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in Blog, Farmlife

Lighting for Small-Scale Flocks

Developed by Robert Hawes, Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Maine.  Reviewed by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Professor, University of Maine.  It is well known that light intensity and the length of the daily light period will influence growth rate and reproduction in poultry flocks. The first person credited with using a systematic lighting pattern for laying hens was E. C. Waldorf, a medical doctor from Buffalo, New York. The year was 1889, and Dr. Waldorf’s claim that his birds averaged ten eggs per week under artificial lights probably did much to create an interest in this new…

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in Blog, Chickens, Livestock, Poultry

Why Did My Chickens Stop Laying?

By Dr. J. C. Hermes  Extension Poultry Specialist, Oregon State University  Egg production is a remarkable thing. A pullet (young female chicken) begins laying eggs at 18 to 20 weeks of age. She reaches peak production at about 35 weeks, with a production rate greater than 90 percent (that’s 9 eggs in 10 days for a single hen or 9 eggs from 10 birds daily). This period of peak production lasts about 10 weeks, after which her egg production slowly begins to decline. A high-producing hen’s annual egg production is more than 10 times her body weight. The average commercial…

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in Blog, Natural Health

Tell USDA to Keep Apples GMO-free

Submit Comments by Monday, December 16 The biotech industry keeps promising to solve major problems, from world hunger to malnutrition. Instead, they’ve given us herbicide-resistant and pesticide-producing crops, increasing Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals. What’s the latest genetically engineered crop that’s heading for your plate?  Apples that never turn brown. Like all genetically engineered crops, these new apples have not been proven safe for human consumption. Even worse, they use a troubling new genetic engineering technique, RNA interference. A 2012 Cell Research study indicated that ingesting RNA material from certain plant-based foods can have unexpected effects in mammals.   Humans should not have…

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in Blog, Recipes

Hot Fudge Recipe

This is so easy to make!  I don’t know why we ever bought it.  From Land o Lakes. 1/2 cup butter 1 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk Combine all sauce ingredients in 2-quart nonstick saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until butter and chips are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in flavor variation from below, if desired. Pour into jars or other airtight containers for gift giving. Store refrigerated. Reheat as needed. Variations: Malt: Stir in 3 tablespoons malt powder. Orange: Stir in 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or…

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in Blog, Farmlife, Farmstay

10 tips for exploring the farm safely on a farm days out with the kids

There are few better ways to spend a day as a family than to spend a day at the farm petting animals, collecting eggs, milking goats and exploring nature. We all get a healthy dose of fresh air, build muscles as we run around trying to catch a chicken, and slow down our pace of life by listening to the sound of sheep baa’ing and pig oinking.  It’s nature’s therapy.     Before you pack the kids into the car excited about seeing a duck. Here are a few tips for exploring the farm with kids: 1) If it’s a…

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in Blog, Uncategorized

Worm Farm Secrets and other Free ebooks

Free Worm Farm Secrets getting the basics right for success by Milne Stuart (Aug 2, 2013) – Kindle eBook $0.00 Kindle Purchase A Beginners Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening: Introduction to Composting, Worm Farming, No Dig Raised & Wicking… by Mel Jeffreys (Jan 21, 2013) – Kindle eBook $0.00 Kindle Purchase   Backyard Chickens: The Beginner’s Guide to Raising and Caring for Backyard Chickens (Homesteading Life) by Rashelle Johnson (Mar 18, 2013) – Kindle eBook $7.97 Print Price $0.00 Kindle Purchase Cheap Basics of Chicken Care [Article] by Sierra Angell (Dec 18, 2012) – Kindle eBook $0.99 Kindle Edition Worth the price Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food,…

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in Blog, Farmstay, Uncategorized

Great 2014 California Holiday family destination: The Mojave Desert

Choose the right destination and you and your family could have the best holiday of your life. Trying to decide where to go and what to do while at the ranch besides playing with the animals? If you can’t decide where to go on your 2014 California family holiday at Flip FlopRanch, read on to make sure you all enjoy the break you deserve. PHOTO REGIONS DESCRIPTION Deserts Highs and Lows: Furnace Creek to Anza Borrego Travel from the lowest spot in North America to pine-topped peaks on an epic desert drive. Trip len…   more… Deserts, High Sierra Take…

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in Blog, Chickens, Livestock, Natural Health, Poultry, Uncategorized

Caged chicken vs. Free range chicken vs. Pastured chicken

Ali asks: “Can you explain the difference between Cage free, free range, and pasture raised chicken and eggs?” Unfortunately, the truth is that there are many conventional farmers manufacturers who are very unethical and are working the system to get what they want.  While the “spirit” of the various labels are promoted, the laws are very loose and provide loopholes for getting around the labels.  Also, note that any of these can be “organic.” Conventionally-raised chickens To start this explanation, it’s best to compare it to the conventionally-raised laying hen, i.e. the most common method for producing the grocery-store egg.  Conventional hens…

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in Blog, Farmlife

Why should I learn to farm?

Why should you learn to farm?  First let’s define farming.  When most people think of a farm, they envision thousands of acres of corn or wheat.  Even a small farmer with 50 acres is big in the typical people’s minds.  But there are also micro farmers which basically means tiny farmer. We believe that anyone who raises their own food is a farmer.  If you are growing a Basil on your kitchen counter or if you have a couple hens in your backyard, you are micro farming.  You are becoming self-sufficient.  Our definition of a farmer also includes a homesteader….

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