Month : September 2012


Giveaway: Grand Opening Celebration

One thing that has always been important to me with my flock is feeding them as I do my family, organically.  For many reasons, we have chosen to go organic and three years ago, I wondered if there was a company out there that believed in similar values.  To my surprise and happiness, I discovered Treats for Chickens!  Long before they were a sponsor of ours, I religiously placed my orders for treats, supplies and the like; trying every product they carried.  Fast forward to today.  I am happy to celebrate with them as they open their very first retail store!

The first TWO customers to enter their new retail store located at 606 Portal St., Cotati, CA 94931 and tell them “Tilly Sent Me.” during their grand opening celebration between 11:30am and 1 pm will receive a free bag of Worms and Harvest Flakes!  There will also be free giveaways and prizes as well as 25% off your entire purchase on that day in the store.

If you live too far away like me, don’t fret! We can still celebrate!  From now until midnight PST- September 30, 2012 you will receive 25% off your entire order and you can also enter below to win this amazing giveaway prize pack valued at almost $40!  Enter Tilly25 at checkout.

This awesome giveaway is for three of my very favorite products!

~Organic Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (2 pound bag)- I have yet to find organic food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) anywhere else, but maybe that could be because I have never looked any further.     Treats For Chicken’s DE is reasonable priced and the quality is top notch.  I have never purchased my DE from anywhere else.  I use the DE when I clean out the coop.  I also add 2% volume to their food supply.

~A Pest Pistol–  This tool is amazing!  Fill it with food grade DE and blast the DE into all of your coop’s nooks and crannies without any need for a ladder.  It is important to not only treat your nesting boxes, roosts and coop floor with DE but also the nooks and crannies of the ceiling.  Mites and other insects can lurk there.  With a blast of DE, from the Pest Pistol, you can be sure that you are treating every inch of your coop for predatory bugs. Be careful to cover your nose and mouth and avoid inhalation when applying DE, long term chronic inhalation  can lead to silicosis.

~Nesting Box Blend (4oz bag)- Treats for Chicken is the ORIGINAL company to develop aromatherapy for chickens with their blend of dried herbs and flowers for chickens.  After I clean the coop and add DE, I sprinkle about a tablespoon of nesting box blend into each nesting box.  It is wonderful and helps to make the egg laying process less stressful.  The aroma is delightful and I swear that everyone lays an egg on the days when I clean out the coop!

Here is How to Enter:
You can earn up to three entries.

1.  Follow our Blog (1 entry) see the right hand column for options.

2.  Follow us on Facebook. (1 entry)

3.  Follow Treats for Chicken on Facebook.  Tell them “Tilly says congratulations!” (1 entry)

4.  Leave a comment on this blog telling me which of 1-3 you did.  Be sure to leave an email address so I can notify the winner.

One entry per person.  One winner will be randomly selected from the comments left on this post. Only comments left on this post are eligible   Items ship to US address only.  
Giveaway ends on October 4, 2012-midnight EST.


This post is linked up to Deborah Jeans Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop.

 Comments on this blog post have been closed, as to protect the entrants’ email from spammers.  

Photo Credit:  Treats for Chickens

Findings Gardening

Monarch Butterflies on Cape Cod

Here at Tilly’s Nest this week we have been graced by the annual visit of Monarch butterflies on their way to Mexico for the winter. Every year around this time, they flit from blossom to blossom.  Sometimes, I mistake them for the falling leaves at first, and then I notice that they are infatuated with the plantings that I have grown in my yard specifically for butterflies and hummingbirds.  It has paid off, this year the butterflies were abundant.






Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Bully Hen

bully hen Dottie Speckles

On a regular trip to the feed store over a year ago, I fell in love.  Of course, I entered the feed store with blinders on.  It was Spring.  Signs of new life were everywhere.  The leaf buds on the trees were bursting open.  The air was fresh and clean, charged with new life.  New little chicks filled the temporary brooders.  I had guessed it wouldn’t hurt to hold just one of the Silver Laced Wyandottes.  As I held her and shopped she feel asleep in my warm hands.  I stalled.  I looked at waterers, feeders, supplements, treats, wound care, antibiotics, everything to delay the inevitable of returning her to the brooder.  It was clear, I was going home with a new chick.  I would add her to the flock of little freshly hatched Silkies in my brooder in the garage.  And so it went. I placed her in among her new brothers and sisters and her surrogate mother, Dolly, and watched as the family grew.  Rather instantaneously they got along famously.

