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Buzzing with Importance: The Vital Role of Bees in Our World

 Forget the notion that bees are merely a nuisance buzzing around your picnic. These tiny creatures carry a colossal responsibility on their delicate wings, one that directly impacts our existence. Before you reach for that fly swatter or chemical spray, let's delve into the remarkable benefits of bees.

Pollination Power

Picture this: nearly 85% of all the food crops humans rely on for sustenance owe their existence to the humble bee. That's right, without these buzzing pollinators, our dinner plates would be barren, and researchers even warn of looming environmental collapse if bees were to vanish from the scene.

How do they work their magic? Bees flit gracefully from flower to flower, transferring pollen from one plant to another as they go about their business. Some of this pollen sticks to their fuzzy legs, later becoming nourishment for their young. As bees zip around, crops flourish, yielding a bounty of fruits, veggies, flowers, nuts, seeds, and more.

Imagine a world without bees—many plants would wither away without a chance to reproduce, disrupting the delicate balance of nature.

Sweet Rewards: Honey

Beyond pollination, bees gift us with another treasure: honey. This golden elixir isn't just a sweet treat; it boasts a plethora of health benefits thanks to its natural antibacterial properties. Unlike its processed counterpart, honey is pure, untouched by chemicals or human meddling, making it a wholesome alternative to the sugar-laden products that dominate our shelves.

Facing the Buzzkill

Sadly, bees face an uphill battle. Each year, a staggering number of bee species perish due to a host of threats, from disease and parasites to pesticides and habitat loss. As bee populations dwindle, so does our food supply, and the risk of certain plant species fading into oblivion grows ever closer.

Moreover, bee declines serve as a warning beacon for environmental hazards. Mass bee deaths often signal the use of harmful chemicals or drastic climate shifts, underscoring the fragility of our ecosystem.

It's clear: we must rally together to safeguard these invaluable pollinators.

Join the Swarm: How You Can Help

Ready to roll up your sleeves and join the fight for our buzzing friends? Here are some organizations dedicated to saving the bees:

  1. Planet Bee Foundation
  2. Save Bees
  3. The Honeybee Conservancy
Together, let's ensure that the buzz of bees continues to resonate in our world for generations to come.

Unconventional Tips for Raising Backyard Poultry

 


Are you considering diving into the world of raising backyard poultry? Whether it's for fresh eggs, pest control, or simply the joy of having feathered friends, embarking on this journey can be incredibly rewarding. While there are plenty of traditional tips out there, let's explore some unique and unconventional advice to help you get started:

  1. Custom Coop Creations: Instead of opting for a standard chicken coop design, consider customizing your setup to suit your needs and preferences. Get creative with materials and design elements, ensuring ample ventilation, predator-proofing, and easy access for cleaning. Remember, a well-designed coop not only keeps your birds safe but also enhances the aesthetics of your backyard.


  2. Flock Dynamics: Just like humans, chickens have unique personalities and social structures. Take the time to observe and understand the dynamics within your flock. Some chickens may be more dominant, while others are more submissive. Providing multiple feeding and watering stations can help minimize competition and reduce stress among your feathered companions.


  3. Natural Foraging: Encourage natural foraging behavior by providing plenty of opportunities for your chickens to peck and scratch for food. Scatter treats like mealworms, kitchen scraps, and forage mix throughout their enclosure, promoting physical activity and mental stimulation. Not only does this mimic their natural instincts, but it also supplements their diet with essential nutrients.


  4. Herbal Helpers: Incorporate herbs into your poultry management routine to support the health and well-being of your birds. Certain herbs, such as oregano, thyme, and garlic, have natural antibacterial and antiparasitic properties, helping to boost immune function and ward off common ailments. You can scatter fresh or dried herbs in their coop or mix them into their feed for added benefits.


  5. Egg-citing Enrichment: Keep your chickens entertained and engaged with enriching activities that stimulate their curiosity and natural behaviors. Hang cabbage or other leafy greens from strings for them to peck at, provide dust bathing areas filled with sand or diatomaceous earth, or set up a shallow tub of water for splashing and cooling off on hot days. These simple additions not only provide entertainment but also contribute to the overall well-being of your flock.


