This blog is meant to be a chronicle of the (mis-) adventures of my family and I as we adjust to country life. I'm a hands-on kinda guy, so many of the posts will take the form of illustrated How-Tos.


How to Run a Chick Brooder Properly

April 25th, 2010 by Blogging Farmer

Our Chicken Brooder

Newly-hatched chicks, just like human babies at the beginning of their lives, cannot maintain their own body temperature and so are susceptible to cold or over-heating. This lasts until their fuzz is replaced with feathers, at the age of 4-5 weeks or so. In the wild, chicks are cared for by the mother. However, if you’re hatching eggs in an incubator or ordering day-old chicks, you don’t really have that option — not to mention the fact that domestic hens often make terrible mothers, because of breeding that focused on egg-laying rather than mothering skills.

This is where a brooder comes in. This can be something as simple as a big cardboard box you keep in your bedroom to a setup like we have: an 8’x9′ manufactured wooden shed. The principles are the same though. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chickens, How To | No Comments »

All Men to Battle Stations: Chicken Hawk, Incoming

April 8th, 2010 by Blogging Farmer

Cooper's Hawk, also known as a Chicken HawkWe’ve had chickens for 2 full years now, and our only problem with predation had been our own dogs and passing coyotes. Coyotes are shy of humans and only come by night when the chickens are safely locked up. I’ve only seen one on our property during the day, and it was gone as soon as it saw me. The dogs are not shy at all, and it’s hard to convince them that small running animals should not be chased, but it can be done with a little gentle persuasion.

This Monday, we faced an entirely new kind of predator: Chickenhawk! Specifically, a Cooper’s Hawk. (Photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chickens, Country Life, Guns, In Local News, Pest Control | 2 Comments »