Beginner Barn

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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Guess What? Chicken Butt!

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

You know how some people say to “leave it on the field” or “leave it on the dance floor?”  My chicken left it “in the yard.”  Her chicken butt, that is. If you’ve never been awakened by a screaming 13 yr old at 5:30 AM, “There’s a fox in the yard chasing the chickens!” You […]

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What A Face

by Daisy Barnyard

We brought the buns home last night. They’re getting settled in, getting more than their fair share of cuddles. More photos later, and a pic of the other sister soon. During this photo shoot she was napping in the hidey box so I left her alone. But seriously, folks. Check out this mug. That is […]

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1000 New Pets

by Daisy Barnyard

As I write this, I can hear the sound of newspaper being ripped in long, thin strips in the next room. According to the USPS Tracking system, 1000 of my newest pets have already arrived at my local post office and are probably being sorted and loaded on a mail truck right now to arrive […]

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Rabbit Hutch Progress

by Daisy Barnyard

The rabbit hutch is coming along. Its basic carcass is plywood and 2x2s, plus the Curb Whisperer rescued a bunch of old cedar fencing and I’m using it for siding and for the door. It’s got that “old barn” feel. All we need is a roof, a floor, and some door hinges, and the basic […]

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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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Seasonality

by Daisy Barnyard

When all you know is the year-round availability of everything from the supermarket, it’s easy to forget the reason why, for example, eggs are an emblem of spring. When you have your own hens, though, and after a long, eggless winter your hens are finally producing at top capacity right at Easter/Passover time, it becomes […]

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What I’ve Been Building This Winter

by Daisy Barnyard

I love to build. I also love to “design” building projects from scratch. Sitting down with a pencil and some scrap paper and a few ideas is one of my favorite ways to wile away a winter evening. Then, starting to put things together, working out problems along the way, researching, adding on, tweaking the […]

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How We Liked the New Nest Box

by Daisy Barnyard

What is that thing? What are you doing in there? We all must know. Move over. Hasn’t killed anybody yet. Must check it out. OK, enough of the chicken POV. Initially, things looked promising. They were curious about the new box and kicked the tires around for a few hours, so to speak. When it […]

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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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Great Little Backyard Coop

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

We’ve learned the hard way, that a “free range” chicken is pretty much a “dead” chicken.  Out of 15 chickens we’ve owned.  We have 4 left.  Four were predator deaths.  One was old age.  Six were killed by their own stupidity: hanging themselves on fences they couldn’t quite jump, ramming themselves under fences they couldn’t […]

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Egg-Eater Blues

by Daisy Barnyard

About a week or two ago, the daily egg count began to take a dive. I might collect five or six eggs one day, next to none the next day. A couple of days I literally collected no eggs. Some days several, some days one or two. I found a couple of half eaten eggs […]

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Adventures in Hatching Eggs: Pt. 5

by Daisy Barnyard

It was Day 21. THE day. It seemed like forever since I placed my order for hatching eggs, waited, got the package, waited another long day for them to “settle,” placed the eggs under a grumbling and growling Idee, and marked off 21 days on my calendar. Each day I made a big “X” to […]

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Adventures in Hatching Eggs: Pt. 4

by Daisy Barnyard

chart from Enchanted Learning All along, as we waited to see if we were going to have chicks, I had been checking chick growth charts to see what was (supposedly) going on inside those eggs.  It was day 20, and I really had no idea if any of the eggs even had chickens in there. […]

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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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Practically Green: Chicken Myths

by Ivory Soap Barnyard

As a local spokesperson for responsible urban chicken ownership, I hear a lot of questions and concerns about the impact of chickens on the neighborhood. Q: Doesn’t chicken waste attract vermin? A: No. “But,” you say, “when I was a kid, my neighbor got chickens and they had rats.” Your neighbor was likely leaving the feed out […]

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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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