mites on the chicken

The Ameraucana has been less energetic lately.  Though she eats with relish there is little determination and if even a junior hen approaches her bowl she moves away.  Therefore she eats separately from the others.  She has been looking bedraggled and this morning she was in the nest box though she no longer lays eggs nor was she being pestered by the rooster. Time for an epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) bath. But why so many brown flecks of dust in the water?  Or I assumed they were Read more [...]

what to do with surplus eggs

Spring is production season and my hens are producing 6-7 eggs a day.  Although there are 10 hens, 2 are retired (Gimpie and Ameracauna) and 2 are matrons (Onyx and Lady MacBeth) so the main producers are the 6 offspring. My running group certainly enjoy the free range eggs with deep orange colored yolks, as do my neighbors who watch out for me when I am elsewhere.  But we had 5 dozen extra and this morning we tripped to CARES (Community Assistance Resources and Emergency Services) a local charitable Read more [...]

2 simple lessons learned – garlic and the chicken coop

I first planted garlic in fall 2010 - 4 varieties 1) organic California Early White – softneck ($4.99 lb); 2) Elephant garlic – very mild like a leek ($4.99 lb);  3) organic Music Garlic – hardneck  ($12,99 lb.) – the only reason I bought this more expensive variety is because my family is into music; 4) organic Dujansky  – hardneck ($9.99 lb).   They grew well, I harvested them and each fall I planted out the cloves for the next year's harvest.  In fall 2014 I must have planted out Read more [...]

cold weather returns

I won't complain about the cold, not when I know what is going down in the north east, I will just comment on conditions and how I am responding.  We had freezing rain 2 days ago and the result was more aggravated where my farm is 50 miles north of Atlanta, than Atlanta itself.  The trees off the highway look normal as you head north on the 515 from Atlanta until you pass Canton and then you notice a silvery, icy sheen on the branches.  Georgia has lots of pine trees and the pine needles are adapt Read more [...]

long hibernation ending

My last post was November 25.  As we moved into winter my growing activities were largely shelved. In November/December I cleared and weeded some beds and planted out, closely spaced, several 100 garlic cloves.  They are all descended from 3 varieties of garlic I purchased from California 4 years ago.  After harvesting last year I strung them together and hung them from joists in the carport.  Fewer rotted compared with previous years where I had stored them in laundry bags hung in the basement.  Read more [...]

sweet potato, pests, a broody hen

I had my best harvests this year.  Everything did well and while the weather, rains and fewer pests all helped, mostly I think is I am getting better at growing.  (I mention rains because all my irrigation is with rainwater).  Last year, my first with sweet potatoes, I produced finger sized specimens.  This year, tho I left it a bit late, they are big. Pest pressure has been minimal which I attribute to increased biodiversity and natural predators etc. tho this week I noticed two instances Read more [...]

roving chicken

We still have 11 chicken, the ever vigilant rooster and his 10 hens.  I may have quipped in the past about putting a chicken in the pot but we do not eat our chicken.  Since I began keeping chicken a few years ago I have lost only one to a predator.  I would say, comparatively, that they lead a pretty high class life style.  In the morning, when the sun has well risen, the automatic door opener hoists up the sliding door and they emerge to range the paddock and hang out under the tree and in Read more [...]

dilemma unraveled

In my previous two posts I described Randa the flying chicken who established a nest containing 15 eggs in the bush and how, after much debate, I relocated Randa and her eggs to the safety of a spare coop.  The dilemma was what would I do if say half of the eggs hatched, since I have chicken enough and would wind down rather than expand my chicken operations. The potential dilemma dematerialized.  Although I had prevailed on Randa to sit on her  transferred eggs in the new nest box she quickly Read more [...]

dilemma – postponed

In y'days post I outlined the dilemma with Randa, the flying hen who established a nest beyond the pale (paddock) and my provisional decision to leave her there and let nature take its course.  Well my better half prevailed with the argument that once we take on pets (or chicken since they are not pets in our case) we assume responsibility for them and when we have domesticated them (select bred for egg productivity) they lose their instincts to survive in the wild.  Ergo, we could not leave little Read more [...]


I have a dilemma.  Since I retired I have had few dilemmas - no more the quandary of whether I should attend an important business meeting or pitch, vs a child's sporting event/concert performance or family function.  But now I have a dilemma! I mentioned in previous posts that we have 2 nimble chicken, Wanda and Randa, who easily fly over the paddock fence and that Randa had disappeared one evening but was there the next morning and we all celebrated with sunflower seeds.  But the next night Read more [...]