Archive for the 'animals' Category

Circle of Life

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Yesterday started out in the worst way possible. Death is never very far away when you’re raising livestock. Poor little duckie. A female, too. Every time a predator kills, it provokes feelings of grief, impotent rage and violation. Guilt over not having protected those who depend on me and frustration and – most of all – […]


Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Of course now that I have way too many chicks, two of my hens go broody at the same time. Almost the same time. This hen sat on her eggs for 2 weeks or so ( more than 2/3 total incubation time) And then one night I opened the nest box to find this one […]

Oh yeah hatchlings

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Oops! I forgot to tell you what happened with all those eggs! Well, this: Despite a couple mishaps, everything went according to plan: First mistake: the thermometer I was using at first turned out to be 6 degrees too cool. I only found out about three days in (and then immediately Amazon Primed a replacement […]

Homegrown babies

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Spring is right around the corner, and my poultry have been getting kinda frisky lately. I took that as a sign that it might be time to set the next generation in motion. Last year I was lucky enough to have three hens go broody and raise their own chicks (takes so much work off […]

Greens for the girls

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

I feel so bad for the hens in winter. The ground is frozen and hard to scratch, there are no bugs to be found, and there’s certainly nothing green. Chickens are crazy about greens. They’ll tear up your garden, quick; in fact once I let them out there in the Fall they make short work of […]

1/3 of the way through

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Bright and early I went out to check how the animals had all done through the heavy snows Friday night. The snow was almost up to my knees and kept falling in small, gentle flakes. The morning was beautiful. The air had that sweet, clear feeling that only happens after a big snowfall. I was so glad I […]

We’re ready!

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Spent the afternoon getting my little barnyard all tucked up and cozy before the big Blizzard ’16 strikes. First on my list: preventing cold drafts. Birds can stand cold temperatures in their massive feather coats, but not so much a chilling breeze or condensation. With that in mind, I put up a whole bunch of weatherstripping […]

Solar waterer fail

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Finished my solar-heated winter watering system the other day and was so excited to see if it worked! I set it outside just before a couple of 30* nights. Not too bad looking for being made out of scraps, eh? To test it, I put two identical buckets outside at the same time. Each had […]

Integrated composting system

Monday, November 30th, 2015

I used to have a few different sources of fertility for the garden. One compost pile for fall leaves, one for kitchen scraps, and then the every-so-often cleanout of the chicken coop. I’d have to fill them all individually, only to later re-harvest them and mix them together before spreading them on the garden. What a chore. […]

Solar winter waterer

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Keeping the birds supplied with fresh water in the winter has always been a problem. In past years I’ve only had chickens, so I didn’t need all that much water. I tried putting various pond and tank heaters into a hanging bucket, but those heaters inevitably broke after about a month. Besides, it made me really […]