  6. Remember, raising backyard poultry is a learning experience, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Embrace the journey, stay open to new ideas, and most importantly, enjoy the rewarding bond you'll build with your feathered friends. With a bit of creativity and care, you'll soon find yourself with a thriving flock that brings joy to your backyard and fresh eggs to your table.



Natural ways to deworm your flock

 Title: Natural Ways to Deworm Your Feathered Friends

Introduction:
As caring and eco-conscious poultry owners, we always strive to provide the best care for our feathered friends. One essential aspect of their health is parasite control. Deworming is a crucial part of poultry care, but did you know that there are natural ways to help keep your flock healthy and free from parasites? In this article, we will explore some natural methods for poultry deworming, highlighting their benefits and discussing diverse perspectives on the topic.

The Importance of Deworming:
Deworming poultry is essential to maintain their overall health and well-being. Parasites, such as worms, can cause various health issues, including decreased egg production, weight loss, anemia, and even death in severe cases. Implementing a regular deworming routine is vital for the longevity and vitality of your flock.

  1. Natural Deworming Solutions:
    a. Herbs and Plants:
    Incorporating certain herbs and plants into your chickens' diet can help naturally control internal parasites. Garlic, for instance, contains compounds that have been shown to have potential deworming properties. Adding a small amount of crushed garlic to their feed can help inhibit worm growth. Other beneficial herbs include wormwood, thyme, and oregano, which can be offered as fresh or dried additions to their diet.

b. Diatomaceous Earth (DE):
Food-grade diatomaceous earth, made from the fossilized remains of microscopic aquatic organisms called diatoms, can be an effective natural dewormer. The microscopic shards of diatoms create a mechanical action that damages the parasites' exoskeleton, leading to dehydration and eventual death. Ensure you use a food-grade DE and remember to follow the recommended dosage to avoid any respiratory issues.

c. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Adding a small amount of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to your poultry's drinking water may have several benefits, including potential deworming properties. The acidity of the vinegar can create an unfavorable environment for parasites, reducing their prevalence. Make sure to dilute it properly and introduce it gradually to their water source.

  1. Maintaining a Clean Environment:
    Practice good poultry husbandry by maintaining a clean and sanitary environment for your flock. Regularly clean their coop, remove droppings, and provide fresh bedding to prevent the buildup of parasites and their eggs. This simple step can significantly reduce the chances of reinfestation.

Diverse Perspectives:
While natural deworming methods can be beneficial, it is important to consider diverse perspectives and expert advice. Some poultry experts may advocate for a combined approach, using both natural remedies and commercial deworming products. This ensures comprehensive parasite control and addresses different types of worms that may infect poultry. Consulting with a veterinarian or seeking guidance from reputable poultry resources can help you make informed decisions based on your flock's unique needs.

Conclusion:
By incorporating natural deworming solutions into your poultry care routine, you can help protect your feathery companions from the harmful effects of internal parasites. Remember that implementing good husbandry practices and maintaining a clean environment are equally important in preventing infestations. Always consider diverse perspectives and seek advice from experts to ensure you are providing the best care for your flock.

Make it easy purchase our natural dewormer here

Sources:

  • Deworming Poultry: Why, When, and How: Source
  • Garlic as a natural alternative to deworming chickens: Source
  • Poultry Deworming with Diatomaceous Earth: Source
  • Apple Cider Vinegar for Chickens: Source

Harnessing Nature's Bounty: The Benefits of Natural Remedies and Herbs for Chickens, Quail, and Goats



 In an era where chemical-laden products dominate the market, many farmers and homesteaders are returning to age-old wisdom and embracing natural remedies and herbs for their livestock. Chickens, quail, and goats, beloved staples of many small-scale farms, can greatly benefit from the power of nature's remedies. Let's explore the myriad advantages of incorporating these natural solutions into your animal husbandry practices.

1. Holistic Health Support: Natural remedies and herbs offer holistic health support for poultry and goats. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that bolster the immune system, promote digestion, and support overall well-being. For instance, herbs like oregano, garlic, and thyme possess antimicrobial properties that can help combat common ailments such as respiratory infections and digestive issues.

