Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Starbucks Inspired Pecan Praline Latte Recipe


So of course on my way to the feed store yesterday morning, I had to stop and try one of Starbucks' new holiday Chestnut Praline Lattes. It was delicious. But between the $5 price tag, the 8 mile drive to the nearest Starbucks, and the reality that the Starbucks latte probably contains some ingredients I really don't want to know about, I decided to try making my own.

Honey Spice Egg Bread Recipe for your Bread Machine


While I do enjoy the luxury of spending an afternoon making bread by hand, I have to say my bread machine is a lifesaver for when I can't devote several hours to breadmaking. This honey spice egg bread is light and airy, with just a hint of sweetness and spice. It's based on a basic egg bread to which I have added some of my favorite spices. It has become my go-to bread recipe.

Monday, November 17, 2014

All about Diatomaceous Earth - In your Coop, Garden and Home


Hello chicken friends! (poultry buddies?) My name is Beth, and I work for DiatomaceousEarth.com. Lisa got in contact with us a while ago, and we interviewed her about all things chicken and DE, and we turned it into an article on our blog

Now it’s our turn to be interviewed. Lisa recently asked the Fresh Eggs Daily® community about questions they had about diatomaceous earth. Together, we’ll be answering some of those questions.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Week in Farm Photos - November 9th to 15th


This week was an exciting one. I was featured in our local newspaper (front page of the second section no less!) in an article about my book and raising chickens, and I was on the Dave Parker Show on WNIS 790AM Thursday morning again talking about chickens (go figure right?!).  I also spoke with the producer of a national reality show about the possibility of being involved in a show next year - not sure about that one, it would have to be exactly the right look and feel for us to sign on the dotted line. And last but not least, my book has been chosen as one of Amazon's editors' choices for Best Books of 2014!

In between my moments of 'fame', I scrubbed water tubs, mucked horse stalls, cleaned coops, harvested the remaining herbs from the garden and got everyone ready for the below freezing temperatures that have arrived here in Virginia. Enjoy this peek at our week.  And stay warm where ever you are!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Help! My Chicken is Sick. What Should I Do?


Being very low on the food chain, and adhering to a very strict pecking order within a flock, chickens have been programmed to hide their symptoms extremely well, and by the time you even notice something is wrong, it's often too late. But by spending time with your flock, and being able to recognize what 'normal' behavior is, you can spot even subtle changes that might indicate someone isn't feeling their best.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

There's a Reason its Called Chickweed


Chickweed is one of the most prolific, and nutritious, weeds that you most likely have growing somewhere on your property. It loves moist, shady areas and grows nearly year round in much of the country. Here in Virginia it does best in spring and fall and our chickens gobble up every bit they can find. Chickweed is a great addition to your chickens' diet - and they love it!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Week in Farm Photos November 2nd - 8th


Typical week here in Virginia weatherwise. Shorts and tee shirt weather one day and a frost the next night. The garden is booming and I'm picking tons of salad greens every day for us and for the chickens and ducks. I go back and forth from closing up the chicken coop windows at night to opening them wide on warm days. The animals all seem to take the wide temperature swings in stride, although our horses and ducks have grown in very thick fluffy coats this fall....hmmm, I'm thinking they know something we don't and we're in for a longer colder winter than usual.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Treating Bumblefoot in Chickens and Ducks Naturally with an Herbal Salve


Bumblefoot is an infection of the foot that chickens and ducks can get as the result of a hard landing off a roost, a cut that gets infected or even a Vitamin A deficiency. In my six years of chicken and duck keeping, I've only encountered bumblefoot twice - once in a duck and once in a chicken - and wrote about my experience treating it pretty conventionally HERE.

In the years since, I have learned lots more about the healing power of herbs, so when I discovered one of the ducks we recently adopted with the telltale black scab, I decided to make up an all natural treatment plan using some herbs thought to have the power to 'cure' a staph infection - which is basically what bumblefoot is.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Predator Proofing 101: How to Keep your Chickens Safe Day and Night


If you have chickens, then there are predators keeping a close eye on your coop. No matter where you live - be it an urban, suburban or rural setting - there is something lurking that wants to eat your chickens, and whatever it is, it's just waiting for the chance. Coop and run security should be first and foremost on every chicken keeper's mind.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Week in Farm Photos - October 26th to November 1st


Fall has arrived to Virginia. We and our animals are loving the cooler temperatures, and although most of our older hens have quit laying due to the shorter days and molting, the new spring chicks are laying up a storm. We've been collecting some gorgeous Marans eggs all week.

The highlight of the week definitely was the blueberry pie that my visiting father-in-law baked for us using blueberries he picked from his farm up in Maine. We sent him off with a dozen fresh eggs as a thank you! 

The cold crop garden is flourishing and we've harvested some romaine and spinach already and are looking forward to more greens for us and the ducks in the coming weeks. Enjoy a peek at our week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Incorporating Herbs into Natural Chicken Keeping


When I first started raising  chickens more than five years ago, I knew I wanted to do it naturally. I mean, what would be the point of raising our own chickens for the eggs if we were going to use chemicals and medications and antibiotics on them. Trouble was, not a lot of studies had been done (and still haven't) on herbal remedies and preventives for chickens.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Week in Farm Photos - October 19th to 25th


What a glorious week! Gorgeous crisp fall weather enjoyed by all! Enjoy this peek at our farm.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fluffy Vanilla Pancakes Made with Fresh Eggs


Fresh eggs make everything better, including pancakes. My favorite pancake recipe uses vanilla to give the pancakes a yummy, comforting flavor.  They're so easy to make ... why not whip up a batch this weekend?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DIY Scrap Wood Painted Chicken Sign


I hate to throw anything away, even if it's an old broken fence board. I love this DIY project because you can make the sign any size you want to, paint it any color you want...depending on what you have available. And it makes a really cute sign for your coop or to advertise your fresh eggs.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lavender Vanilla Sleep Salve and Sleep Stick Balm


Life can be stressful and move way too fast at times. Sleep can be elusive. It's hard to turn off your thoughts at night when you have ideas for new blog posts swirling around in your head, baby chicks hatching, or you are trying to juggle, work, home, family and animals. Enter my Lavender Vanilla Sleep Salve to help calm your thoughts and allow you to drift of into a peaceful sleep.