Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teenage Chickens

We got some good work done today for the "teenage chickens" out back in the old shed - it was a good (productive) morning!

After we put posts in and some wood fencing yesterday day, the three of us added more fencing (wire instead of wood) and then netting over the top of the fencing today so the girls have some room to roam outside the shed... and we got to use a new staple gun. Although the girls have been getting out of the old shed to free range (when we let them out) for a bit very often and although the girls are very good at following us to all go back inside, this will be a lot safer for them 24/7.

Mom also added on the ramp she's been going on and on about :) The ramp doesn't quite go all the way to the ground, but I'm sure it'll still function just the way she wants it to eventually - when down, it's a ramp for the chickies to head outside and when up, it's a door to keep the hens inside the coop.

We did some work inside too. We raked up a lot of the mulch and bedding we have down on the inside of the shed for them to scratch around in, Shell cleaned out their nesting boxes and we moved the ladder they roost on to a better spot ... especially now that they should be starting to lay soon.

We cannot wait for multi-colored eggs!!
Let's see, as we move closer to October, we've got lettuces, beans, some peppers too, a watermelon and some tomatoes in mom's garden still as well. Michelle and mom have been canning, freezing and drying as much as possible for the winter.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

in the garden

Things found in the garden today...

some silkies

and some lima beans!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For Chickens

In doing some reading I read that fresh or dried herbs in your nesting boxes not only work as insecticides, but also have anti-bacterial properties, and can act as natural wormers, anti-parasitics, insecticides, rodent control, stress relievers and laying stimulants. So guess who's going home to shake some dry herbs in the farm's nest boxes? This girl!

We also got some new chicks and I'm thinking of sprinkling some in with them too, actually.

Here is a partial list* of common herbs and flowers and their beneficial properties:

Basil - antibacterial, mucus membrane health
Catnip - sedative, insecticide
Bee Balm (bergamot/monarda)- antiseptic, antibacterial, respiratory health, calming
Cilantro - antioxidant, fungicide, builds strong bones, high in Vitamin A for vision and Vitamin K for blood clotting
Dandelion greens - immune system stimulant
Dill - antioxidant, relaxant, respiratory health
Fennel -laying stimulant
Garlic - laying stimulant
Lavender - stress reliever, increases blood circulation, highly aromatic, insecticide
Lemon Balm - stress reliever, antibacterial, highly aromatic, rodent repellent
Marigold - laying stimulant
Marjoram - lay stimulant
Mint (all kinds) - insecticide and rodent repellent
Nasturtium - laying stimulant, antiseptic, antibiotic, insecticide, wormer
Oregano - combats coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flue, blackhead and e-coli
Parsley - high in vitamins, aids in blood vessel development, laying stimulant
Peppermint - anti-parasitic, insecticide
Pineapple Sage - aids nervous system, highly aromatic
Rose Petals - highly aromatic, high in Vitamin C
Rosemary - pain relief, respiratory health, insecticide
Sage - antioxidant, anti-parasitic, general health promoter
Spearmint - antiseptic, insecticide, stimulates nerve, brain and blood functions
Tarragon - antioxidant
Thyme - respiratory health, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-parasitic

(WARNING: Pennyroyal, although part of the mint family, should never be used. The oil is toxic to chickens and it causes uterine muscles to contract in humans, so best to stay away from using Pennyroyal in and around the nesting boxes.)

Happy day, everyone!

* I will deny in no way that I took this info straight from Fresh Eggs Daily's post here

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tips on Tuesday: Natural Egg Dying

Check out this fun info on naturally dying eggs: Natural Egg Dying

Friday, March 23, 2012


We've had some visitors on the farm over the last couple weeks and we've loved it! So have the animals!
Here's a photo of A (Annah), B (Bennett) and C (Corinne) checking out one of the raised beds with D (Danny) was helping my mom figure out what some of her plants were that were starting to pop up.
We love when ABCD visit the farm - it's always a fun time filled with little projects (or learning fun tips from Danny), talking, laughing and often hearing some silly comments from Bennett. This visit's (which was on March 9th)? As we walked around the yard and came on the garden, Bennett looked right at Aunt Connie (my mom) and said, "This isn't very much of a garden!" Mom's response? "It's winter!"
Now, Bennett's no stranger to what a good garden looks like and thankfully, after a little exploring, he started to see what will soon to be a great looking garden.
Oh yea, Annah had a pretty good time in the garden too...
Wish we could plant her and grow some more - she's so darn cute!!

And lets not forget about the sheep! The sheep liked ABCD visiting too. I caught this picture of little Annah tonguing up the glass door as the sheep were walking by outside early on in their visit.
We went out to see the sheep not long after this shot, so ABCD could meet Ava, the little lamb, and Bennett got the chance to give the girls (and Franklin) some "cookies". Those sheep sure love their cookies and Bennett did a really good job giving them out to everyone. Annah was pretty happy just wandering around and playing with the gates.

On the 16th, we had another visit from Brenna, Kim and Emma. Emma was so excited about the sheep that she kept chasing them around. Unfortunately, that's not the way to make friends with them and they just kept running away. Maybe next time they'll get off on a better foot. Emma didn't leave without some love though - here's Beau Beau excited to get a pet and some treats.
Emma also got to pet little Ava who Shelly was nice enough to hold for her and left seeming to be pretty determined to talk her dad into letting her have a pet chick. She took home two farm fresh eggs too ... to eat, not hatch though.
Did I mention we love visitors to the farm?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Exciting things here!

There was a baby sheep born last week, lots of little plants coming up inside, new chickens ordered, peas planted, raised beds are doing well, onion sets are ready to plant, garlic is 3 inches tall and I am going to have a wonderful garden this year!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baa baa baby black sheep

That's right - there's a new baby on the farm!! Michelle and mom called to say there was a new little black, female sheep on the farm and, obviously, she's adorable!

Who's the proud mama?
Little miss Rain, the black ewe born spring of 2010 (on a very RAINy day)!

Personally, I love Rain. I think she's just a perfect example of a Babydoll Sheep. She's got a great smile, is cute sheered or woolly and although she was a little shy when she was younger, she's gotten more bold and social. As it turns out, Rain is also a wonderful, wonderful mom! Little baby was screaming away and once in their bonding pen, Rain was all over her - cleaning and kissing the baby. It was really cute!

Quote of the day goes to my mom: {Rain} is the only one I thought wasn't pregnant.

So, there are more babies to come this spring/mild end of winter here in Jersey, but for now we'll spoil you with photos of our first this season...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

planting has begun!

Mom wrote today that she planted 10 herbs ... and she kept on going, I guess, because she later texted me: "Basil, oregano, dill, chives, rosemary, sage, lavender, cilantro, thyme, broccoli, eggplant - so cool! And pototo eyes in cold frame."