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  • broody hen with chicks

    How To Hatch Eggs With Your Hens (Without An Incubator Or Brooder)

    So you have started down the wonderful path of chicken ownership. You raised a few hens and are ready to increase your flock. You can raise chicks from your own flock and have your hen do all the work. There is no need to invest in an incubator or brooder box. And there is nothing more […] More

  • chickens eating lettuce

    17 Treats For Chickens

    There is nothing quite as satisfying as a happy flock of chickens. I’ve developed a good relationship with my chickens through care, gentle handling, and the occasional treat or two. I love to watch them run toward me when I come outside. When they see me, they’re usually hoping for attention and a snack. Over the […] More

  • brown hens

    Marek’s Disease: What It Is & How To Prevent It

    If you are new to keeping chickens, you will eventually have to do some reading on the diseases that can befall your flock. In the lists of common ailments, you’ll encounter plenty of problems to keep in the back of your mind as you observe your birds. Some are serious but easily understood. Problems like […] More

  • chickens foraging

    15 Things You Shouldn’t Feed Your Chickens

    One of the best parts about raising backyard chickens is the fact you can feed them almost anything — and they’ll eat it! I love being able to give table scraps to chickens that even my dogs won’t eat. Throwing away food is wasteful, so it’s nice to know chickens will take care of some scraps […] More

  • chickens foraging

    Chicken Molting: What It Is And What To Expect

    It’s a beautiful day with the first fall feelings. Maybe the asters and goldenrod have begun to bloom, and you noticed monarch butterflies headed south. There’s a good, crisp smell to the air — but as you near the chicken coop, your heart drops! There are feathers everywhere. A panicked headcount soon reveals that all […] More

  • Gardening Gifts

    ‘Tis the season of gift-giving. Since colder weather has many of us stuck inside instead of in the dirt, we figured this holiday season is the perfect time to find the best in gardening gifts including gear, decor, reading – and of course, don’t forget some of those extra homesteading specialties. We’ve compiled over 70 of […] More

  • blue eggs

    Jazz Up Your Flock With Chickens That Lay Blue Eggs

    Before I got into caring for my own flock as a homesteader, my understanding of chicken eggs was pretty much unchanged from childhood. There were the white ones that I could buy in a Styrofoam package at the Mega-Mart, and the brown ones that my dad sometimes brought home from his friend “in the country.” Now […] More

  • wyandotte chickens

    Chicken Wormers: A Helpful Guide For How To Identify & Treat Chicken Worms

    New animals are an exciting addition to the homestead, but there’s always a risk when outsiders come into the fold. You never know what extra parasites may accompany them, and potentially damage your healthy herd or flock. This was the case with our new Brahma hen. We loved her beetle-green feathers and quirky feathered feet, […] More

  • guinea fowl

    4 Reasons Why You Should Raise Guinea Fowls With Your Chickens

    While the cost of farm fresh and organic eggs continues to rise, it has become increasingly popular to keep and raise chickens in backyards. Chickens and roosters are manageable in comparison to other farm animals, and the continuous production of eggs is a big selling point. Whether you already have your own flock or are […] More

  • rocks piled at base of big coop

    7 Chicken Predators And How To Protect Your Flock

    When I still lived in the city, I dreamed of chickens. I browsed breed lists like a bride-to-be looks through wedding catalogs. I anticipated morning egg gathering, rooster crows, egg-laying cackles, and lots of free fertilizer! But for all my research, I had no idea what it would feel like to face what I grimly call “predator […] More

  • chickens

    Gifts For Chicken Keepers

    As the holiday season approaches, many of us are struggling to decide what to get for our friends, to show thoughtfulness and care, without breaking the bank. This can be an especially hard decision to make if your friend is a down-to-earth, outdoorsy type who doesn’t care much about possessions. What gifts can you get […] More

  • chicken perching

    Chicken Mites

    Like many animals, chickens can play host to parasites that live on skin, in feathers, and around their living spaces. One such parasite is Dermanyssus gallinae, the chicken mite, a tiny pest found worldwide, that stresses chickens, reduces egg production, and can also transmit diseases. Finding parasite infestations in your birds is always scary, but […] More

  • chicken feeder plans featured image

    Chicken Feeders

    Once you’ve designed your chicken coop and decided on chicken breeds, choosing a style of feeder for your birds seems trivial, but it’s not! It can make your daily routine more efficient, keep your birds on a healthy diet, and reduce the chances of disease. Alternatively, choosing the wrong feeder can lead to overeating, wasted […] More

  • Egg Substitutes For When The Chickens Have Stopped Laying

    As happens on many homesteads, our chickens have stopped laying with the shorter winter days. We decided to let them follow their natural rhythms with the seasons and haven’t put a light in their coop to keep the eggs coming. We figure, if they naturally take a break for the season, we’ll let them follow […] More

