The Hearty Homestead


Two Delicious Egg Recipes for Mother's Day

Every Mother Hen has Her Day! Try these Two Delicious Egg Recipes for Mother’s Day.

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How To Pick The Right Chick - A Quick Guide To Choosing a Breed

One of the most difficult and exciting things about keeping chickens is selecting which breeds are right for you and your family. I say difficult, because there are just so many breeds and options! In fact, the truth is that you really can’t make mistakes. I can really only think of one exception. You need to choose breeds that are compatible with the climate where you live. From their looks, the eggs, personality, and their ability to handle confinement, I think that you will be delighted to discover hundreds of chicken breeds are available to you.

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Six Tips to Get Your Calves Off to a Great Start!

Just like a newborn baby, calves need consistency, good nutrition and great care. Preparing ahead of time will help ensure you can provide your calves with the growing start they need for a healthy, productive life.

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The Anatomy of an Egg

Now that you are a chicken keeper and realize how different fresh eggs look and taste, have you ever wondered what all those parts are when you crack open an egg into a dish? You are not alone and today, I thought that it would be nice to share and explain exactly what you are seeing. Let’s start with the shell.

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Dealing with Calf Scours

Calf Scours: Step 1

Most calf scours, or diarrhea, occur within the first 3 weeks of life, with about ¼ of all pre-weaned calves being treated. Keeping the calf hydrated with an electrolyte solution is the first and most important task. So it helps to have good idea of how much a scouring calf needs. It’s safe to assume that a calf with diarrhea and no other visible signs of dehydration is about 5% dehydrated. For a 100 pound calf, 5% dehydration means it has lost 5 pounds of water:

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A History of Antibiotics

January 1, 2017 marked the official start date of the FDA issued Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Consumers wanting to purchase animal feed, formulated with select antibiotics, are now required to present a VFD, written by a licensed veterinarian, at the time of purchase. So, why exactly does the FDA care about the type of livestock feed consumers purchase? 

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Winter Tips for Backyard Poultry Success

Chickens, like most animals, are fairly cold-hardy. They handle Winter far better than the heat of Summer, but if you live in an extremely cold area, choosing breeds that are known to be particularly cold-hardy is definitely a good idea. These breeds tend to have larger bodies, smaller combs and wattles, and are often named for the areas where they originated in the North, such as Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Jersey Giant, Swedish Flower Hen or Ohio Buckeye.

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Molting is the annual process chickens go through to replace their dirty, broken feathers with new, shiny, healthy ones, before Winter sets in. However, chickens molt not for aesthetic reasons but to keep warm through the cold months. Healthy new feathers trap warm air against their bodies, better than old feathers do. A chicken will fluff their feathers up, especially at night, to help keep warm in Winter.

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7 Questions You Wanted to Ask About Antibiotics in Animal Feed...But Were Afraid to Ask!

Question 1: Why are antibiotics in animal feed in the first place?

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Feather Loss in Backyard Chickens

One of the biggest questions that I am asked is, why are my chickens missing feathers? There are a number of reasons for feather loss that can include dietary deficiencies, molting, feather picking, pests and parasites. It will take a bit of detective work on your part to determine why your flock is missing feathers. However, once you determine the reasons why, you can encourage those feathers to return.

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