How to Freeze Eggs

The winter of 2013/2014 was our first snowy season as chicken owners. I say was with a small amount of sarcasm since the snow just doesn’t seem to want to let go. (The three-foot-deep mounds in our backyard have melted to nothing in some places, but every few days it snows it again. Meanwhile Easter is only weeks away…) We were prepared for a reduction in egg production and made a plan for getting as many winter eggs as possible […]

Chicken Breeds I’d Like to Own

Wish List Wednesday | Chicken Breeds I’d Like to Own Welcome to another Wish List Wednesday! Though most of us are stuck in a deep freeze, this is the season to be thinking about little baby chickens arriving in time for spring. (Learn more about the how-to’s and benefits of backyard chickens here.) Because it’s chick-shopping season, this month’s Wish List Wednesday is focused on chicken breeds I’d love to own. Blue Orpington Blue orpingtons are as docile and friendly […]

Winter Egg Update

In mid-November I shared that our hens had stopped laying eggs completely due to molting, cold weather and minimal daylight hours. Though chickens can and will lay occasional eggs during cold, dark winter days, we decided not to endure an entire winter of feeding chickens who aren’t ‘giving back’ (or the shame of buying eggs at the grocery store)! After research and input form other homesteaders, we settled on the following plan: Add artificial light in the early morning hours […]

Holiday Henhouse

This is our first winter with chickens. As I was putting up the Christmas decorations this year I thought it would be fun to spread some yuletide cheer to the chicken coop. It’s nothing extravagant, but it makes me feel extra Christmas-y every morning when it’s time to feed the hens and gather the eggs. The coop looks especially neat in the early hours of the morning when our red heat light is still on. (The lamp is currently on […]

2013 Farmer’s Report

At the beginning of this month I delivered the final round of produce for our 2013 season. Now that the season has ended, it’s time for me to provide you with our second annual Farmer’s Report. The annual Farmer’s Report is an exercise that helps me analyze what went well, what went wrong and – most importantly – what I’ve learned so that I can apply those lessons to improving subsequent seasons. It’s also a great way for me to […]

Clipping Chicken Wings

Last week I shared that we’re one step closer to bona fide chicken paddocks at Arcadia Farms. Our paddocks are enclosed with four foot tall chain link fencing. Despite being a heavy breed (Isa Reds), our hens demonstrated several times that they had no qualms about flying up to and then out of our fences. Bad news… Our solution? We clipped their wings. One wing per bird. That way, if a hen tries to fly, she’ll be off balance and […]

Chicken Paddocks Update #1

Back in April we brought you Chicken Week to celebrate our hen’s introduction to the wild backyard. At that time, I wrote a post about pastured poultry in paddocks. Here’s a quick summary: There are many methods for raising chickens, including the typical coop and run. Of all the options (I discussed five in my original post) we decided to go with pastured poultry in paddocks. In this system, chickens rotate through several paddocks planted with food chickens can self-harvest […]

Spring 2013 Video Update

Despite the fact that I’ve been planting tons of seeds, the garden still looks a little barren. For this week I wanted to give you a video tour of what the farm looks like this spring. It’s not very glamorous right now (especially because I nee to do some picking up and mowing!) but in high summer it is going to be wonderful! Here’s a little peek into what the farm looks like today and what we’ve been up to […]

Our DIY Chicken Coop from Scrap Materials

  Chicken Week ended many days ago. All the same, there’s one mildly important feature in our chicken raising plans that I have yet to share with you: Our chicken coop. Why the delay? Well… in short, the coop wasn’t done when I expected it to be. It was scheduled to be completed at the beginning of Chicken Week… and then at the end of Chicken Week… and then… well, the coop was ready early the following week. That’s how […]

Pastured Poultry in Paddocks

Though the iconic mental picture most of us get when it comes to raising chickens is the standard coop and run, there are many methods for raising chickens. Here’s a quick overview of your options: Coop and Run. A dwelling for the chickens with an attached, enclosed cage allowing the birds some outdoor space. Chicken Tractor. A small but moveable pen which is rotated around a pasture, usually every week. Truly Free Range. Allowing birds to find their own food, […]