Written by Gail Damerow of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
Researchers have shown that there are at least 24 different sounds chickens make and maybe as many as 30. While chickens don’t have nearly the vocabulary that us humans have, and their chicken brains don’t allow for abstract and deep conversations, they are still a very vocal and conversational critter. And if you pay attention, you can learn to understand and speak their language too.
Pleasure peep-A soft, irregular chirp that says “I’m here and all is well.”
Pleasure trill-A soft warbling sound often used when settling down for a nap that says “Life is good.”
Distress Read More
The current (and hopefully long lasting) trend towards farming is part of the movement towards contentment searching in our society. Despite our material wealth, or perhaps because of it, Americans are a very discontent society. We are searching for a sense of purpose and happiness. Many of us have looked at the last few generation’s pursuit of material wealth and seen that it didn’t bring happiness. We have instead given up on wealth as a goal and have begun to look at the quality of our life and simplification as a way to bring this contentment. A very efficient way Read More
I have been struggling the past few years to have a farm and I and my family recently came to the conclusion that we don’t want a farm. We want a homestead.
What’s wrong with farming?
A farm is centered around production. You are trying to build an agricultural empire (of whatever size) where you are selling. Push push push. You have a product and it needs to go out, whether that product is beef, cheese, jelly or asparagus. Because it’s a business, you focus on what is the most profitable and you slash what isn’t. You try to get your numbers up, try to increase your stock, try to increase Read More
There is literally a pelican in my trunk.
I got a call from a friend this morning who informed me there was a pelican on the side of the road with a broken wing. She needed help because it was trying to bite her and of course this is the countryside and there were literally no cops or animal control within a half hour drive. I ofcourse rushed to help as I would for any injured animal, but a pelican? In the desert? I was pretty sure that she had mistaken the animal.
It was a white pelican tucked against a chain-link fence curled up in an impressive size ball Read More
Favorite Treats for Chickens
A lot of people want to know what do chickens eat? One thing is treats. Chickens absolutely love to eat treats–most treats. Some they don’t like, but more important, did you know that some treats are good for chickens and others can be dangerous?
For example, while chickens love potatoes, you should only provide them with cooked potatoes and for sure avoid any green peelings—just like for people.
- green beans
- celery leaves
- meal worms
- milk (especially clabbered milk)
- meat (cooked or not)
- the mouse you caught in a trap (not poisoned!)
Really just about anything! Chickens are omnivores meaning they eat meats, fruits and veggies. There’s very little chickens won’t eat.
Meat including chicken!!!
Okay Read More
Diversify, diversify, diversify. That’s all us small farmers are told to do. And really it’s great advice, but maybe it’s bad advice too?
Throughout the country, there are giant farms with thousands and thousands of acres of ONE crop. Thousands of acres of corn or wheat or soy bean or alfalfa or almonds or whatever. But it’s ONE crop by itself.
Monoculture farming is a bad word amongst sustainable farmers. When you only raise one crop or one livestock, you mess up the ecological cycle of animals Read More
This summer was fantastic. I spent nearly a month in Ireland touring around music festivals and of course….farms. How could I leave my own farm and not go to another one? Ok ok I’m obsessed.
I ended up on Inis Mor, the biggest of the three Aran Islands, where my friend and I took a horse cart tour. It was so much fun and so beautiful. Strangely enough I even got a sun burn. Who knew that was possible in Ireland?
The boat trip across was CRAZY choppy. I stopped recording when the swells reached about 20 ft
I really liked the Aran Islands, more Read More
When our Airbnb guest house flooded, the insurance unsurprisingly gave us peanuts to redo it. Hiring someone else would have left us with crappy flooring, crappy fixtures and a crappy laminate countertop. We of course decided to just redo the house ourselves and put in quality work.
To do it yourself or not do it yourself
One of the big expenses was the countertop, which we priced at thousands of dollars. I don’t believe I found anything for less than two grand. So of course I called up my big sister, Tashelle, and said I have an idea for countertops and I have no idea how to do it so Read More
A Visit to the Vet
Our poor puppy, Agatha, has had quite a tough life. She spent many weeks of her early life at the vet with a flu and now she’s back at the vet with possibly an autoimmune disease. She’s the sweetest dog ever, but that’s strange and worrisome in and of itself as bloodhounds tend to be little knuckleheads that slowly grow out of it into big knuckleheads. I say that fondly of course.
Finally the baby season has started. Usually we have babies running around as early as January, but this year it seems everyone wanted to wait until the weather warmed up a bit. The long awaited baby of last year’s most adorable baby, Aurora, has finally been born. She’s so cute and tiny I can barely stand it!
It was great timing too. A waldorf school teacher with an upcoming field trip came by for a tour and after seeing this adorable face, how could she not be super excited about the Read More