Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey
Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, gardener, and cook who pens the award winning blog, Tilly's Nest. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her family of four and her Miniature Schnauzer.

Recent Posts

 

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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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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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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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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First Aid Kit for Chickens


Whether you are new to chicken keeping or have been raising chickens for years, it is a good idea to be educated and prepared not only in regards to caring for your flock but also when health issues arise. It's important to realize that health issues are rare, but sometimes things happen. It's for this reason that I recommend to all chicken keepers old and new alike to be prepared by making a chicken first aid kit for their home.

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Flock Nutrition - Backyard Poultry Success

Welcome to the world of backyard poultry! What an exciting time for you and your family. One of the best things that you can do when it comes to raising chickens is to be sure that they are getting excellent nutrition. Starting out with good nutrition is key in how your chicks develop into grown chickens, future egg productivity, and their overall general health and longevity.

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All About Molting

Each and every year, chickens undergo a process called molting. Molting by definition is when a bird loses its feathers and regrows new feathers in their place.  For a first time chicken owner it may be alarming to see your chicken is losing its feathers, but this is perfectly normal. Losing their feathers allows birds to produce new, perfect feathers. It also allows feathers that are damaged or missing to be replaced. Chicken molting usually occurs in the Fall when cooler weather begins to arrive. In the United States, the process can begin anywhere from September to October.

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Treating Your Chickens Right

Chickens, like any pets, love to indulge in treats. Typically, their diet should predominantly be comprised of chicken feed with access to oyster shells, grit, and clean drinking water. However, like us, now and then it's nice to treat them to something different.

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Egg Laying and Optimizing Production in Backyard Chickens

One of the many reasons chicken keepers like you and I begin to keep chickens in our backyards is for the eggs. Fresh eggs cannot be beat. Not only do they taste better, but they are much more nutritious and fresher than their grocery store counterparts.

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Housekeeping for Chicken Keepers

There are many ways to care for your flock, but one of the best things you can do to keep them healthy, thriving and laying eggs is to provide them with a neat and tidy home.

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