The Hearty Homestead

 

Do I Need to Wash My Eggs?

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The Values of Older Chickens

When chickens become older hard choices will need to be made as to their futures. Chickens begin to slow down egg production between 2-3 years of age. For some it’s an easy choice to cull older less productive birds. Either prepping them for the stew pot or turning them into homemade stalk. Others, elect to re-home them to other chicken enthusiasts. While both are valid options, my desired choice is to allow older chickens to simply retire here, on our farm and choose their new part-time jobs. 

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Common Chicken Idioms

Foghorn Leghorn is a classic example of being "Cocky"

Keeping chickens has been an endeavor of great rewards for our family.  From the cute chirping hatch-lings up to our laying hens, who are fully of personality, we have learned so much.  Surprisingly, one of the things we have enjoyed learning the most are all the sayings people use so commonly that are directly related to keeping chickens.  I had been using many of these chicken idioms for years in other contexts off the farm; only to find myself chuckling at 6:30am when letting the ladies out of the coop.  The first one that really hit me was the saying “cooped up”. Here I only thought that applied to the feeling I got after spending several days trapped in the house being “mother hen” during a snowstorm with 2 little boys. 

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Why Chickens and Children are Great Companions

        My family is coming up on our fourth year of raising chickens. The experience has been much more rewarding than we had initially anticipated. I thought they would stay in their coop and we would occasionally get eggs and that would be about it, which I was totally fine with. But, after watching everything my children have learned through the experience, I don't think I will ever not keep chickens. Not only have my children learned so much from the experience, they truly enjoy the time spent with our hens. Here are just a few reasons why chickens and children go so well together.

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Best Breeds for Raising Chickens with Children

Chickens and children are a perfect match. Chickens are an easy animal to take care of and most school age children should be able to care for a small flock on their own with little help from adults. I think that there is a valuable lesson in raising chickens at a young age, in particular. Not only do kids get the satisfaction of caring for an adorable pet, but they also learn that with responsibility comes reward in the form of eggs in the nesting box. I’ve yet to meet a child that doesn’t get a thrill from collecting a basket full of eggs. 

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Raising Chickens In The Fall

Each year, the trend of backyard chickens continues to climb and it is no surprise that hatcheries are starting to meet the demands of those keeping chickens. Ordering little ones is no longer only a springtime tradition. Hatcheries are now meeting the desires of chick fever with ordering available through the summer and even into the fall and winter. There are some benefits to ordering them later in the season. Baby chicks grow quickly, so those living in milder fall and winter climates in the southern portion of the United States can easily be raising chickens even over the winter.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Mobile Home for Your Hens

Chicks dig their houses! Just like your house, your hen’s house provides two critical elements: safety and comfort. Beyond those key factors, the rest of the coop plan is negotiable based on details that best fit your lifestyle, taste and preferences. 

Mobile chicken coops, sometimes called chicken tractors, are lightweight and highly mobile homes for your chickens, offering ease for you and some benefits to your hens and gardens.

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Fourth of July - Perfect Picnicking with Eggs!

Featured Photo Courtesy of Tristan Peirce

Canadians celebrate their special day on the first of July. In the States, it’s the fourth. Either day or way you celebrate, we bet there’s going to be some outdoor feasting involved. Of course the grill is king all summer long and especially from the first through the fourth, but along with all those hot dogs and burgers, we’ll all be dishing up some sumptuous sides – many of which will contain eggs and mayonnaise.

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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 Guide To Choosing Chicken Breeds

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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