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Should You Free Range?

When it gets hot, I mean REALLY HOT out, it does your flock good to be able to get outside, take dust baths and stay in the shade.  Chickens will naturally seek cooler areas like bare soil and shade and the ability to do that in the yard can definitely help with their well being. If you are still trying to make a decision on whether your flock will be allowed a little free range time during the day, here is a few pros and cons to the highly debated decision. Pros of Free Ranging: Save money on chicken feed by allowing them to forage on their own for some of their food. Easy way to balance their nutrition with...

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Saturday's Recipes - Bacon and Egg Cups

Ingredients 4 bacon strips 4 large eggs 1/3 cup half-and-half cream 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2 green onions, chopped Directions 1. In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; keep warm. 2. In a small bowl, whisk 2 eggs, cream and pepper. Wrap 2 bacon strips around the inside edges of each of two 8-oz. ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray. 3. Sprinkle each with half of the cheese and onions. Divide egg mixture between ramekins. Break 1 of the remaining eggs into each ramekin. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and onion. Bake at 350° until eggs are completely set, 18-22 minutes.

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Sebright Bantam Breed Spotlight

We were gifted two little bantams when putting this years flock together.  I hadn't intended to go the bantam route, but I'm sooo glad that we did!  Originally named Girdy, our Sebright is definitely a rooster but he is the most comical of the bunch and will often answer my husband's rooster call with one of his own and perches on shoulders more often than any of the others. Named after creator Sir John Sebright in about 1800, the Sebright is one of England’s oldest bantam breeds. They are a true bantam, meaning there is no standard version of the breed. They are small even for a bantam—males weigh about 22 ounces. Sebrights are considered an ornamental breed. They do...

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Easter Eggers Breed Spotlight

A favorite in my flock are my Easter Eggers.   A relative of Ameraucanas and Araucanas, an Easter Egger is any chicken that possesses the blue egg gene, but doesn’t fully meet any breed standard defined by the American Poultry Association. This means that they are a hybrid, not a true breed of chicken. They can be any mix of breeds, with one parent carrying the blue egg gene. What makes EE’s great is that they can lay a rainbow of egg colors! Hens can lay any hue of blue or brown, or combination of the two (check out Olive Eggers!). However, each hen will only lay one egg color in her lifetime. They are also bred to lay lots of...

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Coop Considerations: Roosting Bars

One of the items of most debate in our new coop has been the roosting bar. Are they necessary?  What should they be made from?  What should they look like? Chickens prefer to sleep up off of the ground.  They are very heavy sleepers and being up higher makes them feel safer.  Allowing them to sleep on the floor exposes them to predators along with bacteria and parasites such as mites and lice.   There are a few things that you will want to take into consideration when designing your coop/roost area. You can use several different materials for a roost.  Anything from sturdy branches, ladders or boards.  You will want your roost to be at least 2" wide with the...

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