Put An Egg On It - Cookbook Review

Here's my latest post for Backyard Poultry Magazine. Please feel free to leave a comment to enter the book giveaway.


I recently had the pleasure of previewing a new cookbook by Lara Ferroni aptly named Put An Egg On It.  With a flock of backyard chickens, a cookbook like this can certainly come in handy when you’re trying to find uses for all of your beautiful eggs.

In a nutshell, I like this book. The pictures are beautiful and the recipes inspire you to go beyond the pale and add eggs to dishes you normally would not. 

In fairness, as a busy mom with after-school activities, sports, numerous pets and a flock of chickens, some of these recipes were a little too involved for me. And, with finicky eaters in my house, there would be tears at the table if I tried some of the more fancy feasts.
But, what I liked the best, is that interspersed among fancy recipes, were easy recipes that appeal to palettes that think chicken nuggets are a delicacy. For instance, the grilled cheese and egg sandwich was a hit at my house as well as the hot dog with scrambled eggs and hot sauce. I’ve tried the breakfast bowl recipes and they are easy and yummy.

I LOVED the introduction and egg basics sections of this book. For one, Ferroni’s pictures included not only white eggs, but green and brown too. Personally this more accurately reflects my egg selections. And two, the egg basics section is comprehensive and informative.
Overall, this is a great book to have in your kitchen arsenal. The pictures and recipes are inspiring for those of us who are always looking for creative uses for our backyard eggs!

We’re giving away a free copy of Put An Egg On It. For a chance to receive this book, please leave a comment on this post and/or at http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/put-an-egg-on-it-cookbook-review/?blogger=pfreeman. If you leave a comment on both blogs, you’ll increase your chances of winning. Good luck!

A Summer of Chicken Predators

I recently wrote this post for Backyard Poultry Magazine and unfortunately, since then our Red Sex Link, Broody Brood, has gone missing with no trace of evidence. You've always got to be vigilant with predators; they're hungry and they can't go to the local diner for carry out!


Our chicken coop is no stranger to predators. We’re always on the lookout and it’s been a while since anything bad occurred. According to Murphy’s Law, we started having problems with a raccoon a few days before leaving on vacation. But, while we were gone, our chicken sitters humanely dispatched that problem and no chickens were harmed.

Then we came home one day to find a pile of feathers on our hillside and a chicken dead in our swimming pool. This was disturbing because we’ve had our pool for three years with no incident. For our chicken to get into the pool, she would have to work hard to fly in there.

A few nights after this, I went to close the coop and do my usual head count. We were missing one! I searched all over but it got so dark that I had to give up and hope she decided to roost out for the night. In the morning, I found a pile of feathers right next to our fence. I knew she wouldn’t be coming home; but had to wonder, what had gotten our hen.

The next day it was hot, so in the afternoon my kids and I checked on the chickens. We noticed our rooster, Roopert and his favorite hen had gotten out of the fence and were under our screened-in porch. This happens a lot since Roopert has a mind of his own.

We were back inside no more than five minutes and we heard a horrible squawking from Roopert. We rushed outside and there he was; where we’d left him, minus his favorite hen.

As we secured the chickens and did a head count, I noticed a pile of feathers just down from where Roopert had been standing.

Since this last kill was under our porch and the pile of feathers was the same, I quickly ruled out an avian predator. After a little research, I found out we had a fox preying on our chickens. They are stealthy animals and ours had probably been stalking our chickens for weeks. They often leave little evidence other than a pile of feathers.

Once we had the big picture, it was easy to see what had happened at our pool; a hen escaped an attack only to land wrongly in the water. But, why was this happening now. What was different? We had recently had some yard work done and our front gate was down. But none of these attacks took place in our yard proper and our chickens often roam freely outside the fences. I think the deciding factor was that our fox was emboldened since our dog wasn’t in the yard as much because her fence was gone. So we quickly replaced our gate, our dog returned to her watch post and there were no more attacks.

But after the recent disappearance of Broody Brood, we’re now down to 17 chickens, thanks to our summer, and fall, of predators.  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for a strong finish to the fall season!

Originally posted at Backyard Poultry Magazine.

New Feather Fixer Feed Helps Chicken Molt

Our two-year-old Red Sex Link “Broody Brood” had an extremely difficult molt in late summer. She went from full-feathered one day to nearly naked overnight. And, I’m not kidding. It looked like a chicken exploded in our backyard. (I had to do a head count to make sure no one was missing!)

Her “nakedness” attracted the ire of the rest of the flock. She was getting picked on, her comb and wattle stopped being a healthy red. She needed help! 
Broody Brood, a two-year-old Red Sex Link, recovering from her hard molt.
My chickens don’t usually have such dramatic molts, so I resorted to some TLC for Broody Brood. I fed her separately from the flock. I even scrambled some of my chicken eggs and fed them to the flock. After all, they are the best nutrition in the neighborhood.
But Broody Brood continued her molt and looked terrible. Then I stumbled upon Nutrena’s Feather Fixer feed. The bag said that Feather Fixer is designed to help your hens; and roosters, get through their molt quicker and help prevent mites.
According to the bag, this food can be fed year-round, or just during a molt. Nutrena says it provides:
·        Optimal protein and energy levels for chickens regrowing feathers,

·        Organic trace minerals to support feather regrowth and eggshell strength,

·        Prebiotics and probiotics to support proper digestion and nutrient absorption,

·        A blend of nutrients to naturally support the immune system,

·        Mite-fighter technology to prevent mites,

·        A natural source of greens and

·        Aztec marigold extract for golden yolks.
With all those listed benefits, I had to give it a try. When I opened the bag, I was worried at first. The food is in pellets and my chickens normally hate pellets. But, to my amazement, they couldn’t get enough. 

We haven’t been using it long, but Broody Brood is looking better by the day. Her newly emerging feathers are coming in fast. They’re shiny and soft. She’s also picking up some weight, her comb and wattle are getting redder and she’s got a lot more energy. As a bonus, a few of my other hens who had bare backs from the roosters are also starting to look better. So far, I’m thinking this is a food I’m definitely going to feed during molting periods, and also mix in throughout the year.

Originally posted at Backyard Poultry Magazine.

Integrated Systems Post is Excellent

This is a great blog post written by Joel Salatin for the BackYard Chicken blog for Murray McMurray Hatchery. He makes some excellent points about the health benefits of raising backyard chickens, the segregation of today's food and farming systems and the way to get rid of commercialized chicken production.

Click below to follow the link to Joel's post...

Integrated Systems by Joel Salatin
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