Why Chickens Should be Fed Outdoors

A lot of the biggest problems we’ve ever had on the farm were related to unwanted critters trying to get at the chicken feed. Recently, we put some pullets into a pasture house and put a feeder inside the house with them as part of the transition. Since this was an open-front house, the local crows started coming in for lunch, which scared the pullets. Moving the feeder outside didn’t get rid of the crows, but there’s a lot more room outdoors, and their occasional presence didn’t terrorize the pullets. Read more...

Aw, man! It’s the Seventies again! Bummer!

We’ve got the energy crisis, we’ve got the foreign quagmire, we’ve got the wacky economy. Wait a minute — It’s the Seventies all over again! I did the Seventies already! Hey! No flashbacks!

Admittedly, people are getting the details wrong. Hybrid cars that combine fuel economy and conspicuous consumption? Gross! A fad for piercings that leaves young people with more holes in them than Bonnie and Clyde? Double gross! What are people smoking? Read more...

Slipping a Mickey to Mice

Anyone with a farm has an ongoing rodent problem. I’ve noticed that other “alternative living” writers deal with this issue the same way they deal with everything — denial. (Of course, it helps that most of their readers live in the city.)

Once you’ve had an outbreak of rats in your brooder house and lose a whole batch of chicks to them (and you will — everything happens to you eventually), you won’t be able to regain the live-and-let-live attitude of yesteryear. But once you decide to make the area around hour house and barn a rodent-free zone, there are good ways and bad ways of doing it. Read more...

Sorry about the spam

I always take the “trust, but verify” approach, which means that instead of anticipating trouble, I wait to see what happens. Often in turns out that “abolutely necessary” precautions aren’t necessary. But sometimes it blows up in my face.

So I wasn’t too surprised when some spammer left “comments” on most of the posts, offering to sell you pills to put extra lead in your pencil. I’ve tightened up the anti-spam features of the blog to see if that helps. If not, there are other things I can try. Read more...