Questions !!!

who what when where why chicken blog

We have had a lot of people ask us “chicken questions” so I thought this might be a great blog topic !!  We are still learning the ins and outs of being chicken parents ourselves, so this should prove to be a fun assignment !

All I need for my readers and Facebook followers to do is – Ask Questions !  Ask anything you are wanting to know about chickens, coops, feed – anything, and I’ll do a little research if I don’t know the answer and then we will have a Q&A session on the blog !

I look forward to hearing your questions and researching the answers !

DIY Bath Salts

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Are you worn out from lugging around kids, strollers, diaper bags? Did you have a hard day at the office and need a little  tension relief? Spend too much time out in the garden?  Believe me, I know exactly how you feel!

When we first started using essential oils (EO) I quickly collected a lot of “empty” bottles. An oily friend of mine gave me the best tip ever!    My friend,  who had been using essential oils much longer than I had,  explained to me that even though the bottle looks empty, it’s really not. It still has a drop or two of precious oil left in it. All you need is a mason jar, and some epsom salt she told me.

I had no idea what she was going to tell me to do with these bottles! It’s  really so simple, and makes such good sense! All you do is put some epsom salt in the mason jar, I usually fill it up about halfway, drop in any empty EO bottles that you have – yes, you can mix and match them – shake the bottle a little bit to get the salt inside the “empties”, then fill it almost to the top leaving a little room so you can shake the bottle again after the lid is on.

The salt will pull out any oil that is left in the bottle leaving you with oil infused bath salts! Since I like mine “use specific”, I put all of my supporting oil bottles together – Lavender, Cedarwood, and Roman Chamomile for a restful night; Peace & Calming, Stress Away, and Ylang Ylang for a calming, relaxing bath; PanAway, Wintergreen, and Cypress for those joints, muscles, and bones that are “screaming”!  You get the idea.

So, when you start your collection of “empties”, save them! You’ll thank me later 😉

 

A few basic FAQs about raising chickens

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We had so many questions when we decided to become “chicken people”!!!  We had a lot of great advice from friends that have been raising chickens, and also researched our questions on the internet – that’s where I ran across this article that originally was posted by The Washington Post years ago.  It’s very informative for the beginners who are considering or have just started raising chickens.

By Adrian Higgins
Washington Post

1. Do hens need a rooster to lay eggs?

No

2. How often do chickens lay?

A well-fed hen usually lays one egg per day.

3. Do chickens lay year-round?

Typically, no. Egg production falls off as winter approaches and resumes in the spring.

4. Are chickens noisy?

Only when alarmed or laying an egg.

5. How long do chickens live?

About seven years.

6. Do chickens lay eggs their whole life?

They are most productive when they are 2 and 3 years old, and then laying declines markedly.

7. Where do you get chickens, and how much do they cost?

They are available from Amish and other rural farmers markets as well as from breeders advertising on the Web. Laying breeds such as Rhode Island Reds or Sex-links, as opposed to fancy breeds, typically cost between $5 and $15 each. Buy chicks that are old enough that their sex is apparent so that you don’t unwittingly purchase a rooster.  

**My note:  We now only get our pullets (young hens) from people that we know personally that have hand raised them.  That way we KNOW they have been taken care of and are disease free when we purchase them. We do not have any roosters as we don’t want fertilized eggs – and we do have an “urban” farm so we want a nice, quiet “farm”!  We are getting 6 more “babies” soon from Humble Hollow Farm!

8. Are chickens good for the garden?

Yes and no. They will scratch garden beds, dislodge plants and eat seedlings. But they will devour bugs and slugs, and their manure and bedding make great ingredients for the compost pile.

9. How do you protect chickens from predators?

Both the hen house and run should be fenced with chicken wire and covered with netting or wire to prevent hawk attacks. Raccoons and foxes will dig to get into coops, so you will need to bury the fence at least 12 inches.

10. Do chickens smell?

If the coop and run are left uncleaned, yes. Occasional removal of droppings and placement of fresh bedding (pine shavings work well) will keep the hen house odor-free.   **My note:  We use this  essential oil spray to clean our coop twice a week.