2. Reduced Chemical Exposure: By opting for natural remedies, farmers can minimize their animals' exposure to synthetic chemicals commonly found in conventional medications and treatments. This reduction in chemical exposure not only benefits the animals' health but also contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly farming approach.

3. Cost-Effectiveness: Natural remedies and herbs are often more cost-effective than commercial medications, making them an economical choice for small-scale farmers and homesteaders. Many herbs can be easily grown or foraged, offering a sustainable and affordable alternative for animal healthcare.

4. Prevention and Management of Common Ailments: Certain herbs and natural remedies have been traditionally used to prevent and manage common ailments in poultry and goats. For example, incorporating herbs like calendula and comfrey into their diet can promote skin and wound healing, while herbs like wormwood and pumpkin seeds can help control internal parasites.

5. Environmental Benefits: Embracing natural remedies aligns with environmentally conscious farming practices. By reducing the use of synthetic chemicals and antibiotics, farmers can minimize their ecological footprint and contribute to a healthier environment for their animals and surrounding ecosystems.

6. Enhances Animal Welfare: Natural remedies prioritize animal welfare by promoting natural healing processes and minimizing stress associated with conventional treatments. By supporting their animals' health naturally, farmers can ensure their livestock lead happier, healthier lives.

In conclusion, the benefits of using natural remedies and herbs for chickens, quail, and goats are vast and multifaceted. From holistic health support to environmental sustainability, these natural solutions offer a wealth of advantages for both animals and farmers alike. By harnessing the power of nature's bounty, farmers can nurture thriving and resilient livestock while fostering a deeper connection to the land and its resources.

Top 5 Chicken Breeds for Beginners

 

Introduction

Raising chickens has become increasingly popular among individuals seeking a sustainable and rewarding hobby. Whether you're interested in having a fresh supply of eggs or simply enjoy the companionship of these feathered friends, choosing the right chicken breeds is crucial, especially for beginners.

Characteristics of Ideal Chicken Breeds for Beginners

When selecting chicken breeds for beginners, certain characteristics are highly desirable. These include a docile temperament, ease of care, good egg production, and hardiness. Opting for breeds with these qualities can significantly enhance the experience for novice chicken keepers.

Top 5 Chicken Breeds for Beginners

  1. Rhode Island Red: Known for their excellent egg-laying capabilities and friendly disposition, Rhode Island Reds are a popular choice among beginners. They're also quite hardy, making them well-suited to various climates.

  2. Buff Orpington: With their beautiful golden feathers and gentle nature, Buff Orpingtons are a favorite among families. They are known for their consistent egg production and adaptability to different living conditions.

  3. Plymouth Rock: Plymouth Rocks, often referred to as "Barred Rocks," are known for their calm demeanor and reliability as egg layers. They're also known to be cold-hardy, making them suitable for colder climates.

  4. Sussex: Sussex chickens are prized for their docile nature and ability to thrive in free-range environments. They lay a respectable number of eggs and are known to be quite friendly towards their human caretakers.

  5. Wyandotte: With their striking plumage and friendly personalities, Wyandottes are a fantastic choice for beginners. They are dual-purpose birds, meaning they're good for both egg production and meat.

Overview of Each Recommended Breed

  • Rhode Island Red

  • These birds have deep red feathers and are known for their robust health and excellent egg-laying abilities, averaging around 250-300 eggs per year. They're friendly and easy to handle, making them a great choice for families.

  • Buff Orpington: Recognizable by their golden plumage, Buff Orpingtons are known for their docile nature and reliability as egg layers, producing around 200-280 brown eggs per year. They're also quite cold-hardy, making them suitable for various climates.

  • Plymouth Rock: Barred Rocks are known for their distinctive black and white striped feathers. They're calm, easy to handle, and lay approximately 200-280 brown eggs annually. They're also cold-hardy, making them ideal for northern climates.

  • Sussex: Sussex chickens come in various colors, including red, white, and speckled. They have friendly personalities, are excellent foragers, and lay around 250-280 cream-colored eggs per year. They're also quite hardy and adaptable.

