At some point or another, it happens. The kitchen knives end up in the dishwasher, despite conflicting “yes, you can” or “no you can’t” arguments about whether or not they are dishwasher safe. We haven’t had the greatest luck with avoiding food/contamination poisoning this year and I am determined to keep it from striking down another family member. Any knife that is used to cut raw meat goes straight into the dishwasher like a quarantined specimen and we don’t even think twice about it.
From Alaska to New Hampshire, adult goats can handle sub zero temperatures, however we've listed some winter care tips for your goats to avoid the obvious and most common pitfalls owners run into during extreme cold.
9 Tips To Make Hiking More Enjoyable
1. Use your feet/ankles/toes. When hiking uphill, think of the way you get “up” the mountain as coming from your ankles, feet and toes propelling you, rather than your thighs/quads doing all the work. Another way to think of this is: Imagine your back foot pushing you forward rather than your front leg standing you up.
Why You Should Be Raising Ducks Opposed to Chickens
It isn’t uncommon for people to have a flock of chickens in their backyard or on their homestead. Chickens are super easy to raise and produce eggs that can be eaten or sold. Raising chickens for meat is quick and inexpensive as well, which makes them a favorite for those who are living the self-sustainable lifestyle. Chickens are so common, you don’t think twice about seeing a few running around a homestead. They are as natural as weeds. A rooster crowing is synonymous with country life. You are probably accustomed to seeing chickens milling about your place and have never really considered anything else.
With that said, are chickens the best small livestock to raise? Is there another option?
You may want to consider raising ducks instead of chickens. Why ducks you ask? Well, we are going to discuss some of the reasons others have opted to go with ducks for their small livestock of choice on their own farm or homestead. The animals are similar in size and both produce eggs and can be eaten as a protein source, but ducks are better for several reasons.
14 day pickle recipe and garden tips with a brief preview video for the best practices of growing, maintaining, picking and storing cucumbers.
14 Day Pickles – Full Recipe
Here is the full recipe for Grandma Ida’s 14 Day Pickles. I hope you enjoy these as much as our family does.
Salting Curing Cold Smoking Hog Meat
We add a little flavor today and show you how the old timers cured meat. Tim Farmer heads back to Bill Dixon's smokehouse in Harlan County. With pork on the butcher block, see tricks to salt-curing, sugar-curing and a technique using cold smoke.
See Also Cooking Deer Backstrap
On Frozen Pond
Just Because It Is Cold Out Doesn't Mean The Fish Below The Ice Are
Years ago, when I had more strength than common sense, I'd come out to our pond during the deep winter months carrying a chainsaw and a sledgehammer. Several times each week, you could see me pounding away during the low light of dawn, attempting to create holes in the ice in order to save the fish from their desperate plight below. Then one morning I threw my back out and the fish didn't seem so important to me. I wasn't able to come outside for several weeks, and you know what? I didn't seem to be so important to the fish either.
Dead Beat Chicken
A visit to a Christmas Tree Farm in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Courtesy of Live Green Tn
It Isn’t hard To Be Thankful At Thanksgiving When You Don’t Have To Do The Dishes
See Also “And Penguins Are Practically Chickens!”
Hot Chocolate In The 19th Century
Courtesy of Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc
Cooking Deer Backstrap
Tune into youtube for Seasoning Firewood
A few quick helps for those folks experiencing their first winter with chickens and a quick refresher for the veterans as temperatures drop. Caring for your chickens during winter isn't intended as an exhaustive list and your location and situation may be unique, so consider this a general guide.
- Late fall is a common time for chickens to molt. Don't freak if you are finding mounds of feathers in your coop. They aren't having knock down drag out fights while you sleep. It is normal for a chicken to experience their first molting period around a year and a half. Their feathers will return in as little as three weeks or as much as a few months.
- Do not insulate your chicken coop. The natural tendency is we want to ensure our chickens are warm, but sealing a chicken coop is a recipe for a homemade gas chamber. Air circulation in their structure is vital to their winter health. Chickens expel moisture in their breath; a group of hens in an enclosed area will increase moisture levels in the air, which can freeze during sub zero temperatures and can lead to frostbite. Condensation on henhouse windows is a sign that there is too much humidity. Air movement is also vital when the droppings "pile up". Cleaning their coop isn't always practical or even possible during the dead of winter. Chicken feces produces ammonia, which is of course harmful to your birds and can irritate their lungs. Our coop happens to be an old garden shed, with a few cracks in the walls and gaps between the boards. It might not be inviting for you or me, but it allows a continual flow of fresh air inside.
- Have at least one heated water bowl available to your chickens. We keep one both outside and inside their coop. Chickens will need water regardless of temperature and activity, but the frozen stuff does them no good. The larger the bowl the better.
- Heat lamps are tempting when you are looking out your kitchen window during a January blizzard, imagining yourself frozen to a roosting pole, but they aren't always the best thing for your birds. Yes, they may be needed during the bitterest of nights, but most of the time they will do more harm than good. Chickens, like most any other creature do a pretty good job of adapting to the climate, but a heat lamp will inhibit a chicken's ability to tolerate the cold more than help and once they begin to depend on it, they will tend to remain indoors. The risk to their health will also increase if the power should ever fail and the lamp goes out.
- During severe and/or extended freezing temperatures, chickens can experience frostbite along their combs and waddles (the red growths on their head and below their chins). A dab of vaseline or even something like coconut oil rubbed along the exterior can go a long way to preventing frostbite in your flock. They typically will stand on one foot when outside during the winter as a means of staying warm. This is typical and doesn't necessarily mean they are in distress, however you can also apply vaseline to the leg and talon. It isn't fool proof and you will still need to monitor your birds for signs of frostbite ie discoloration, swelling, bleeding.
- It is true that Chickens do get cabin fever. Boredom will result from the limitations of snow, frozen ground, and a general lack of exercise. You may even see increased signs of aggressiveness and fighting. A few things in the yard or inside their coop, such as a chicken swing, or a walmart bag with some greens or vegetables hung from the ceiling by a string (like a pinata) will do a lot to break up the monotony. It gives them something to do besides peck each other on the head.
- Gather eggs as soon as you possible can. A frozen egg can crack and once it is indoors and thawed can allow bacteria to grow inside of the egg. If you have any doubts about an egg's condition, throw it out.
- Keep their bedding fresh and deep and dry. While it is okay for a chicken coop to be a bit "drafty" it is key that it remain dry during winter. This means anything from roof leaks, to standing water on the floor to soiled bedding. Your hens and roosters should not have any exterior contact with moisture inside their shelters.