Chickens Eggs Health Issues

10 Reasons for Decline in Backyard Chicken Egg Production

A decline or stop laying eggs is common in chickens for a number of reasons.

The girls are now in the full swing on molting. Tilly molted first.  Finally I am proud to say that both her tail feathers and her eggs have returned. She looked so funny while she waited for those tail  feathers to grow back. Oyster Cracker, on the other hand, never seems to escape with a light molt. She is a heavy molter. Starting with the head and ending with the tail, Oyster Cracker is now molting on her chest and wings. Prickly pin feathers are emerging from her neck. The poor girl is a mess. Of course, with  molting the eggs are less. Molting and egg making require protein. The eggs decline as the chickens use up their protein stores to make feathers and sometimes chickens will even stop laying eggs.  But did you know that in addition to molting each Autumn, there are other conditions that can make chickens’ egg laying decline or stop laying eggs at various times of the year?

Main Dishes Recipes

Mexican Stacked Lasagna

Sometimes, we are so cramped for time and often, if you are like me, you do not want a huge clean-up after dinner.  Cooler days are here and I don’t mind turning on the oven.  Another easy, family favorite is my Mexican stacked lasagna.  My kids think it is delicious and I am happy to provide them with a meal that has protein, starch, vegetables and dairy.

Chickens Coop Care DIY Projects

Outsmarting the Chickens at the Feeder

Sunshine, the culprit

If your chickens are like mine, they enjoy eating.  As we have a smaller coop, I use the Little Giant 3 pound hanging feeder for the girls.  It fits great in the coop and I only have to fill it every couple of days or so, that is when the girls are behaving.  The chickens enjoy “scratching” around in the feeder as they sort out and pick the best morsel to eat, even though all of them look identical to me. When the girls scratch around, they inevitably scratch some of the food right out of the feeder.  To minimize spillage and waste I did a few things.

Beekeeping Bees Hive Maintainance

Robbers and Invaders

Eggplant, cardoon, basil and tomatoes thrive near the hives.

My nine year old son decided to title this post.  You see, I had a heck of a time with the bees yesterday!  It had been a while since I had entered my hives as I was just letting the bees do “their thing”.   During the summer they forage and work hard, but come fall, it’s time to do an inspection and see that their summer has paid off and also to help them where they need it to survive the Winter. It was also time to check for bee pests that propagated during the warm season.

Recipes Sides

Canning Pickles and Kimchi

 I had a “pickle” of a time finding canning jars.  I drove to at least three different stores here on Cape Cod without any luck.  Finally, on the fourth store I had luck except they only had smaller pint size jars instead of the quart size that I was needed.  So, I picked those up and just made smaller batches.


Giveaway: Randall Burkey Prize Pack

Randall Burkey has been in the chicken business for over
sixty years.  I consider them one of our
country’s pioneers in helping thousands of people keep flocks of chickens.  We are so lucky to have them as one of our
sponsors. One of my favorite things to get in the mail is their catalog.  I just love looking through it and marking
off all the items on my wish list.  Today
we are kicking off a prize pack of three fabulous items from Randall Burkey
that include a bag of Mealworm Frenzy, a bottle of Happy Hen Coop Cleaner and Sunflower Sensation.
Mealworm Frenzy contains freeze dried meal worms that your
chickens will love.  If you are trying to
train your chickens to eat out of your hand or entice them to come close to
you, look no further.  These will help to
do just that.  Plus they are a great
source of protein that will help your flock get through their fall molt
I also am a huge fan of their Happy Hen Coop Cleaner.  It has a wonderful citrus fragrance and
tackles everything from caked on poopy to shining up your windows.  I use it to clean everything including the roosts,
walls, egg baskets and the coop floor.  I
love that it is all natural and biodegradable!
Sunflower Sensation is another wonderful “trail
mix” just for chickens.  It includes
sunflower seeds, sunflower kernels, oats, oat groats, peanuts and raisins.  What a wonderful way to spoil your chickens!
Here is how you can enter to win this prize pack!
1. Visit Randall Burkey’s website and tell me what you would put on your wish list. (1 entry)
2. Become a follower on our blog (see right side column for options) or on  Facebook. (1 entry)
3.  Leave a comment below just to enter (1 entry-mandatory).  If you did #1 or #2 let me know that too!  Please leave an email address or way to contact you so I can let you know if you win.
Good Luck!

One winner will be randomly selected to win all three items.
1 entry per person. Contest ends 9/14/12 at 12 midnight EST
Item to ship to US address only.  

Photo Credit: Randall Burkey