Backyard Chicken Video Favorites

Enjoy these video favorites from the last few weeks. You'll see my flock jockeying for position as treats are served and eaten. You'll also see the hens free ranging in the woods. While my flock free ranges every day, they are in a very large fenced area. When I'm in the yard working or outside a lot, I'll open the gates and give them access to our wooded acreage. It's obvious they love it!

video

video







Over the Fence - A Week in Farm Photos

This week at Elm Ridge Farm (2/19 - 2/25) was full of good and bad. 

The good first. We had a week of temperatures over 60 degrees with a record-breaker on Friday at 78 degrees. It was fun to get outside without a jacket! We all met the goat below at our local feed shop. He was quite the character. In fact, he butted his way onto the straw bale he's standing on, just to meet us. Spring flowers started to bloom this week and the chickens loved being outside in the comfortable weather. Peepers, our Speckled Sussex, found some creative ways to get out of the backyard but stood still long enough to pose for the Fluffy Butt Friday photo below. 

The bad. We had to put our 15-year-old cat, Maggie to sleep on Thursday. She was diagnosed with lymphoma and within a week, she was so bad that we had to put her out of her misery. Her picture is below with Middie, the bunny. Middie died suddenly in September and was beloved. So, it's been a rough few months with losses here in our household. We all hope that Maggie and Middie find each other in heaven so they can play together again. 

Enjoy my week in farm photos!





Over the Fence - A Week in Farm Photos

This week (February 11th - 18th) has been busy here at Elm Ridge Farm. I've been editing the upcoming issue of Backyard Poultry magazine. I'm proud to say it's looking great!

It's been a week of wild weather, from cold to warm. Now it looks like we're going into a long stretch of 60-degree weather in mid-February. Amazing! We may even break some records. My only concern is that the plants are starting to wake up. If that happens and we go back into cold weather, that could ruin the spring bloom. But, no sense in worrying about things you can't control! I'm just planning to enjoy the weather. No snow equals no snow shoveling, and that's a good thing!

Enjoy the photos and video below from my week!

VIDEO 

For Valentines' Day, I treated the flock to leftovers from a crab leg lunch. They loved picking out all the leftover meat and happily munched on the shells too. Leftover seafood can be a great source of protein and calcium.

video

FOX SQUIRREL

This Fox Squirrel visited the tree outside my office and didn't like our cat below. He's too big for a cat, so he really had no worries. But he spent a lot of time yelling about the cat. Lol!


How to Make A Chicken Themed Snow Globe

Handmade snow globes are a must-make craft at Christmas. So much so, that it can get hard to find the necessary ingredients when you're close to the big day. On the other hand, the closer you get to Christmas, the more discounted some of your items will be at the craft store. It's a catch 22!

Whether you're shopping early or late, handmade snow globes are one of the most rustic and versatile crafts you can make. The best part is that snow globes can be themed any way you like. 




The Veterinary Feed Directive and Its Impact on Chicken Owners

As the clock chimes midnight and 2017 arrives, backyard chicken and poultry owners across the United States will face a new reality in medicating and treating sick birds in our flocks. The Veterinary Feed Directive from the Food & Drug Administration will now govern our use of "medically important" drugs in an effort to decrease their use in food-producing livestock and stem the problem of antibiotic drug resistance in humans.

Once the Veterinary Feed Directive takes effect, water soluble and feed based antibiotics will no longer be found on feed store shelves. All livestock owners will be required to have a prescription for water soluble drugs from a licensed veterinarian. For feed based antibiotics, a written Veterinary Feed Directive from a licenced veterinarian will be required to purchase the drug and will govern how it is used.


The hardest part of the Veterinary Feed Directive for backyard poultry owners is to find a qualified veterinarian. A good place to start is to contact local extension agencies because they deal with issues like this every day. They may be able to recommend a local veterinarian. A place where I've had luck is to look at local veterinarians that treat pet birds. Interestingly, pet birds can have many of the same issues as chickens and poultry, such as bumblefoot and crop impaction. A veterinarian that takes care of pet birds may have no problem taking on a chicken-based client.


Preserve the Harvest: How to Make Herbal Butter

Herbal butters seem so fancy when you go to a restaurant. They add a unique flavor to whatever they touch. Did you know they're actually easy to make at home? They're a great way to use your herbs through the growing season and preserve them for beyond.

Making herbal butter is perhaps one of the easiest things you can do in a kitchen. It lends fresh flavor to even simple meals like baked potatoes. There is no set ingredient list for making herbal butter with only two ingredients required, butter and herbs. From there your imagination and flavor palate are your guides.

For whatever combination of herbs, spices and flavors you choose, it's best to start with good butter. My favorite butter comes from free range cows and is only available at certain times of year. But that's not even a must. Adding herbs makes even your normal stick of butter stand out in the crowd.

To make the butter, soften it first. It's important not to melt it. Do not use the microwave to soften it because it will not soften evenly and will leave spots that are melted.  Sit the butter out on the counter in room temperature air until it's soft and pliable. I work with a stick, or 1/2 cup butter at a time. That makes it easy to handle and each stick of butter can have a different flavor combination.

Chives and dill have been chopped and butter is waiting to soften. A hint of lemon juice makes this extra tasty.


Meet the Pollinators!

A Look at the Fascinating Creatures that Visit our Gardens


You’ve heard all about the decline of pollinators across our country. You know the facts about why pollinators are important. Without pollinators, we don’t eat. It’s estimated that one in three bites of our food is linked to the work of animal pollinators. It’s also estimated that 75% of all plant species depend on animal pollinators to move pollen from plant to plant.

You’ve planted the plants that attract and feed pollinators. Your garden is full of plants like butterfly bushes, Echinacea, parsley and fennel. You’re sure the pollinators love your gardens. You’ve seen them hanging around. But what do you know about them? Who’s really visiting your gardens?

Butterflies vs. Moths 

Let’s start with butterflies and moths. They steal the show with all their beautiful colors and graceful flitting from plant to plant. But are you looking at a butterfly or a moth? Do you know how to tell the difference?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...