Barnyard

Why I Got Started Pullets Instead of Chicks This Time

by Daisy Barnyard

How do I decide when to get more chickens? Simple: When I don’t have enough eggs. Why did I decide to get 6 week old juvenile chickens this time? This spring we got angora rabbits, and while they are delightful, sweet, and produce soft fiber to spin, they don’t lay eggs. They did, however, preclude […]

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Cool Buns: Zeer Pot Platform

by Daisy Barnyard

English Angora rabbits in the US south–how does that work? I’m a new rabbit mom, having only adopted our bunnies this spring, so figuring out how to keep woolly critters comfortable in the heat has been an experimental effort this summer. They have an enclosed run so they can leave their hutch whenever they want […]

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Fodder Feeding for Chickens and Rabbits

by Daisy Barnyard

I don’t remember where I first heard about fodder feeding for livestock, but from the beginning it made good sense: sprout and begin to grow the grains you feed your animals before you feed it to them. It maximizes your feed dollars AND nutrition, a win/win. Of course, it’s not effortless, or everybody would be […]

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Worm Farm Basics

by Daisy Barnyard

Why would anyone want to raise worms? There are tons of worms everywhere already! Underneath the potted plants on the patio, below that cardboard box you left out on the driveway, every time you stick a shovel or a trowel in the dirt, worms! You want worms in the earth, right, improving the soil in […]

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Kids and Chickens

by Daisy Barnyard

  I know a lot of people are contemplating whether or not to get chickens these days, and one of the factors involved is often how will the children in the family react and interact with the new additions to the household. I thought I’d offer some thoughts on our experience and also get some […]

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Roll-Out Nesting Box

by Daisy Barnyard

Chicken Time-Out wasn’t much of a success. First, there’s the problem of having to catch an angry chicken first thing every morning. No amount of coffee can prepare me for that. Second, I think there may be another culprit. My smartypants Rhode Island Red laid an egg on the top shelf of the coop yesterday […]

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How To Kill a Fly

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

We love using our electric flyswatter.  That crack of electricity when you get one is such a satisfying sound.  However, there is a technique to catching those buggers.  This is a really short post, but it will change your life. 1.  Wait for the fly to land. 2.  Place edge of racket on surface, about […]

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Adventures in Hatching Eggs

by Daisy Barnyard

We have one hen, Idee, who goes broody at least twice a year.  That’s her, in the middle, with the floppy comb. Like many of her breed, Buff Orpington, she is a dedicated sitter of unfertilized eggs, or of nothing, usually, because we remove the eggs every day.  Week after week of concerted devotion to […]

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Feeding the Bees

by Daisy Barnyard

When checking inside my horizontal top bar hive the other day I found this, an empty comb.  Not sure what was going on, I showed the comb to my neighbor, an experienced beekeeper.  In his opinion, this showed that the bees seemed to be chowing down on their own honey, and that they probably could […]

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Bloom

by Daisy Barnyard

In discussions of what sets fresh eggs apart from their factory counterparts, you’ll likely hear the word “bloom.” What exactly is “bloom” and what is it for? In short, it’s a coating, courtesy of the hen herself, deposited on the outer surface of the shell, which helps protect the contents of the egg from contamination. […]

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How (Not) to Make a Goat Fence

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

Ivory’s Totally Secure Goat Fence 1.  Put up worthless chicken fence. 2.  Get sick of it and tear it down, vowing to put up a new one so the monsters won’t kill your garden and fruit trees. 3.  Fail. 4.  Borrow MIL’s boss’s brother’s manual transmission, diesel, 16-ft flatbed with a lift and drive 20 […]

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Protecting Chicks-n-Goats on Winter Nights

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

What do you do with them in the winter?  Do they come inside? NO! Here is the great thing about having farm animal pets.  They’re hardy! The chickens, you need to do nothing.  NOTHING!  They roost in my window sill or up in the bushes and puff themselves out and do just fine. The goats […]

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Backyard Chicken Neighborhood PR

by Daisy Barnyard

Information is good. It clears up misunderstandings, calms fears, and promotes harmony. I put together a pdf, a one-page handout for urban and suburban chickeners to give to their neighbors along with that goodwill basket of eggs/goodies: Printable Neighbor Handout It gives an overview of the reasons we love our birds and answers some of […]

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Backyard Chickens: 5 Things I Didn’t Know

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

Is that not one of the grossest things you’ve ever seen?  GOSH, molting is nasty looking.  And, all of them are molting at once, which means every morning it looks like a chicken exploded in my back yard.  The first time I thought one got eaten! Anyway, at over a 18 months of chicken ownership, […]

