Monday, July 21, 2014

Processing My Meat Birds (Heads are Going to Roll!)

Let me start by saying that if you are an animal rights activist or don't believe that animals should be killed for meat, this post is not for you. Further, if you fit into the above description and are here to leave harassing comments about MY choice to eat meat, the following articles will be considered Required Reading before you leave any comments...
Oh - and if you still choose to leave a hateful comment, I will delete it... because I am the Blog Goddess and I can do that.

And with that out of the way...
This blog is for anyone interested in raising and processing their own chickens for food. There are lots of different right ways of processing chickens, and the way I'm going to share is just one of them. I don't own any fancy processing equipment, and you don't need to either (though if you do, that's great).

Writing about killing and death is almost as difficult as writing about sex, so I'm going to do it my way and try to lighten it up for all of us with a bit of humor.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Broody Bunch

Here's the story,
Of a lovely lady,
Who was sitting on 2 very lovely eggs.
both of them were Swedish Flower,
Like their mother,
Though they resembled tiny kegs.

Here's the story,
Of another lady,
Who was busy with two eggs of her own,
They were three chooks,
Living all together,
Yet they were all alone.

'Till this one day when this lady met this lady,
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch,
That this flock would somehow form a family...
And that's the way they all became the Broody Bunch!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Raising Ducklings and Chicks Together & Aspergillosis in Chickens

*** Warning - this blog post contains graphic materials. ***

Yesterday as my husband and I were working on a new run for our young flock of guinea fowl, my phone rang. It was my dear friend Linda. She was in tears and she needed me to walk her through her first necropsy over the phone. Over the next hour, Linda and I were able to solve a mystery and offer Linda some peace of mind for the health of the rest of her flock.

Let me start with some background...

Linda keeps her chickens and other livestock as organically as possible and recently decided that she should get some young chickens as her current flock is aging. Most of us might assume that Lida's birds might perhaps be 4 or 5 years old. Maybe even a little older. Well... Linda's oldest flock members are currently 13 years old! (No - that's not a typo.) And she even has the receipts from the purchase of those chickens to prove it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wry Neck - Using Turmeric to Treat Wry Neck in a Chicken

~ By: Christine Myers

Just last week, I was standing in my yard, looking at my favorite pullet, feeling sure I’d have to euthanize her. Hope (an Easter Egger) had suddenly developed a case of wry neck which had gotten progressively worse over the course of the day. I ended up treating her condition not with the recommended regimen of vitamins, but with a spice that is a medicinal powerhouse in the human world. Here is her story.

Day 1. I opened the main coop and stepped aside for the stampede of chickens to their morning rations. As always, Hope did her cute half-run, half-fly thing that often gets her to the food dishes first. She seemed fine. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Just Chillin' (with) My Meat Birds

Just chillin' (with) my meat birds. 

So there's something you don't hear every day. In this day and age of factory farming we are more likely to hear the horror stories of the lives of meat birds warehoused in giant buildings with nothing to do but eat all day. But if you're a long-time follower of this blog, perhaps you have already read about Justine's adventure raising meat birds.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Dry Incubation Method for Hatching Difficult-to-Hatch Breeds

~ By Karen

I hatch a LOT of eggs – generally more than a thousand annually. Over the years I have had a great deal of luck with the Dry Incubation Method. I hatch a lot of Swedish Flower Hen eggs, and for whatever reason, this breed can be very difficult to hatch in an incubator – but even shipped Swedish Flower eggs seem to do well using this method.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bird Shots - April Showers Bring Swedish Flowers

While I haven't had time to get a good post put together, I couldn't resist rolling about in the grass with some of my favorite flock members today. All the birds below are Swedish Flower Hens (yup - even the rooster). The Swedish name is Skånsk Blommehöns.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Goes Around – Natural Prevention of Common Poultry Diseases

(Disclaimer - There are varying opinions on the statements concerning culling flocks for MG/MS. Many state Agricultural Department veterinarians DO NOT suggest culling a flock as these diseases are currently very prevalent... up to 75% of ALL domestic flocks *may* already be carriers of MG/MS.) 

Recently an acquaintance of mine (who for privacy reasons we will call “X”) lost his/her entire flock of rare breed chickens to mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). Due to the number of birds X had as well as the breeds involved, X’s monetary loss would be well into the thousands, though if you were to ask X I believe s/he would tell you that the emotional toll was far greater.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Been Gone Too Long!

Yes - I've been MIA for a while, but don't worry! I'll be posting more great articles soon.

Where have I been?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Donated a Chicken to Science - With Awesome Results!

Check out the complete Natural Chicken Keeping article at GRIT Magazine by clicking the picture below! And don't miss the video!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Doesn't Everybody Keep Chickens in their Laundry Room?

Funny thing about this chicken addiction. It all seems to start out so innocently, and a couple years later... BOOM! An out of control Crazy Chicken Lady/Man is walking around wearing your shoes, kissing your spouse and living your life.

I refer to my friend Karen as my enabler. Our rather co-dependent friendship was born when she hatched chicks for me. Now I find myself bootlegging eggs to her in bi-weekly runs to a town an hour away. I quietly drop them off with our "messenger" and that evening Karen lets me know if the goods made it to her safely.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Help ~ I Broke My Chicken! What to do for a Broken Leg

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Disclaimer:  Shattered bones, joint and soft-tissue issues may require different care than a cleanly broken bone and in some cases may not ever heal properly.

I have friendly chickens. Sometimes, though, their friendliness gets them (and me) into a bit of trouble. When I go out to feed, I tend to be swarmed by no less than 40 chickens, which can make it very difficult to walk. Two weeks ago the inevitable happened when I stepped on one of my younger flock members!

Friday, January 31, 2014

We're Having a Party!

I don't know about you, but I live wayyyy out in the country. I wouldn't change it, but there is one thing I do miss about suburban/urban life...

I miss getting together with oodles of friends for fun product parties! Then I saw the adorable rooster warmer (the white one) that is on sale throughout the month of February... and I decided to go ahead and host a Scentsy party ONLINE! Heck - I have met so many wonderful folks out here, and there's no way you'd be able to find my house anyway - - so I do hope you will come!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where Do Eggs Come From - How Chickens Create Eggs

The following post contains graphic material.

Some time ago, we ran an article on this very subject, complete with artistic representations of the inner workings of a mature, laying hen. (Chickens, Eggs, Fertilization, Reproduction and Other Insider Information) Now, due to an unfortunate hawk attack, we can show you the real thing.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Signs of a Stroke in Chickens - Yes, Chickens Can and Do Have Strokes.

Many of you will remember my post about my gyandromorphic chicken. You can read the post HERE if you would like to. Since the writing of the article, we named the chicken Italy. We couldn't call it a he or she and didn't want to keep referring to it as "it" so somehow "it" morphed into "Italy" over time.

Now I'm not so sure if Italy was truly a gyandromorph. It/he certainly may have been, but the more likely scenario, based upon recent developments, is that Italy may have had a chicken-y form of Cerebral Palsy.