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Chickens

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in Blog, Chickens, Livestock, Poultry

26 Sounds that Chickens Make and What they MeanFeatured

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 settling down for a nap that says “Life is good.”…

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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, Chickens, Livestock, Poultry, Published in Daily Press

Why you should raise chickens

Chickens are usually the first livestock the aspiring farmer purchases and if you don’t have any of these fluffy critters running around your yard, you should really consider it. Here at Flip Flop Ranch, we have a few hundred of them, but our start in farming began with only one. Betty was a Frizzle with curly feathers. She was raised in a cage on my bathroom counter, wore diapers around the house and pecked at the door to go in and out. I remember being so proud when she laid her first egg…on the dining room floor. Chickens make great…

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Poultry

Dog Attack (Graphic…sort of)

There was snow on the ground today and I was so happy.  But then I got out to the chicken coop.  There were dead chickens everywhere.  Dogs had got in, even after we chickenwired the bottom of the fence to keep everyone safe.  They decimated our Dorking flock.  After all these years of working to breed chickens touch enough to withstand the desert extremes and to build a flock big enough to really start selling chicks… To say that I’m discouraged is an understatement.  I was already discouraged because we’re having such a hard time dealing with permitting issues for…

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Poultry

New Dorking Chicks

Our first dorkings of the year are chirping merrily away in their brooder.  Almost all of them hatched on their own with absolutely no help which is the way I like it.  About five chicks needed help.  These stragglers took so long to get out of their eggs that the egg membrane died and stuck to them making it impossible for them to move. Dorking stragglers It’s very easy to help a chick hatch.  You just gently break the egg shell and remove it bit by bit.  I put warm water on the dried membrane and rub it until it…

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in Blog, Farming

Suet-Why didn't I know this?

My favorite blog, Fresh Eggs Daily posted an article today about making homemade suet for your chickens.  I’ve vaguely heard of Suet, but never really paid attention to it and basically just thought it was a “treat” for chickens who are pets and spoiled by their owners.  But suet is not just for pampered chickens!  Or at least all chickens should be pampered in this way. Suet, if you didn’t know like I didn’t, is just raw beef or sheep fat (or I suppose it could probably be fat from another animal too).  It can be used for making candles or even…

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Poultry

Suet-Why didn’t I know this?

My favorite blog, Fresh Eggs Daily posted an article today about making homemade suet for your chickens.  I’ve vaguely heard of Suet, but never really paid attention to it and basically just thought it was a “treat” for chickens who are pets and spoiled by their owners.  But suet is not just for pampered chickens!  Or at least all chickens should be pampered in this way. Suet, if you didn’t know like I didn’t, is just raw beef or sheep fat (or I suppose it could probably be fat from another animal too).  It can be used for making candles or even…

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in Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Poultry

Sanitizing incubator and eggs

The chickens are finally laying well now that the days are lengthening again and the geese are starting to court each other.  Spring is on the way!  And that means one thing.  Babies!!! The best part of farm life is the babies.  Baby chickens and baby geese and adorable little baby ducks and baby goats and baby pigs and even baby wild animals like quail and Killdeer.  I can’t wait to see baby killdeer even if they ARE shorebirds that aren’t supposed to be in the desert.  How much cuter can a baby get? Anyhow, we have the incubator turned…

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Poultry

The Deep Litter Method

I’ve found some good material from the first people to research and promote deep litter, Kennard and Chamberlin at the Ohio Experiment Station. The following is an article of theirs from the Golden Age of deep litter, published in 1949. For the impatient, here’s a deep-litter quickstart: Deep litter is not about compost. It’s about healthier chickens. Do your serious composting on a compost pile. More is better. It’s not deep litter unless it’s at least six inches deep. If the top of the litter gets caked over with manure, skim off the caked part and toss it into a…

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