We are at mid-August in New Hampshire and while we still have (sweltering and humidity-packed) summer heat, our evenings are starting to cool down.
And of course that means that we have a very big muck-out coming our way in the next few weeks.
Although we’ve been taking out the old wood chips over the summer, we’ve also been added new chips each week. This has resulted in some parts of our coop being covered in a high layer of chips. Not necessarily the worst thing in the world until they push against wires or get in between door hinges.
See the buildup? If we don’t remove that before it freezes, we’re going to have a lot of wire damage.
The first cool weekend that we have this fall (I’m guessing mid-September) we’re going to have an old-fashioned muck-out in the hen house, you know, out with the old in with the new. In preparation for winter (when we only add chips and do not remove any) we are going to take them all out and put down a fresh, clean layer on which to add. Continue reading
On my facebook page this morning, I saw a post on Livestock Health Emergency Preparation Checklistfrom a group called Homesteading and Farming. It had tons of great information that I wanted to pass on.
photo credit: RamberMediaImages
In doing a little bit of research it looks like the information comes from a post by Victoria Gazlev on her Mother Earth News blog, City to Country, One Step at a Time. Fortunately we haven’t had many sick birds (the ones that did get sick, quickly died making me think it was more of a mechanical problem than an illness) but you better believe I’m on constant lookout for any chicken that might be sneezing or has goopy eyes.
I’ve talked about many of these steps (remember the dog crate discussions?) but you would do well to read this list and maybe even keep a printed copy of it handy.
In order to get ready for a livestock emergency, you really have to do the research so you know what common illnesses can befall each individual species in your area, and then prepare medicines, supplies and space so you’re ready. Add to that the fact that animals will often hide the fact they are ill til they are very ill (think about how an animal acting ill would fare in the wild), and you’ll understand why it’s critical to be all set up before something happens.
We’ve put together some wise suggestions I gleaned from one of our amazing Facebook friends (thanks, Jan!), as well as my own research and preferences for solutions that are more natural than pharmaceutical: Continue reading
Tonight I’ll be giving my Chickens 102 workshop in Concord. It follows Chickens 101 where we talk about how to get chicks, take care of them, and then transition them to the outdoors.
Tonight’s talk will be about how to maintain a flock. We’ll be talking about:
- Winter care
- Warm weather care
- Henhouse care
- Flock behavior
- Body problems
- Harvesting using a cone
I was talking to a reporter last week about chickens (I’ll link to the article once it is published) and she asked me what I would do if a chicken got sick.
The short answer is that I would do what I could (the operative word here is, of course, I.) I have no illusions that chickens are anything but farm animals (even our all-time favorite hens like Simon, Morganne, and, especially, Charlie.) Continue reading