Thursday, March 26, 2015

Map Your Urban Flock!

There are more of us than you think. This site has a Google map of all the urban flocks across the world.  Let's get Columbus, Ohio on the map.

Map Your Flock on Google

Monday, March 16, 2015

9 Uses For All Those Extra Eggs!

Those of you with laying hens are probably seeing the springtime explosion of eggs. Well, it is Spring, the welcoming of the new, the days are longer, the nights are shorter, and the girls are eager to be out and about, foraging for worms and grassy shoots.

Let's talk about eggs. You probably have more than you can eat right about now. So what to do with all of them? Each egg is a small gift, so it's important to treat them that way. Here are a few ways I use excess eggs.

1. Feed them back to the hens or to new chicks. Yes, you can do this, but please do not feed them raw eggs, as that can lead to egg eating. Hard boil them, then smash the eggs with a potato masher really good, shell and all, until they resemble hard scrambled eggs. Then feed the eggs as a noontime treat or instead of regular chicken feed for one meal, here and there.

2. Give them to neighbors. You can easily develop and maintain good relations with your neighbors by giving them a 1/2 doz or so here and there.

3. Give to dogs. Develop a nice shiny coat and give a protein boost to your family dog by cracking an egg over Rover's dinner kibble. Yummy! But be careful! I recommend cooking the eggs first then give Rover the treat. Feeding raw eggs can lead to the farmer's bane, the egg sucking dog. Also, you can feed those frozen eggs to Rover.

4. Easter eggs. Nuff said

5. Egg crafters. Find folks, like me, who do egg crafts. Crafters will pay more per egg, but they must be blemish free.

6. Freeze the eggs for later. Crack the eggs into small freezer containers. You can leave them whole or separate yolks from whites before freezing them in small quantities. In the middle of winter you can have eggs for baking and eating.

7. Deviled eggs go over great at potluck dinners!

8. French toast cassarole is the bomb for Sunday brunch.
Maple Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

9. Use eggs for face masks and in beauty treatments
5 Facial Masks with Eggs

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Springtime in Ohio, what a muddy mess!

Having chickens means you probably have bare dirt in your run or yard where the chickens have eaten everything that was once green. Chickens definitely take it down to bare dirt! Come Spring, it turns into a nasty muddy mess. This is the wettest time of year and it plays havoc with backyard poultry keepers.

 Chickens don't like the mud. They would prefer not to step on soft muddy ground. They would prefer not to drag those muddy feet into the nesting boxes and dirty up the pretty eggs. but I tell you one thing, they prefer to drink out of puddles! You may have fresh water available to the hens 24/7 but those puddles are irresistible.

If you have a flooded coop or pen, you must act quickly to remove the soiled bedding, mud and puddles.

1. Distract the chickens from the puddles and mud with an enticing treat.
2. Lock them away from the muddy mess while you are cleaning.
3. Take out all the wet bedding. Yes, all of it. Don't cheat on this one. Rake off the top layer of wet bedding and look for wet bedding underneath.
4. Remove wet bedding to compost pile or bin.
5. Allow wet area to dry as long as possible.
6. Sprinkle Sweet PDZ (indoors only) or other barn lime to assist with odor control and drying time.
7. Once dry, add bedding. Stir new bedding into existing bedding and then add chickens.

A variety of perches help keep hens clean and dry.
If the chicken run outside is soaking wet, keep chickens off of it as long as possible, especially if there are puddles. This is one reason why it's a great idea to put roosts up high off the ground in the chicken run or have other areas for the chickens to perch above the ground.

If you put bedding down to absorb the wet outside, you will need to remove it asap before the chickens are permitted to run on the area. I suggest using sand in the run to prevent puddles.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Cleaning

I've been in the nesting mode for a bit lately. This started when i was recently in Florida staying with my aunt. We went thru everything on her ground level of her house, cleaning, throwing out and organizing. It's amazing what a person can accumulate over the years. this prompted me to clean out my own basement and now I've moved to cleaning out my blog and reorganizing. If you have been here before, you will notice some differences. I have added pages to this site and the navigation is along the top of this page. A classes page is now a necessity, as I have several on board for this spring and summer at City Folks Farm Shop.

If you have a topic you are interested in seeing, drop me a line and I would be happy to write an article or post a hot tip!