Source: Mercury News

Busy Saturday – Chicken expansion – Kombucha Class – EO Class !

It has been a super busy day at the homestead! We had a great class with some friends today about how to brew your own homemade Kombucha! Then we had a mini essential oil class with a couple more friends, I always LOVE explaining the wellness benefits with others and how they can live a clean, chemical free life with essential oils! (You can read more about that here.)

After the 2 classes we taught today, hubby and I got to work and expanded the chicken “pen”! Our girls now have three times the room they had this morning and they are loving it! We are getting ready to add six more hens to our flock very soon so we wanted to be ready for their homecoming 🤗

I know one thing, this old girl is tired!

#UrbanHomestead #ChickenFarmer #FreshEggs #TheHensNeededMoreRoom #ExpandingOurFlock #CleanLiving #FarmingIsHardWork #EssentialOilsOnTheFarm #KombuchaBrewing

Egg Apron

Someone posted an “egg apron” on my timeline on Facebook and just a couple weeks later, this arrived at my door !  Our daughter, Melinda, ordered it for me from Blanket Me Baby in Asheville, NC.

We will also be getting one soon from another one of our four daughters, Ashley at The Crocheted Dreamer, very soon !!  These will come in handy while collecting eggs !!

I can’t wait until we have enough chickens to fill them both up with eggs each day ! Thanks to our girls for supporting our “chicken addiction” ! 😉

egg apron

Our chickens love their dust baths !

Chickens take “dust baths” to keep themselves free of  mites naturally.  These baths also keep the chicken fresh by washing off any “debris”.  They LOVE to get as much dirt and sand as they can all over their feathers and deep down to the base of their feathers! Dust baths, or some call them sand baths, for birds and similar to mud baths that their farm friends – pigs – enjoy, also very needed to keep them clean and mite free!

Our hens love their bath time and when I saw this great idea of re-purposing an old tire into a “bath tub”, I was on it !  Right now they all have to share one “tub”, but we will definitely be getting more tires as we expend our chicken pen!

You can build a bath box, use an old tire, or pretty much anything that will hold the dirt (we scooped some up from the coop floor) and sand (builder’s sand is best) and is big enough for your hens with plenty of shaking room to spread their wings while bathing.  Adding some wood ash or charcoal ash is a good way for your birds to get a little more Vitamin K, Calcium, and Magnesium from nibbling on the charcoal (charcoal is a laxative and also helps get rid of toxins), but always make sure that you never put anything in the dust bath that has had lighter fluid or other chemicals on it!

Look at our girls and their new dust bath!

 

Our Outside Chandelier! (Updated!)

I finally got to start on our outside “nightlight”! My good friend Katrina gave me this old chandelier so I am re-purposing it for our backyard at the homestead. I am still in the process of getting it finished, but I am so excited about it that I had to share the progress so far! I’ll be updating more when I get it done!

 

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UPDATE!!!!

Hubby and I finished our outside chandelier last night! I am in love with it and plan to do a couple more!

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It was so easy! First we hot glued the solar light to the place where the light bulb would have gone on the chandelier (save the posts that came with the lights, you can use them to replace any broken ones that are already in the ground!)

Then just put the base of the light on the hot glue/rim of the chandelier and voila !!!!  You are done !  I let it dry/harden for a few minutes then put the light part on the clear “shade” part that we had glued on the chandelier.  I LOVE how it turned out !

Here are just a couple photos of our “Hen Resort” at night 🙂   We have lights around our patio (the “people part” of our yard), our new chandelier hanging on a shepherds hook, and lights around the chicken coop/pen !

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Cleaning the Coop!

A great natural alternative for cleaning those coops! No harmful chemicals, all natural, and safe for your feathered friends!

We always try to use a chemical free product whenever possible, for pretty much everything!  A lot of what we use for household cleaning, skin care, pet care, and now “chicken care” are DIY recipes made with essential oils!

I am loving this coop cleaning spray! Smells fresh and has great cleaning properties!  Read more about lemon oil here, and to find out more about essential oils, check out our “How do I get those essential oils” tab on our main menu!

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