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in Blog, Chickens, Livestock, Poultry

26 Sounds that Chickens Make and What they MeanFeatured

Written by Gail Damerow of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens Chicken Talk 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. Baby Talk Pleasure peep-A soft, irregular chirp that says “I’m here and all is well.” Pleasure trill-A soft warbling sound often used when…

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in Blog, Farming, Farmlife

Why I’ve quit farming

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…

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in Blog, Farming, Farmlife

Ever wanted to live like a farmer in Ireland?

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…

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in Blog, Farmlife, Goats, Livestock

A New Baby Goat

  Babies!!! 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 trip?  I can only imagine what the…

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in Blog, Farming, Farmlife

Farming and Contentment

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…

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in Blog, Geese, Livestock

2015 Cotton Patch goslings are here!

There is no happier day on Flip Flop Ranch for me than when the cotton patch goslings hatch.  This year started good with a nice amount of eggs in the incubator week 1 and so far has continued good with many pipped eggs. As of right now, three goslings are out of their eggs and every single one is healthy. It has been a struggle over the years for us to get the hang of hatching goslings.  It’s nothing like hatching chicks which is basically just toss the eggs in and let the incubator run.  Goslings are sensitive and need…

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in Livestock, Sheep

What you don’t know about your pregnant sheep may kill it

Twin Lamb Disease Last night one of our sheep refused to stand up.  This is a big deal with sheep and indicates something is very wrong.  Worse, the saying that a sick sheep is a dead sheep is very true.  A quick look told us this was one of our very pregnant ewes and a quick feel told us that she had lost significant weight recently.  Unlike the other livestock, it is too easy for a sheep to lose weight without any notice.  Their puffy wool makes even the skinniest animal look fat and without feeling through the wool, you…

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Prepping, Sheep

Winter is Coming-8 Tips for preparing your farm for winter

This past storm that blew into the desert may have come and gone, but  we can be sure another one is coming with even colder temperatures.  It’s easy for us desert rats to forget how harsh the winters here are after the extreme heat and sunshine of the summer.  Sure it’s not a Vermont winter, but it can still be tough on both farmer and farm animal. Batten down the hatches While ‘batten down the hatches’ is an old shipman’s phrase referring to covering grated openings in the ship’s deck (hatches) with a tarp secured by wooden strips (battens) to…

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in Blog, Farming, Natural Health

Health and modern farming

While obesity is on the rise, ironically so is malnourishment. It is strange how such well fed people can be lacking in basic vitamins and minerals. This malnourishment is contributing to issues as severe as cancer or to the daily misery of chronic fatigue syndrome. We all know that the modern diet of most Americans is unhealthy. In fact, the average American is deficient in at least three vital nutrients. Data on American eating habits show that we prefer a one item meal, already prepared. Vegetables are side dishes and Americans don’t have time for something so superfluous.  In just…

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in Blog, Chickens, Food Preservation, Livestock, Poultry, Prepping, Published in Daily Press

How you should store your eggs

I lived in Ireland for a few years and one of the things that shocked me the most was going to the grocery store and seeing unrefrigerated eggs sitting on the shelf. I thought it was almost barbaric and I couldn’t imagine how many people got sick from such a backwards practice. Now I know better. Salmonella on My Eggs Although I didn’t know at the time, salmonella was what I worried about when I saw these grocery store shelf eggs.  Salmonella is almost ubiquitous in eggs.  It is a bacteria that comes from chicken feces and can make us…

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