  • Wyandotte: Wyandottes come in a variety of colors, including silver, gold, and blue. They're known for their friendly nature, cold-hardiness, and good egg production, averaging around 200-240 brown eggs annually.

  • Conclusion

    Choosing the right chicken breeds is essential for beginners to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience. By selecting breeds known for their docile temperament, ease of care, and good egg production, novice chicken keepers can set themselves up for success from the start.

    FAQs

    1. How many chickens should a beginner start with?

      • It's recommended that beginners start with 2-4 chickens to manage the workload and gain experience gradually.
    2. What kind of coop do I need for these breeds?

      • A sturdy coop with ample space for roosting and nesting boxes is essential. Ensure it provides protection from predators and adverse weather conditions.
    3. Can I mix different breeds in the same flock?

      • Yes, you can mix different breeds, but it's essential to consider compatibility in terms of size, temperament, and egg-laying capabilities.
    4. Do these breeds require special dietary considerations?

      • While these breeds have similar dietary needs, providing a balanced diet rich in protein and calcium is essential for optimal health and egg production.
    5. How do I protect my chickens from predators?

      • Secure your coop with sturdy fencing and hardware cloth to prevent access from predators such as raccoons, foxes, and birds of prey. Additionally, consider using motion-activated lights or alarms as deterrents.

Winter Wonderland for Chickens: Make the Season Entertaining and Warm for Your Feathered Friends


 

Winter Wonderland for Chickens: Make the Season Entertaining and Warm for Your Feathered Friends, 

Don't let winter be a dull and cold season for your chickens! Discover fun and entertaining ways to make their environment cozy and enjoyable throughout the winter wonderland.

Winter can be a dreary and chilly time for many living creatures, including our beloved chickens. But who says their season has to be a dull and cold one? In this article, we will explore how to transform their environment into a winter wonderland filled with warmth and entertainment. Get ready to discover exciting ways to make your feathered friends' winter experience cozy, enjoyable, and enriching. From insulating their coop to providing engaging entertainment, we have all the tips and tricks you need to ensure a happy and healthy winter for your chickens. So let's dive into the world of winter wonderland for chickens and make this season an unforgettable one for our favorite feathered pals.,

 

Insulating the Coop

 One essential aspect of creating a winter wonderland for your chickens is ensuring that their coop is properly insulated. Just as we bundle ourselves up in warm layers during the chilly months, our feathered friends also need extra protection from the cold. Insulating their coop not only helps to keep them warm and cozy but also plays a crucial role in maintaining their overall health and well-being. 

To start, consider the materials used in constructing the coop. Opt for sturdy materials that can effectively block out drafts and retain heat. Wood is often a popular choice due to its insulation properties, but make sure it is well-sealed to prevent any gaps where cold air could seep in. Additionally, adding a layer of insulation, such as foam boards or reflective foil, to the walls and ceiling can provide an extra barrier against the cold.

 Pay close attention to the coop's windows and doors, as these are potential areas for heat loss. Seal any cracks or gaps around them with weatherstripping or caulking to prevent cold drafts from entering. You can even consider adding curtains or plastic sheeting to the windows to create an additional barrier.

 Another important aspect to consider when insulating the coop is proper ventilation. While it may seem counterintuitive to allow cold air in, good ventilation helps to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to dampness and frostbite. Install vents near the roofline that can be opened and closed as needed, allowing for sufficient airflow without compromising warmth.

 Lastly, make sure your chickens have a cozy place to roost. Provide them with ample bedding, such as straw or wood shavings, on the floor and in their nesting boxes. This not only offers insulation but also helps to keep their feet warm during the cold winter nights.

 By taking these steps to insulate their coop, you are creating a snug and inviting space for your chickens to weather the winter months. With a well-insulated coop, your feathered friends will stay warm and comfortable, allowing them to continue their natural behaviors and stay healthy throughout the winter season.,

 

Creating Warmth with Heated Waterers

 

In addition to ensuring a cozy roosting spot for your chickens, it's important to address their water needs during the chilly winter months. Just like humans, chickens require fresh and unfrozen water to stay hydrated and maintain their overall health. 

