After finally finding Local Hens™ egg cartons (see Finding Egg Cartons) to help promote our egg sales, I took advantage of their offer to create a farm page for Bramblestone Farm. It was free, easy to use, and for a short time – we’re the “Featured Farmer” at Local Hens.
The Local Hens website promotes small farms, homesteads, and backyard chicken keepers trying to bring fresh and wholesome eggs to consumers. Local Hens products offer small-scale producers (like us) professional grade packaging, and provide resources like the Local Hens website to help farmers and consumers connect.
The small farm and local foods movement [...]
Continue reading We’re the “Featured Farmer” on Local Hens!
Springtime is definitely the best time of year to get new chicks; and for us getting them in early May is probably optimal. Many breeders and hatcheries have sold out of birds early in recent years, so now it the time to get chicks on order if you want to be sure of getting your picks. I was trying to compare options from several hatcheries but couldn’t find a condensed listing of them, so came up with this one for easy reference.
These are all larger, reliable hatcheries that also have catalogs you can request or view on-line; but, this isn’t a listing of breeders. It depends on what you want the chickens for to determine whether to get [...]
Continue reading Time for Chicks – Free Hatchery Catalogs/Links!
I’m so excited, Better Hens and Gardens and Bramblestone Farm are featured in the current issue of Chickens magazine! The editor contacted me last fall to see if we’d be interested in being featured in their Chicken Keepers column, and of course, I said “Yes”!
Chickens magazine is a bi-monthly print magazine that says ”The popularity of egg-laying, meat-providing and easily entertaining chickens is on the rise—again. What once was commonplace on most farms and in city backyards is finding a new generation of people who want to reclaim their attachment to nature and become more sustainable. Take a look inside the current [...]
Continue reading We’re Featured in “Chickens®” magazine!
One of my favorite chicken magazines, Your Chickens, is produced in the UK and has been largely unavailable in the US. I’ve been reading it for awhile (well reading whatever I could get my hands on anyway), and have enjoyed every issue. So, I was happy to learn that starting mid-February, Your Chickens will be available in the US!
TSC (Tractor Supply Company) will begin carrying the magazine, and in recognition of the US launch, the first several issues will feature US henkeepers. I was asked to contribute (which of course I did), and am told that the information on the Bramblestone Farm flock will be in the March or April issue!
Continue reading Your Chickens Launches in the US!
To help educate backyard poultry owner’s about infectious poultry diseases and protect their birds, the United States Department of Agriculture is again offering a free calendar for 2013, called: Backyard Biosecurity: Keeping Your Birds Healthy.
The calendar features full-color photos of birds like the one shown below, and can be ordered at: https://web01.aphis.usda.gov/PRTDIST/WebOrder/WOEIS.nsf You can order up to two per individual address, and it always takes awhile for mine to get here – they say to allow six to eight weeks for delivery.
The USDA is getting the calendar out late this year, but it offers good advice on biosecurity that’s [...]
Continue reading Free 2013 Bird Calendar
In our part of the country, we had a drought for most of the summer and then suddenly rain. The rain was very welcome, but caused some monster zucchini in our garden – much larger than I really wanted to use. So, what to do with all those monster zucchini – feed them to the chickens. They’re very happy to have them.
It’s seldom that we see the roosters taking a break and laying down, they’re usually on the alert for predators and food all the time. So, we were amused to see that even they were willing to sit down, take a break, and enjoy the [...]
Continue reading Monster Zucchini? Chicken Love Them
Even though we’ve had chickens for a while now, it’s still a thrill to find that first egg. On Monday, I found this little egg in a nest box; so our latest batch of Golden Buff pullets has started laying. We got them as day-old birds (there’s a story on that here) on Thursday, May 10th; so it was 16 weeks and 4 days for the first girl to lay an egg. The egg is tiny, but that’s ok – we know they’ll get bigger with time.
The combs and wattles of chickens turn red (from hormones) when they start laying, so it’s possible to distinguish who’s [...]
Continue reading First Pullet Egg!
Besides having nearly perfect weather every day, Kauai has wild chickens. The chickens escaped during the last hurricane, and established a large wild population – they’re literally everywhere.
The way it was explained to us, after they escaped, no one had the heart to “clean them up”. So, today you can see families of chickens (rooster, hen, and peeps) all over the island. They’re along the road, on the beach, and at the resorts.
The chickens were one of the things we loved about Kauai, they’re very colorful and interesting to watch, we felt right at home. Our [...]
Continue reading Kauai Wild Chickens
Broody Buckeye Hen – Sitting For 10 Days & Counting
As of yesterday, our broody Buckeye hen has diligently been sitting on 15 eggs - for 10 days. She gets out of her nest box only to eat, drink, and relieve herself; and has only once signalled a desire to leave the broody box (see Building A Broody Box). We let her out and she took a quick dust bath in the pasture; and then climbed right back into the broody box and back onto the nest. So far, she’s exhibiting all the behaviors of an excellent mother hen, and we couldn’t be [...]
Continue reading Candling Broodies Eggs
We decided that our next chickens will be Buckeyes – we like this breed because they were developed specifically for Ohio conditions, are the only chicken developed by a woman, and are very cold hardy. They’re described as vigorous, resilient, and disease resistent, and are a dual purpose breed – meaning they can be used for both meat and eggs.
Buckeyes are big enough for a generous portion of meat, yet are also relatively good layers. They’re described as having stout, muscular thighs, and a broad, well-rounded breast. The hens lay approximately 200 medium-sized, brown eggs per year. Hens weigh around 6 [...]
Continue reading Buckeye Chickens