Hello friends and Happy Chick Days! This spring, I wanted to celebrate you! Thank you so much for all of your support, fun and friendship over the years and thank you too for your supporting my newest book, How to Speak Chicken. Earlier this year, I thought to myself, why can’t I reach out to some of my favorite chicken keeping companies and see if we can do a chicken coop giveaway and tons of goodies to one of my followers to celebrate the new book?! Well, they said yes! I am so thrilled that I have been able to partner with some of the very best chicken product companies that I have gotten to know over the years. I cannot contain my excitement to announce one of the biggest chicken coop giveaway prize packages that I have ever seen. One lucky winner will be awarded everything below valued at over $1400.00!
It is in the news again and I suspect that as the popularity of keeping backyard chickens continues to rise, so will the cases of salmonella. I haven’t really chimed in on this topic, so I think it is time. I also think that it is very important not to leave our common sense at the door, when reading the articles that are filling up the headlines. As I write this, it is chick days. New chicken keepers are going to be embarking on this amazing adventures and others will be adding to their flocks, because chicken keeping is so much fun! Here’s what you want to know.
I think one of the most wonderful things about visiting the Magnolia Silos has to be a stop at the Silos Baking Co. Did you know that the bakery was originally called Magnolia Flour? The very bakery that was featured on an episode of Fixer Upper, is still delighting guests. Lines typically form and wrap around the building. If you know what to expect, it’s actually a system that is pretty efficient. The experience of course, is so gorgeous. I wish we could linger in this small space. It smells so good. Think sugar, butter and cupcakes!
This week I was down with the flu. I guess I kind of knew that it would only be a matter of time. It seems so inevitable working among ill patients. I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2 weeks in bed. At first, lying there wishing that this would all just go away and then simply too weak to care for the chickens, the dog and even the family. Still now as I type this I still feel weak. Yet, time is marching on, the first few signs of spring are arriving and I’ve got some exciting happenings.
I spent half of 2015 and most of 2016 writing, How to Speak Chicken. It was a labor of love and something that I felt needed to reach the backyard chicken community. During my research, one of the many scientists that impressed me was psychology professor, Dr. Evans. A leading poultry researcher, he dedicated his life to decoding chickens. Like me, he too wanted to know exactly it was that made them tick and he made some pretty amazing discoveries. Sadly, Dr. Evans passed away in 2011 quite prematurely, from what I understand was a motor neuron disease. A man who had dedicated his life to communication lost his ability to speak due to the progression of his disease.
Last weekend, I made the annual trek, about two and half hours from home, to the Northeast Poultry Congress. I absolutely love to go to this event held each January. Last year, I was allowed to have a table to sell books and this year, I was able to bring my new book How to Speak Chicken and share it with fellow poultry lovers. If you haven’t been to a poultry show, I must share that you should put it on your list of things to do. Poultry shows are family-friendly and allow you to see new breeds and meet people who are passionate about their birds.
Good morning friends! I hope you have had a fabulous week! I’m having fun doing interviews for my new book, How to Speak Chicken. It’s been super fun and awesome to connect with so many people around the country. This week, two of those interviews went online. I had the privilege of chatting about the chickens with Mindy Todd from my local NPR radio station. She came to the house and even got to meet the girls.
Backyard chickens are exciting, super fun and entertaining. We have loved having chickens in our backyard for almost the past decade. Over the years, we have gone through a few chicken coops. Does that surprise you? Sadly, this happens to quite a few folks due to things like chicken math, wish lists, what’s working, what’s not working and quality of the construction. It’s kind of the norm for most chicken keepers, but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to keeping chickens, the chicken coop is the most costly part of the hobby. From building your own chicken coop to purchasing one ready to assemble or even assembled online, here are some tips and common pitfalls to avoid and help you to get your design right the first time.
Fall has arrived at Tilly’s Nest. We never really had a moment to warm up after spring. Cape Cod had a cool and wet summer. We were all waiting for beach weather and it really didn’t show up. This happened a few years ago too. I guess things are cyclical. This past week cooler temperatures have ushered in. It seems to be the circle of life. We said goodbye to a dear Uncle who was battling an illness for a long time and now the leaves are keeping us occupied on the weekends. It’s a labor of love. I seem to have a love-hate relationship with the beauty of fall and the daunting amount of leaves that seem to return as soon as they are raked up from the gardens.
Chickens love to be outside. They get a thrill from free-ranging in the yard and garden. They love to explore, scratch in the grass and hide under large plantings for afternoon naps. However, sometimes it is not feasible for the chicken to be allowed to roam freely where they want to go. The reasons are many, including when you are not home or on vacation, poor weather conditions, and nearby predators. It is always a good idea to have a safe run enclosure for the chickens attached to their chicken coop even if they don’t use it very often. When considering design, one of the most important things that you want to think about is how to predator proof the run. Here are some of the things I did when I designed my chicken coop and run.