow, Glean, and Forage Over Two Million Calories for a Year?
After nine years of chicken husbandry we had our first predatory fatality. Over the years, we’ve lost chickens to old age and disease, but we’ve been lucky. We once had a possum take up residence in the coop, but it was mostly interested in the chicken food and warm, dry space. Last spring we had … More And then there were Nine — RIP Judy Garland
Chickens are capable of producing a prodigious amount of manure. When concentrated into a confined area and trampled, this manure requires frequent removal. Additionally, chicken feet and plumage often carry remnants of manure. It is likely that the hobbyist and homesteader alike have lamented the smells, smears, and soiled conditions that can be common to … More Deep-Litter Method for Chicken Coops: Save and Repurpose! — From Contributor Eric McGlynn
A few weeks ago, we got a call from the institute’s treasurer, Paula, who works at Historic Wagner Farm in a suburb of Chicago. Wagner Farm was originally outside of the metro area and then Chicagoland grew up around it and the Village of Glenview decided to turn this working farm into a city park. … More Welcome New Chickens!
One of the biggest costs of keeping chickens is the feed. Most people buy bags of the stuff at feed stores. These 50-lb bags come in a variety of forms, usually pellets or crumbles. In my experience, the crumbles make a big mess as the chickens hunt for larger chunks to eat, spilling the smaller … More Small-Scale Silage for Chickens
We’re now selling eggs for $4/dozen or $2/half-dozen (whenever the sign is out at 11927 W. State Rd. 59, Evansville, WI 53536). A dollar from each dozen goes to the institute. The eggs are medium browns with great yolks (we’ve had a few double yolks lately). Stop by and meet the birds, while you pick … More The Egg-onomics of Backyard Chickens
The chickens are currently living in a converted shed off the back of the garage. While this is working well for now, the goal is to move the chickens to the back of the property. This means we’re to build a new chicken coop. Considerations are predator pressure (coyotes, raccoons, and hawks), winter survival, chicken … More Scandinavian “Bear Cache” Chicken Coop
If you keep chickens, you know that they seem to try and make their water as dirty as possible. Typical chicken waterers depend on upside-down reservoirs that refill a trough as the birds drink the water. Chicken droppings, dirt, bedding, and other debris finds its way into the trough. Additionally, our old one held about … More DIY Clean Chicken Waterer