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Composting with Chickens

by Daisy Barnyard

My compost pile is located inside the chicken yard– part coincidence, part deliberate decision, and it’s been a good combo. The compost pile has always been beside the outbuilding which is now the chicken house. When I enclosed a space connected to the chicken house, I included the compost pile area and it’s naturally the […]

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5 Ways Goats Do Yardwork

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

I had no idea that if you didn’t give goats grain ‘feed’ every day–they’d mow!  (BTW, I’ve already gone back and changed the goat feeding post to reflect my corrected understanding…I’ve been wrong a lot lately, huh?)  Apparently, as long as there’s plenty of GREENERY around, they make do. Here’s the drill: 1.  They suck […]

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Top Bar Bee Hive

by Daisy Barnyard

I remember the family beehives from childhood– smoldering cotton sending puffs of smoke from granddad’s smoker, jars of comb submerged in amber, chewing the honeyed wax like gum. I always knew I wanted to continue the tradition but I thought living in a subdivision meant no bees for me. I was happy to learn I […]

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How to Buy Goat Bedding

by Daisy Barnyard

Goats don’t ask for much. A roof over their heads and some bedding on the ground. Unlike dogs, they feel no need to come in at night and sleep soundly until morning. For bedding, I suggest straw. Cheap, fluffy, and makes great mulch or compost after it’s all peed upon. However, you do need to […]

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How to Feed A Goat

by Daisy Barnyard

Before I get to the feeding part…Guess who gets to keep her goats???? ME! Feeding a goat in your yard requires two things: Fiber and Feed 1) FIBER–always available, never let them run out. Keep lots of hay (~$6 a bale, lasts long time) around to make sure they get enough fiber. However, if you […]

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Hay and Straw: What’s the Difference?

by Daisy Barnyard

On the left you have straw. On the right you have hay. Can you see it? Hay is greenish, dried grass. Straw is what’s left over once grain is harvested. One has plenty of nutrients, one doesn’t. There in lies the lesson. If you are FEEDING an animal, get hay. If you are mulching, making […]

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Make a Cheap, Quick Chick Fence

by Daisy Barnyard

Building a chicken fence seemed like a really big deal until I did it. Here’s the recipe: -Enough 4 or 5 foot “T” or “U” posts at Depot or Lowes to space them about five feet apart. (This is the pricey item.)-ton of long zip ties-50 or 100 foot roll of 4ft chicken wire, depending […]

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Nesting Box from a Pallet

by Daisy Barnyard

Overheard between Ivory and T.L.: T.L.: I’m making a nesting box out of that pallet I picked up in my neighbor’s garbage. Ivory: That’s cool. T.L.: It’s turning out kinda rough. Ivory: Do you think you can pretty it up any? T.L.: I dunno. It’s pretty hillbilly-looking. Do you think if I called it a […]

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Secrets of Raising Backyard Chickens

by Daisy Barnyard

Of all the animals I’ve ever owned (which really only covers dogs, rabbits, and fish), chickens are the easiest. All they ask is a house and something to eat and they give you eggs. However, there are a few things you should know before rushing out and buying your own little flock: 1. Chickens require […]

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Chicken Poo Primer

by Daisy Barnyard

There is one thing you need to be prepared for, if you want to raise chickens. POO! And lots of it! My chicks sit on top of the coop in warm weather, so all of the ‘contributions’ end up on the roof or collect at the base of the chicken wire. But in the winter…let’s […]

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How to Clip Chicken Wings

by Daisy Barnyard

My chicks….well, my chicks ESCAPE. I know this because my neighbors have come to me from time to time and said, “Hey, Ivory, there’s a chicken in my yard and I think it might be yours.” So, here you go… 1. This is a wing: 2. This is a wing that was already clipped, but […]

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How to Raise Backyard Laying Chickens

by Daisy Barnyard

Okay, now that I’ve done this for a while, I feel like I might have some things to say that would make it easier to get your own backyard chicken flock going. First, you need chickens. If you order them from McMurray, you can get vaccinated chicks that are one day old. Only thing is […]

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Protecting Young Chickens Outside

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

Housing baby chicks can be stressful and expensive.  So, TL and I use abandoned dog cages.  While the weather is cold, said cages are kept in the garage under a lamp (read: lamp with very energy inefficient bulb of any kind.) When the weather is warm, I recommend Ivory’s Baby Chicken Tractor! 1.  Turn dog […]

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