One effective solution to combat icy water is to invest in heated waterers. These specialized devices are designed to keep the water from freezing, ensuring that your feathered friends always have access to a drink. With a heated waterer, you won't have to worry about breaking ice or constantly refreshing their water throughout the day. 

Heated waterers come in various sizes and styles, so you can choose one that best suits your flock's needs. Some options come with built-in thermostats that automatically turn on when the temperature drops, while others use electric heating elements to keep the water at a constant temperature. Whichever type you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and maintenance to ensure their optimal performance. 

By providing your chickens with a heated waterer, you are not only ensuring their hydration but also eliminating the potential health risks associated with drinking cold or frozen water. Dehydration can lead to various issues, such as decreased egg production and even illness. 

With the addition of a heated waterer, you can create a warm and comfortable environment for your chickens, allowing them to continue their natural behaviors and stay healthy throughout the winter season. Offering them a consistent and unfrozen water source will keep them happy and content, ensuring they have the energy they need to enjoy the winter wonderland you've created for them.

 This attention to their water needs sets the stage for the next section, where we'll explore the fun and tasty winter treats you can offer your feathered friends to keep them entertained during the cold days.,

 

Offering Winter Treats

 

In addition to providing a heated waterer to keep your chickens happy and healthy during the winter season, you can add an extra dose of enjoyment by offering them a variety of tasty treats. Just as we enjoy indulging in comfort foods during the colder months, chickens also appreciate special treats that warm their bellies and provide them with added nutrition. 

One option to consider is giving your feathered friends a warm bowl of oatmeal. This simple yet satisfying treat can be made by cooking oats in hot water until they reach a creamy consistency. Allow the oatmeal to cool to a warm temperature before serving it to your chickens. Not only will they appreciate the soothing warmth, but they will also benefit from the high fiber content and essential nutrients found in oats. 

Another delicious treat that chickens love during winter is pumpkin. Rich in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, pumpkin is a nutritious and seasonal option to include in their diet. After carving your Halloween pumpkins, save the seeds and pulp for your chickens. You can either roast the seeds or mash the pulp and mix it with their regular feed. Not only will they relish the taste, but it will also provide a welcome change to their diet. 

To add a touch of sweetness to their winter days, consider offering your chickens some dried fruits. Dried cranberries, raisins, and chopped apricots make excellent choices. These treats are not only a source of natural sugars but also contain antioxidants and various vitamins. However, it's important to remember that moderation is key, as too much sugar can be detrimental to their health. 

By introducing these winter treats, you can provide your chickens with not only sustenance but also an extra source of joy and entertainment during the cold days. Now that we've covered how to keep them well-nourished and content, let's dive into the world of engaging entertainment for your feathered friends., 

Engaging Entertainment for Chickens

 

By introducing these winter treats, you can provide your chickens with not only sustenance but also an extra source of joy and entertainment during the cold days. Chickens are naturally curious creatures, and keeping them engaged and entertained can add a delightful dimension to their winter experience. 

One idea to keep your chickens entertained is to create a "treasure hunt" for them. Scatter some of their favorite treats or scratch in different areas of their coop or run, and let them forage for their food. This will not only keep them physically active but also stimulate their natural instincts of searching and pecking. 

Another entertaining activity for your chickens is the introduction of hanging treats. Stringing up vegetables, such as cabbage heads or corn on the cob, can make for a fun and tasty challenge for your feathered friends. Watching them jump and peck at the treats will surely provide you with a good laugh, and it will keep your chickens engaged and occupied. 

Additionally, consider providing your chickens with toys or objects that they can interact with. Simple items such as a sturdy rope or a ball can keep your chickens entertained by encouraging them to peck, chase, or even play a game of "keep away" with each other. Just ensure that any objects you provide are safe for your chickens to play with and don't pose a risk of injury. 

Lastly, don't forget the power of nature itself as a source of entertainment for your chickens. If possible, create a window or opening in their coop that allows them to observe the outdoor environment. Chickens are naturally curious and enjoy watching the world around them. Whether it's the falling snow, the occasional squirrel, or even just the movement of the trees, this simple connection to the outside world can provide your chickens with endless entertainment. 

