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.
We’ve all been there, enticed to take a peek into the peeping bins and tubs of day old chicks at the feed stores. They are so irresistible and sweet. Watching them is so entertaining and fun. I could spend hours observing their antics and interactions. One of the toughest decisions that I usually have is how do I chose which ones to take home? Selecting chicks can sometimes be an overwhelming process. Picking the healthiest and strong chicks is not difficult if you know what to ask and what to look for.
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.
When the baby chicks were little, I could not believe the amount of dust that they generated. I had no idea why and initially chalked it up to the brooder’s bedding. However, I noticed that as they grew in size so did the dust. I was still using the same amount of pine shavings in the brooder for bedding, so why more dust? It surely could not be solely from the pine shavings and I was right. It was from the chickens themselves. The majority of the dust was coming from them.
Keeping a flock of backyard chickens while raising children is, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful things that you can do as a family. Kids and chickens go hand in hand. From the fresh eggs to life’s lessons, I don’t think that you can chose a better pet. Did I mention that they also make you breakfast? Today, I thought I ‘d share some tips for those of you getting started with a family flock. Keeping chickens with kids is an amazing adventure.
A few years ago, I think I shocked, surprised and even led some people to deem me a bit of a crazy chicken lady, when I decided to share that I could indeed understand and speak “chicken”. When I first wrote about it in 2011, it caused quite a bit of interest. NPR came to visit and even recorded me speaking to my flock. Over the years, I have gone on to continue sharing my non-scientific findings from an uncontrolled environment on my blog and in my first book. I dedicated pages to the art of speaking chicken in an effort to teach kids that listening is just as important as speaking. I also offered translations into what might be their first attempts at understanding “chicken”. I have discovered how chickens say goodnight, interpreted sounds from the brooder, discovered greetings, warning calls and rooster vocalizations. I guess you could say that since 2010 I have been listening, but apparently not closely enough. A few weeks ago, before I left to Washington, D.C., I realized that my flock has given me a chicken name.
Sarah Hudock is the creative chicken genius behind Chicken Art. I first met Sarah almost four years ago when she donated beautiful chicken prints for Hug a Chicken Day. We were kindred chicken spirits from the beginning and I have just loved watching her grow to be one of the most talented chicken artists. Lucky us! Sarah designs and hand paints feather by feather these and many beautiful creations from her studio located in the Vermont countryside. Today I’ve got an amazing giveaway from Chicken Art just for you.
Motherhood is fleeting.
It’s exhausting, rewarding, and filled with many moments of pride. From the moment little ones are welcomed into the world and take their first breaths, we are there with them every step of the way. We nuzzle them. Take them under our wings. Feed them and nourish them. We teach them to explore, how to be brave and make life-long friends. Some days we go on adventures to new places and we always remember to tuck them in at night. We give them baths and teach them to bathe on their own. We straighten them out when they are out of line. We love them even through their awkward “teenage” years and watch them grow into mature young adults. Soon enough, we’ve done our job and it’s time to let them flee the nest to make a life of their own, carrying so many lessons we have shared with them along the way.
Chick season is upon us. This is such an exciting time of the year. It can also be one of the saddest too. Unfortunately, sometimes chicks suffer from various vitamin deficiencies that can lead to their demise. Vitamin deficiencies are easy to prevent and if caught quickly, treatable. They are also not contagious, so there is no need to isolate the affected chick. Often if chicks or chickens are showing signs of vitamin deficiencies and treatment is started, symptom improvement can be seen in a couple of days.