Animal Adventures

Chickens are the “gateway drug” of homesteading. For us, that’s how our house became a homestead. “Honey, we don’t need more than 3-4 chickens”, now our flock is 20+. Whether your homestead is a patio, backyard or consists of acres, we’re learning by living through our animal adventures.

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Naturally Decorated Easter Eggs

Decorating Easter eggs is a family tradition, we experimented with our farm fresh eggs this year and the results were beautiful. Easter eggs, in our house, had always started off as the white eggs we would buy at the store. But as our diverse flock (Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Buff Oprington, Black Australorp, Silver…
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Farm Eggs vs Store Bought Eggs

Yes, you can taste the difference between farm fresh eggs and store bought eggs. We’re asked all the time whether we can tell the difference between the eggs from our chickens and those bought at the grocery store. They come from chickens, how different can they be? Oh… there’s a difference. Since building our coop…
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Dog Training on the Homestead

Progress, not perfection: Farm dog training When we moved to our homestead property, we talked of getting a family dog at some point. Both my husband and I had had dogs growing up and into adulthood (our Black Lab, “Pelé” was our first dog as a couple) but we’ve never dealt with a situation that…
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Polar Vortex Hits the Homestead

The much talked about “Polar Vortex” made its way into Kentucky Wednesday. While school was called off, farm chores never are. We’re surviving, the animals are doing well and hopefully warm weather will return before too long. We knew that the Polar Vortex was coming for a few days, so we had time to prepare.…
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Preserving Eggs for Winter

Fresh eggs long after the hens stop laying. People ask all of the time, what do you do with all those eggs? You can eat that many eggs? The truth is, we don’t get tons of eggs all year ‘round. We think we’ve found a way to continue to have fresh eggs in the winter.…
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Our First Predator Encounter

Not a single predator… until now. A predator is going to come hunting for dinner when you have a farm, it’s just a fact of nature. We’ve taken every precaution to protect our chickens and have been very fortunate… until now. When Chris designed the chicken coop and chicken run, he designed the fence to…
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Why We Candle Chicken Eggs

What’s going on inside your chicken eggs? We never needed to know what is going on with the chicken eggs we bring indoors to consume, until recently. In fact, we thought we had it all down-pat. I guess when you have more than a handful of chickens, there is a lot more chicken behavior to…
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Count ‘Em? Never Before They Hatch

And now we know why you never count your chickens before they hatch. For the past few weeks we’ve anxiously awaiting the arrival of chicks. We’ve counted down… and kept counting… and counting. Nothin’. Nada. Zip. It’s been a bit frustrating and worrisome. The Black Australorp hen began sitting on eggs more than a month…
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Restoring Order in the Chicken Coop

Order in the Coop Last October we hatched our first chicks in the coop, “Thursday” and “Friday”. It was extraordinary to watch our little chickens grow-up. We discovered at about 4 months of age that our distinctive young chickens were roosters. We knew we would not be able to keep them, especially since we still…
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Turkeys are here, don’t get attached

Turkeys have arrived! After weeks of waiting and preparing, our turkey’s have finally arrived at the homestead. The pair of Bronze turkeys are just less than 8 weeks old and getting along just fine. Chris built a temporary house for the birds out of reclaimed materials. The project took only a few days and our…
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Perspective: Every day something dies so you may live

Where our food comes from has new perspective after butchering our first chicken. We rose well before the sun. It was raining, we couldn’t see the orange glow had we gotten a later start anyhow. But as we prepared to butcher a chicken for the first time, we were met with a range of thoughts…
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Introducing New Chickens to Your Flock

Sometimes “Soon” is “Too Soon” We’ve heard a lot of advice about when to introduce new chickens to your flock. Until now, we’d had great success. Typically, we’re told, you want the new chickens to be about 3 months old before adding them to your flock. A group of Barred Rock and Silver Laced Wyandottes…
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Thanksgiving turkey, Raise or Hunt?

Homegrown Thanksgiving challenge update, Turkey edition “What if our Thanksgiving dinner included only the things that we provided for ourselves?” That question triggered the first Inspired to Try challenge, now we had a big decision to make. The turkey is usually the star of the show so do we hunt a turkey or raise a…
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Our Homestead Adventures

When a Chicken Passes

When Chickens Expire, What Do You Do? Our neighbor wanted to retire from chickens and gave us our starting flock. He gave us a few black Australorps, a couple Buff Orpingtons, & a few Rhode Island Reds. Within that flock was a favorite hen, her name, Stevie, a stand-out Rhode Island Red. She had moves…
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Shouldn’t we all want to “be a chicken”?

Chicken demonstrates unconditional love to her unique babies In late summer we noticed that our beautiful BuffOrpington chicken, “Blondie”, was the last bird in the coop for the night. Every night she wandered about the chicken run until well after dark. As summer gave way to fall, Blondie was hardly seen. Our 12 year old…
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When Your Chicken Gets Frostbite

Roostavo the magnificent Rhode Island Red Chicken had a rough winter. Roostavo, Roostavo… you have filled our mornings with the trill of your Rhode Island Red cocka-doodle-do for a month in the back room of our home. You crazy chicken! Amy has turned into a morning ninja, creeping across the kitchen floor in the dark…
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