Now that we've covered how to keep them well-nourished and content, let's dive into the world of engaging entertainment for your feathered friends. Ensuring a happy and healthy winter for your chickens requires a combination of providing them with nourishing treats, engaging entertainment, and a warm, safe environment., 

Conclusion: Ensuring a Happy and Healthy Winter for Your Chickens

 

Now that we've covered how to keep them well-nourished and content, let's dive into the world of engaging entertainment for your feathered friends. Ensuring a happy and healthy winter for your chickens requires a combination of providing them with nourishing treats, engaging entertainment, and a warm, safe environment. 

Chickens, like any other living creatures, need both physical and mental stimulation to thrive. While we have discussed the importance of providing them with nutritious treats to keep their bodies strong, it's equally crucial to consider their need for mental stimulation during the winter months. Just like us, chickens can get bored, and without adequate entertainment, their overall well-being may suffer. 

Lastly, don't forget the power of nature itself as a source of entertainment for your chickens. If possible, create a window or opening in their coop that allows them to observe the outdoor environment. Chickens are naturally curious and enjoy watching the world around them. Whether it's the falling snow, the occasional squirrel, or even just the movement of the trees, this simple connection to the outside world can provide your chickens with endless entertainment. 

In addition to nature's show, there are various ways you can keep your chickens entertained indoors. One option is to provide them with interactive toys or puzzles that stimulate their minds and keep them engaged. These toys can be as simple as hanging a head of lettuce for them to peck at or building a perch that challenges their balancing skills. The key is to offer them activities that encourage their natural behaviors while adding an element of fun to their daily routine. 

Furthermore, consider creating a designated play area within their coop or run. This can be accomplished by adding different levels or platforms for them to explore, or by providing them with objects to climb on or interact with. By incorporating elements that stimulate their natural instincts, such as perching, scratching, and exploring, you can create a winter wonderland that keeps them mentally and physically active.

 As you strive to ensure a happy and healthy winter for your chickens, it's important to remember that their well-being extends beyond just their physical needs. Providing them with engaging entertainment not only keeps them entertained but also contributes to their overall happiness and contentment. A stimulated and entertained chicken is a happier chicken, and a happy chicken is a healthy chicken. 

In conclusion, by combining nourishing treats, engaging entertainment, and a warm, safe environment, you can create the perfect winter wonderland that ensures your chickens' happiness and health throughout the season. So, go ahead and get creative with their surroundings, introduce new toys and activities, and embrace the power of nature. Your feathered friends will thank you with joyful clucks and delighted flapping wings., 

In conclusion, winter doesn't have to be a dreary and frigid time for your chickens. By insulating their coop, providing heated waterers, offering winter treats, and engaging them with entertaining activities, you can create a true winter wonderland for your feathered friends. These simple yet effective measures will ensure that your chickens not only stay warm and healthy but also enjoy the season to the fullest. Remember, happy chickens make for happy farmers! So take the time to implement these tips and transform your chickens' winter experience into something truly entertaining and warm. As the snow falls and the temperatures drop, let the laughter and clucking of your flock be a testament to the care and dedication you have for your feathered companions. And as the winter wonderland unfolds, may your chickens thrive and bring joy to your daily routine. In the words of Aristotle, "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." So venture forth and create a winter wonderland that will leave your chickens clucking with delight and your heart brimming with satisfaction.

Best way to deal with chicken lice

 Lice and other mites on chickens can be a common thing unfortunately. The best way to treat them is with preventative measures like sanitary coop conditions and providing your chickens with a a place to dust bathe.

In a study performed by the University of California Riverside, chickens that rolled in a dust bath of sand and diatomaceous earth showed a huge reduction in the amount of external parasites after just a week. If you have chickens that aren’t laying as well, it might possibly be caused by mites. If your chickens have to fight of an infestation, they have less energy for egg production.


The best way to treat them is what I call the Shake & Bake method.

  • Use an old pillow case and place it inside a large plastic bag.

  • Place diatomaceous earth, food grade, about a cup. You can mix in Sevin if you wish to use it.

  • Make sure to wear a breathing mask and gloves.

