How to Make Marbled & Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

Why make Easter decorating hard on yourself or expensive? You can make marbled eggs and tie-dyed eggs with everyday ingredients from your pantry including food coloring. These techniques produce beautiful eggs that look like they came from a fancy egg dyeing kit. Both you and your kids are sure to love them!

If you have backyard chickens, you may have white egg laying chickens. I have a Brown Leghorn and I hoard her eggs before Easter. If you have chickens that lay brown eggs or colored eggs, this is good too. When I first started dyeing my backyard eggs, I worried the brown and colored eggs wouldn't work well. That's a myth! Those eggs produce a deeper and more rich tone than white eggs. Just use some common sense, a brown egg is not going to dye well with a pink color, but it will take a stronger color like red.

Marbled Egg Ingredients

  • Food Coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Water

For this, you can start out with a plain hard boiled egg or an egg already dyed in one color. To get the swirls, add food coloring, vinegar, and vegetable oil to warm water. Swirl the mixture and then quickly drop your egg into the mixture. Quickly pull the egg back out of the mixture. You'll see beautiful swirls of color.

Marbled Eggs

Tie-Dye Egg Ingredients

  • Vinegar
  • Food Coloring 
  • Water
This is even easier than marbeling. Just rinse your hard boiled egg with vinegar and then put your egg in a colander. Add some drops of food coloring and swirl your egg around. Let it sit for a minute or so to absorb the color. Then pat it dry with a paper towel. You can add multiple colors or just one. It's really up to you.

Tie-Dyed Eggs
Do you have a favorite method for coloring Easter Eggs? Let me know in the comments below.

How To Care For A Shamrock Plant

This is the time that shamrock plants are in abundance at local grocery stores and nurseries. Should you lay down a few clams and purchase one? Yes! Shamrock plants are worth it for a holiday treat and an easy-to-care-for houseplant that will rebloom again and again. 

The first time I purchased shamrock plants, they were for my young kids. Needless to say, the plants were in their bedrooms and they didn't get much care. But never fear, these hardy plants are actually bulbs. Instead of dying, they revived and turned into lush houseplants that have bloomed ever since. The lack of water sent the bulbs into a dormant stage. And once a little TLC resumed, the plants were back in business.

Check Out my New Instagram Profile!

If you're like me, Instagram is one of your favorite social media outlets. I love to see the pictures of people's lives and flocks. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that's what I get each time I visit Instagram.

Recently, Instagram made a change where you can add your stories to your profile. You may have seen these cool circles and wondered what they do.

Each Instagram page handles these differently. On my page, I think these profile stories are a quick and fun way for you to get to know me and my flock better. Check out my new profile stories below and be sure to look for new stories as they are added in the future.

Breed Spotlight at a Glance - This quick and informative story features a favorite breed and basic facts in case this is a breed you'd like to add to your own flock. More breeds will be added, so stay tuned!

Video Fun - I love sharing the antics and daily life of my flock through videos. Be sure to check back often for new flock flicks.

On the Blog - Don't miss out on new stories and information to keep your flock happy and healthy.

On the Farm - We don't just have chickens here at Elm Ridge Farm. Share other adventures through gardening, herbs, wildlife, pets and more!

Looking for Good Egg Layers? Here's a Top Ten List to Get You Started

It's safe to say that most folks keep a flock of chickens for their eggs. They may use the eggs for their family and friends or may go into the business of selling eggs. But, whatever the motive, it's important to pick the right chicken breeds to get the maximum amount of eggs. In this regard, not all breeds are created equal. So if your motive is to get eggs, check out this top ten list of productive breeds in my article for Backyard Poultry magazine. You'll soon find these breeds will be the backbone of your backyard flock.

1. Australorp
2. Leghorn
3. Sussex
4. Rhode Island Red
5. Ameraucana
6. Easter Egger
7. Olive Egger
8. Wyandotte
9. Marans
10. Orpington

Meet Peepers, my Speckled Sussex. She's a great egg layer and has a friendly personality.

How to Use Prebiotics and Probiotics for a Healthy Flock

We hear about prebiotics and probiotics through commercials for yogurts and other foods. We know they're good for us, but are they good for our chickens? Yes!

What are probiotics? They are live organisms that live in your digestive tract and promote regularity and cleansing.

What are prebiotics? Simply put, they're non-digestible plant fibers that feed the probiotics.

Since probiotics and prebiotics help with healthy digestion, giving them to your chickens can have some awesome benefits.

One, if you've got a chicken(s) with diarrhea and a rear-end that's covered in feces, try adding some probiotics to their feed. The probiotics can help clear things up. Clean butts equal fewer flies around the coop and that's always a good thing!

Two, chickens that have a healthy digestive tract are healthier themselves so they're able to maintain a good weight and maintain good egg production.

And three, chickens that regularly consume probiotics and prebiotics can have poop that's less smelly and contains less ammonia. This means your coop will be a nicer place to hang out.

While many commercial feeds do contain prebiotics and probiotics, if you're giving your chickens treats, you may want to consider some of the sources below. Just remember that dairy should be kept to a small amount. While chickens can digest milk and it does have good health benefits, they can't digest large quantities.

Sources of Probiotics for Chickens  

Dairy Products
Goat Milk
Apple Cider Vinegar

Sources of Prebiotics for Chickens

Bananas (Do not feed the peel.)
Dandelion Greens
Flax Seed
Wheat Bran

For more on this, please visit my post at Countryside Network.

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!

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!

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