  • cows in pasture

    5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Become A Homesteader

    Are you tired of traffic jams and the fast pace of city living? Do you long to escape the rush and retreat to the quiet of rural living? If so, you are not alone. Each year, more and more people chose to leave the cultural amenities and conveniences of urban life to embrace a simple, […] More

  • Chicken Hatcheries

    When you want to start a flock of chickens or grow your existing flock, you have a number of options for how to go about purchasing chicks. Check out our article on where to buy chicks. One of the most cost-effective methods is to buy live chicks directly from a hatchery. So fluffy! ? Watch […] More

  • chicken tractor

    Chicken Tractor Plans

    When it comes to housing your flock of chickens, there are many options, but one of the most flexible is the chicken tractor. A chicken tractor is a portable coop that has many of the benefits of a stationary coop as well as a number of added benefits. Building the best structure for you and […] More

  • chicken coops

    Chicken Coop Plans

    A well-built chicken coop is a worthwhile investment. Options range from simple and affordable to elaborate. With so many options available, and a world of creative possibilities to build yourself, it can seem daunting to decide what you want in a coop. Types Of Chicken Coops   Here are a few chicken coop design options: […] More

  • chicken standing on coop fence

    How To Clip Chicken Wings

    Clipping the flight wings on your backyard flock is a harmless and helpful domestic trick that is easy to learn. Clipping a chicken’s wings doesn’t hurt them and can be done at any age. Clipping a chicken’s wings is usually unnecessary until your chickens become adventuresome enough to try to escape their enclosure. Wing feathers […] More

  • My Chickens Survived A Montana Winter Because I Broke The Rules

    One of the most pressing concerns for me, when I began raising chickens, was what to do with them in winter. Living in northwest Montana, I’m accustomed to plenty of snow, some nice arctic wind, and temperatures ranging from the high 20s to below zero. If we have a chinook in January or February, then […] More

  • Chicken Feed

    Mixing your own feed ration, rather than buying prepared feed, is one of the best ways to save money if you raise chickens (or any animal). You can also be certain about the quality and origin of what your animals are eating. However, to make sure your birds stay healthy, you have to mix the […] More

  • chicken in their chicken run

    Chicken Runs

    Despite the misleading title and the plot of a 2000 movie, a chicken run is intended to let chickens out as well as keep them in. A run is an outdoor enclosure that chickens or other animals can get into on their own. Usually, it’s attached to their coop. It allows them to get exercise and […] More

  • Chicken Diseases

    When you are raising animals, it is always stressful and frightening when they get sick. Here are some common ailments that can strike backyard chickens, and tips for prevention and care. Not all chicken deaths are caused by disease. Check out our article on chicken lifespans to find out more about how long a chicken […] More

  • chickens pecking about the yard

    Free Ranging: The Pros & Cons

    When I brought my first animals home to the farm there was no question in my mind as to whether they would live the life of free range animals. I wanted my animals to be just as free as I was, free to explore, roam, hunt for food, and live their own life while coexisting […] More

  • Bald Eagle Attacks Chicken

    Reddit user mvar posted this near death experience for one of his chickens. The lesson, as always, is to have surveillance video covering your entire homestead so you don’t miss amazing stuff like this. Our chicken expert says that visiting pet dogs are one the biggest dangers to her flock, but in this case it […] More

  • chickens pecking about the yard

    How To Humanely Kill A Chicken

    People learn to kill chickens for many reasons. As interest in local and ethical food increases, many meat-eaters have challenged themselves to raise and slaughter their own meat. People who keep backyard chickens for eggs often kill older chickens when they have passed their prime laying age. Even people who keep chickens as pets may […] More

  • Scott Woods-Fehr / Flickr (Creative Commons)

    How Long Do Chickens Live?

    When you pick up half a dozen fluffy, charming little chicks from the feed store and bring them home, it can be hard to remember—or to explain to your kids—that backyard chickens, like all creatures, eventually age and die. But how long do chickens live anyway, and why do they die? Here are some basics […] More

  • Harriet

    Keeping Chickens In Winter

    If you have chickens clucking around your backyard in the summer, you must know a thing or two about them. However, those long winter months are a different story. Some people don’t know exactly what it takes to keep their chickens happy in cold weather. Here are a few tips on how to care for your […] More

  • white leghorn hens

    Best Chicken Breeds For City Living

    By the time neighbors acknowledge that you grow the most vigorous tomatoes and bake the tastiest bread around, you’ve probably thought more than once that raising chickens might be for you. Having done your homework, you know that more cities throughout the U.S. are permitting as many as four or six chickens in a backyard […] More

  • chickens

    Where Do Chickens Come From?

    Do you know where your chickens come from? Not the store, or the farm, or even the breeder, but where the species first arose? Until fairly recently, neither did scientists. The chicken, so ubiquitous in our diets and increasingly in our backyards, have largely been ignored by scholars of domesticated animals. Cows, goats, even sheep […] More

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