  • Here's a good video explaining it:





Tips & Recipes

 I'll add to this post from time to time to keep it fresh

Herbal & Food tips, please feel free to comment or ask questions


Basil:

Antibacterial, repels flies and mosquitoes 

Fennel

An incredible powerful laying stimulant. Add some freshly shaved fennel to their feed now and then, you can also add some of the leaves to their nest boxes.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a good treat for your chickens. Chickens typically love them, and for a treat, they're very nutritious. They contain methionine, for example, an important amino acid for birds. There is lots of vitamin E, too! 

I feed the Black oil seeds and use these in the blends I make, the chooks eat them whole but they get ground up in the gizzard as long as they get enough grit.

Parsley

Is a great addition to your chickens diet. It's rich in vitamins and promotes circulatory system and is another strong laying stimulant. I use it in some of my products including Super Eggs

Oregano

 is known to strengthen the immune system and is thought to help guard against common poultry illnesses such as salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu and e-coli, we use Oreganonin our Super Egg Blend

Diatomacous Earth (food grade)

I'm going to add a link here to a good article that explains it much better than I can, click here


How to Make Tea for chickens:

Fill your teakettle with water and heat to boiling. Partially fill a glass mason jar with fresh herbs. Pour the boiling water over the herbs to completely cover then, then let them steep for ten or twenty minutes or so.

Serve warm on cool days or freeze in summer as ice cubes and give as a treat. It really encourages them to stay hydrated. Add a teaspoon of local or organic honey to boost health benefits even more. If you'd like to buy premade teas click here

Make your own disinfectant spray

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 8 OZ spray bottle
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops tea tree essential oil


Both lavender and tea tree have natural disinfecting properties. tea tree is anti-viral and anti fungal. 

Directions:

Pour the vinegar into your bottle, use a funnel if you like. Add the essential oils. Pour in your distilled water. Shake the bottle to distribute the oils. Can be safely used around pets, spray door handles, table tops, etc

DIY Coop Spray

To make a basic herbal coop spray, you need to pick 2-3 different herbs such as Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Calendula, Lavendar etc. Mix with:

  • Peels from 2-3 oranges or lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups of vodka
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

Put everything in a one-quart mason jar, and allow it to sit for 2-4 weeks. Then, strain it into a glass spray bottle. Use it on all of the surfaces of your coop!

DIY Facial scrub for dry skin

Here in Colorado we have to deal with dry skin and hair due to the low humidity. This is one of my favorite easy facial scrub recipes to help moisturize and combat the dryness.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked oats
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup olive oil

Pulse oats in a food processor until they are broken down but not quite like powdery flour. Place oats in clean bowl and mix with honey and olive oil.

Apply to clean skin, massage into skin and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, rinse off and apply your favorite moisturizer. 


Just say no to sweaters


Chickens may look fashionable or cute in a sweater but there are many reasons why it's a bad idea.


Sweaters will make your chickens actually colder

Chickens regulate their body temp by fluffing up their feathers. Feathers trap pockets of air in the downy layers of their under-feathers, which insulates them quite well.

When you put a sweater on a chicken they can't fluff their feathers any longer, so they actually feel colder.

Sweaters are a great place for lice and mites to hide

Unfortunately, lice and mites are a common pest of poultry, we strive               to keep them pest free but a sweater undermines our hard work and                 gives the nasty critters a nice hiding place

Sweaters harbor germs

A sweater on your bird will pick up bits of bedding, poop, and germs.

Sweaters and pin feathers don't mix

Sweaters interfere with feather growth and is an ideal way to catch new feathers or pinfeathers and cause pain.

Sweaters don't allow your birds to dust bathe


Chickens love to take dust baths, it's how they stay clean and control lice and mites. A sweater won't allow them to dust bathe,  

Sweaters are a colorful attractant for predators

Cute and colorful sweaters make your chicken more visible to predators like hawks and raccoons for instance. Why make them easier an easy target?

Just skip the sweaters

If you're looking for ways to keep your chickens warm there are other ways.

