Tag Archives: chickens

Putting Farm Animals to Work

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Farm animals have an important place on the homestead.  From the backyard homesteader to the full time farmer, producing your own eggs, milk and meat is a fulfilling accomplishment.  We give our farm animals fresh food and water and the best care possible.  But could our farm animals being doing more for us in return?  We need to look at “the pigness of the pig and the chickeness of the chicken” as Joel Salatin puts it.

 

Instead of working against each farm animal’s natural instincts, why not have those instincts work for you instead?

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The Chicken Coop: “Coop Deville”

The Coop Deville: A mobile chicken coopHomestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
When we moved to Missouri we had to leave our mobile chicken coop, “The Eggmobile” (a la Joel Salatin) behind.   Travis had designed and built that coop, but it was just too big to move from Colorado to Missouri.  We sold the chicken coop to a good friend and decided to build another coop similar to what we had had before.  A mobile chicken coop was a requirement for us, we wanted the chickens to follow the livestock for pasture sanitation and fertilization.

 

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Raising Chickens: A Kid’s Perspective

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Homestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

As a homesteading, homeschooling family, we try to include our kids in what’s going on around the farm.  Our son has been watching all this blog stuff with great interest.  He finally asked us if he could write his own article.  So, here is the kid version of raising chickens.  It is really quite interesting to see what things are perceived as the highlights (by this kiddo anyway).  Just to make things a bit clear, here is some background:

Chick Mobile: several years back, my husband built a brooder in the pole barn in CO.  It was roughly 4’x4′ and when he finished, he set it on a wheeled frame he used for working on arcade games.  It turned out to be handy to be able to easily move the brooder around the barn, so now our son thinks a brooder should be mobile… and hence the “chick-mobile”

Egg Mobile: we can thank Joel Salatin for this.  Joel is always so creative with his naming, so we called our first mobile coop an “eggmobile” as well.  Ever since our son can remember, we have moved our little layer flock around our property.

Scraps: all our plate scrapings and such are shared with the chickens.  Don’t worry, we provide plenty of layer feed as well. 

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Thanksgiving Surprise

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great day, filled with family, food and pie.  We certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

On Thanksgiving morning, I went down to the barn to do my usual morning chores.  The birds were singing and it was a beautiful morning.  As I got to the barn door, it seemed that the birds were singing especially loud.  Peep!  I opened the barn door and the noise was even louder.  PEEP!  PEEP!

Now, it’s important to note that every year around Thanksgiving our hens take a “laycation”.  We allow them to, even hens deserve a break.  We’ve gotten one egg in the past week.  We’ll put some lights in the barn in January, so they will have enough daylight to start laying again.  So imagine my surprise to see a hen proudly walking around with her 2 chicks!

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Not only did she manage to sit on 2 eggs, but she did it in the goat pen!  The way the goats scuffle it’s amazing that she was able to sit on her little nest without getting squashed.  She went unnoticed until her chicks started loudly peeping.

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I gave the new mama a handful of food and she told her chicks it was time to eat.  I love watching a hen with her chicks, they are very attentive mothers.  It’s been chilly at night, but the chicks have been nice and warm under their mother’s wings.  Fall probably isn’t the best time for a hen to hatch some eggs, but this hen is doing a fantastic job and I’ll take it.