Have you ever wondered what it is like to speak chicken and understand your flock? I am so thrilled to share with you what I have been working on for the past 7 years. With a background in science, I set out on my journey to learn all about chickens and how I could connect with my flock. I wanted to see their world through their eyes.
I absolutely love to see lawns filled with clover. Did you know that not only does it help to support the lawn but their blooms are well loved by bees? It is not uncommon for me to see the plants’ blooms buzzing with my bees. It is also beneficial to the flock, easy to grow and requires no care. It’s one of the easiest way to start gardening for your chickens.
I love gardening with chickens. It has been something that I have enjoyed immensely over the years. One of the most beneficial ways to maximize your space in the garden is to think vertically by adding climbing vines. This gardening trick allows you to make the most of the garden space that you have available. The perfect often overlooked place to consider growing vines is on your chicken coop. Vines provide your chickens shade, a bit of protection for aerial predators and a tasty snack that can be foraged through the run. Today I’m sharing my top 8 perennial and annual vines that are chicken safe, hardy, and delicious for both you and your flock.
This past week, I headed to Belton, Texas to present at the Mother Earth News Fair. This time my daughter came along with me. Last year, when I visited the Magnolia Market Silos I really wanted to bring her back with me, as she is a huge fan of Fixer Upper on HGTV. So, with a copy of my book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and my daughter in tow, we drove north a little over thirty miles to give a copy of my book to the Gaines Family. Traveling to the Magnolia Market at the Silos is such great fun and the atmosphere can be compared to a decorator’s Disneyland. Today, I’m sharing our adventures and a few tips for you if you’re going to the Silo’s for the first time.
We have had quite the weather this past week. Two days ago Blizzard Niko hit the East Coast and Cape Cod- where we call home. We lost power during the middle of the storm and that night among candlelight and flashlights, we had a simple family dinner consisting of cereal and peanut butter sandwiches. The snow was wet and heavy mixed with rain and the winds were whipping. Trees and power lines were down. As we prepared to go to sleep for the evening, we bundled up. It was 15 degrees F. outside and inside we had already dropped to 55 degrees F. We hunkered down for the night and the unknown.
After living in Southern California for most of my life, I became accustomed to days on end of abundant sunshine. You know the kind where where it is so intense that if you close your eyes, it warms your cheeks. It wasn’t until I moved to Cape Cod, that I realized that lack of sunshine had an effect on me. I noticed a pattern of turning blue and sad come winter, and I didn’t know why. I had heard of seasonal affect disorder, but never in my life did I think that I would suffer from it. But I did. Like clockwork, as soon as the summer skies grayed over, so did my mood. That was “before chickens” (BC). Since getting chickens, I haven’t felt this way for a number of years. Chicken therapy worked for my mild seasonal affect disorder and it might just work for you.
My family looks a lot like I had always imagined growing up. I have a husband, two kids, and a family dog. But, our family today is a little different than I had imagined twenty years ago. The difference? Our family includes a flock of feather babies! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that we added chickens to our family after we moved from California to the east coast. The flock has made such a difference to us every day – from our hobbies to our diets and our lifestyle.
Oh winter, how do I miss my gardens and hanging outside with my flock as they meander around me. Today, instead of feeling glum, I decided to make a miniature chicken garden. Actually, I got a bit carried away and made a few. Once I got started I could not help myself. As I planted up these sweet little gardens, I was envisioning being in my gardens with my own flock. I swear I could here these tiny little chickens carrying on, clucking as to which garden they wanted to explore.
I think during the holidays, I seem to find myself thinking about the blessings that I am fortunate to have. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes people happy. What makes me happy. I mean truly at the core. I’m not talking about the happiness that is fleeting, like when you buy a new outfit. I’m talking about the kind of happiness that lives in your heart and soul. What I am discovering is that despite being surrounded by “friends” on social media and interacting with them on a daily basis. Many people rarely touch on their loneliness and lack of belonging. I rarely talk about a dark time in my life. It was oh so long ago, but it was a time filled with self-discovery, mistakes, miracles, and the sense of belonging while on the brink of death.
Today I wanted to share with you the benefits that I have seen over the years in my flock by adding sea kelp to their diet. I originally started sporadically adding sea kelp to their diet years ago, when I first learned how my lobsterman friends, would set their traps out in the yard for their flocks of chickens to clean. The chickens would go nuts for all the seaweed attached to the cages. They made fast work and within no time they would clean the traps, leaving no traces behind. It got me thinking, what were the chickens getting from the sea anyway?