  • Minimize drafts in the coop
  • Keep them well fed
  • Use the deep litter method
  • Keep your coop well ventilated


 

The Benefits of Lavender

 


Lavender, it's not just for sachets. In fact, Lavender has been used to soothe and heal people for a long time. Lavender aromatherapy is not only soothing for us but for animals too. A word of caution here. Some essential oils can be toxic to cats. Certain essential oils naturally contain phenols and should never be used with cats. Their liver does not produce the enzymes to digest these compounds allowing them to build up to toxic levels in their systems.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial herb in the mint family, native to the Mediterranean. The leaves, stems and flowers may be used, but flowers are the typical choice for therapeutic and medicinal use on pets. The most common forms are dry, (heavily diluted) essential oil, ‘tea’, or Bach Flower Remedies.

  • Just some of the benefits are: Antibacterial / Antibiotic Anti-fungal Astringent Anti-inflammatory Antispasmodic Analgesic (pain killer) Antipruritic (reduces itching) Regenerative Calming and antidepressive Tick repellent

Lavender is wonderful as an insect repellent, it is very useful to have in the kitchen because it effectively deters houseflies from hanging around. Planting lavender bushes close to the entryways of your home, can also keep many pesky bugs from entering.

Super Strong Insect Repellent Recipe~ (from https://skyaboveus.com/camping/Lavender-Insect-Repellent-Recipe) This bug zapper is seriously strong smelling when first applied but will disappear once dry on the skin. It is both antiviral and antibacterial. Ideal for walking in large infested woods or near water, it is also great for Morris mosquito attacks!


Ingredients:1 large clean glass jar with lid

32 oz apple cider vinegar

2-3 tbsp of dried lavender, mint, rosemary, thyme and sage (12-15 tbsp total)

Method:Pour the apple cider vinegar into the glass jar. Add the dried herbs and give a good stir. Screw on lid tightly and leave in the kitchen where you will see it. Leave for 3 weeks, shaking the mixture daily to get the herbs infusing with the vinegar. After 3 weeks, strain out the herbs. You will need another jar or a mixing bowl will work fine. Pour your infused repellent into the glass jar and pop into the fridge until you need it.

To use the repellent take a clean spray bottle (easily purchased in drug stores, pharmacies and dollar stores) and have half water half vinegar. Give a good shake and your set! Keep the main jar in the fridge until you need to make it up. Every time you need to replenish, add half vinegar with half water.


DIY Chicken vitamins

 I saw this on Instagram and thought it was a wonderful idea to use those eggshells


Save all of your eggshells until you have a enough to fill a sheet pan. I keep mine in a tub in the freezer. (I don’t wash them or do anything special to them, just throw them in the tub after cracking them open).

Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they become dry and brittle.

Pulverize the baked egg shells in your blender or food processor until they are a fine powder. Add herbs and process again.

Here are some herb suggestions to add:
Rosemary - antioxidant and antibacterial
Ginger - stress reducer and helps circulatory system plus a study found that hens supplemented with ginger started laying eggs with a greater mass and also higher amount of antioxidants in the egg yolks.

Oregano and thyme - natural antibiotic
Turmeric - stimulates the digestive system, add 1/2 teaspoon

Sprinkle on your flocks feed daily. No need to spend money on calcium or vitamins. 

Ginger for poultry




 I did quite a bit of research before adding Ginger to my wellness blend. I knew Ginger was good for us humans but had to make sure it's good for poultry and goats as well. I found this article by Dr. Zhao. He found that hens supplemented with ginger powder started laying eggs with a greater mass and also found a higher amount of antioxidant in the egg yolks.


Dr Zhao concludes by claiming that the ‘optimum’ amount of ginger powder for laying hens is between 10-15 grams per kilogram of feed. here's a link to the article

DIY flock block

 



Ingredients:

  • 4 cups scratch grains Organic preferred
  • 2 cups layer feed
  • 2 cups oats {regular oatmeal oats}
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, Black or regular
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour {whatever you have in your cupboard is fine}
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran or flax seed meal
  • 1/2 cup crushed egg shells or oyster grit
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 6 eggs plus shells
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup solid-at-room-temperature oil {shortening or coconut}

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another bowl, mix all together with wooden spoon or hands and place in loaf pans. If you want to hang poke a hole in the center with a straw, It will look as though it closes up while baking but it will be there.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 mins. Let it cool for quite awhile to harden then run a knife around edges