Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos February 19th - 25th

We started off the week sugaring, aka making Maple syrup. We then had a week of 60 degree weather in Michigan, in February!?!? And we closed the week with thunder and lighting followed by snow! You can get it all in one week in the great state in Michigan! LOL

The critters loved the warmer temps. The ducks got some much needed bathing in and the chickens spend their days scratching and pecking. It was lovely. I couldn't get enough of it. It was so intoxicating I had to hold myself back from starting the garden.

I have had more time to focus on the blog and "branding." Basically, now that the country kids are in school, I can write, paint, design, and get things done!

So what made me smile this week?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop February 25th


Welcome back to another week of the Simple Saturdays Blog Hop! We can not wait to see what you have been up to! 

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of co-hosts committed to the simple ways of life and learning to be more self reliant.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to do more for ourselves in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Meet Wanda

It has been a while since we have done a Critter Spotlight. I realized the other night, we have a few critters that never got their turn! Well we just can't have that, now can we? Fair is fair, so in the coming weeks, I will make sure everybody gets their 15 seconds of fame.

This week's spotlight falls on Wanda, our Silver Laced Wyandotte. You don't often see her center stage over on our Facebook page because, well, she is just one of those "there" kind of critters. You know, not bossy, not at the bottom of the pecking order..... she is just always there, in the background.

We picked Wanda up last spring as a day old chick. Even back then, she just was. When other chicks ran from or to us, she just kinda hung out. I think she is one of those personalities that likes to fly under the radar. It has taken me some time to really get to know Wanda, and some days, I'm still not sure I do!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amish Style Chicken and Noodles

Living just north of Indiana, we always hear people rave about the chicken and noodles they get when eating out at restaurants in Shipshewana. For those of you not in the know, Shipshewana is a little town originally known for its Amish community. How much of it is still owned and run by them, I have no idea. Growing up, we knew it was Amish, but now days I wonder if it all hasn't been a bit commercialized. But I digress..... Either way, the Chicken and Noodles there are to DIE for.

With just a few easy ingredients, I have been able to capture that flavor in my own homemade Chicken and Noodles. Really! In fact, this is so good, I would love to just roll around in a vat of it. The flavors are out of this world! Don't believe me? Make this recipe once and you will be hooked for life.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos February 12th - 18th

The cold and cough that has claimed our family lingers on, but with spring like weather arriving, we couldn't just lay around. Trust me, I would love to have curled up on the couch with a blanket and box of tissues.

With the weather turning towards spring, the annual "Are we going to make maple syrup this year" debate began. Sugaring is such a love/hate thing. We love the syrup but it is a LOT of work. From tapping to collecting, to boiling and canning. As I type this I smell like a campfire, so I bet you can guess what the outcome of that debate was!

Now my mind is turning to seeds and gardening. I know it isn't time yet, the temps will drop again, but I dream of green growing things......

So what made me smile this week?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop February 18th


Welcome back to another week of the Simple Saturdays Blog Hop! We can not wait to see what you have been up to! 

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of co-hosts committed to the simple ways of life and learning to be more self reliant.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to do more for ourselves in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to Etch Glass ~ Quick and Easy!

Every year the oldest country kid takes projects to the county fair as part of his 4-H club. Ever year he waits till the last minute to try to make a million and one projects. Not this year! This mama will not do the July craft fest from hell ever again! The majority of his projects will be done BEFORE July.

One of the projects he wanted to do this year is glass etching. And while there are professional sandblasting machines out there you can buy and use, he is 10 and mama doesn't have that kind of money!

A quick trip to the craft store and we were on our way to a quick and easy solution of how to etch glass at home. We started by picking out a stencil he would like. As far as finding good

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos February 5th - 11th

Our home was taken hostage by the creeping crude this week. It all started with the littlest country kid...... The amount of mucus has been mind bowing. After a week he and the oldest country kid are still coughing, I'm almost well, but poor hubby has just started. *sigh* These up and down temperatures are NOT helping anyone.

The crazy temps have also taken a toll on the flock. Poor Cinder has started her first ever molt. Sadly we are dipping back into the freezing temps. My poor naked girl. She is at the bottom of the pecking order so she roost alone, no one for body heat. I check on her often to make sure she is doing alright. Luckily for her, her feathers are coming back in just as fast as they are falling out. And I might have a heat lamp on in the shed to help keep it a tad warmer.

We also celebrated the littlest country kids birthday this week. I can not believe he is already five! Where has the time gone?!?!?!

So what made me smile this week?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos January 29th - February 4th

I feel like my days are even busier now that both the country kids are in school. It seems like I am always coming and going, dropping and picking up children!

Winter is back, much to the disappointment of many, including my hubby and the flock. Neither like being out in the snow. Well except the ducks. Those idiots love to just sit in the cold snow and nap.

Since it is too cold to go out and "play" we have been focusing on a lot of indoor projects. The oldest country kid has started some entries for the fair (in August LOL) and I have been trying out new art mediums to see what I might be good at, for illustrating my children's book I plan to write this year.

So what made me smile this week?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

The folks over at Mary's Heirloom Seeds are hosting their first GIVEAWAY for 2017 and asked us to be a part of it!

This is a great giveaway with loads of seeds! 

The Giveaway will run from Tuesday, January 31st thru Sunday, February 5th and is open to residents of the US and Canada.

The folks over at Mary's Heirloom Seeds will pick One Lucky Winner on Monday, February 6th.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos January 22nd -28th

The oldest country kid made it through the first week of public school, and he still likes it!! LOL He has also joined band and will be bringing home a Baritone next week. Time for ear plugs!

It is weird trying to get used to the new schedules around here and the quietness. Don't get me wrong, I am loving the silence now that both boys GO to school. But my days feel shorter. It is really odd. But I am sure I will get into the swing of things.

I am working on my children's book. I have been asked by a UK publication to write and article for them. And I am getting my presentation together for a workshop I have been asked to put on in March. So I have plenty of things to fill my time while my boys are away.

So what made me smile this week?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chocolate Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies

Do you ever walk through the grocery store baking aisle without a plan? You know you want to make something and then *BAM* you spot something that sends you on a magical journey? Yeah, this is one of those recipes!

Back around Christmas I spoted some Andes Creme de Menthe chips in the baking aisle and started to drool. I wasn't sure what I would make with them, but I knew they had to come home with me. When I showed them to my hubby, he started drooling and said, "Oh I bet they would be good in a chocolate cookie!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

52 Week Illustration Challenge ~ Can I really do this?!?

This year I decided was going to be the year I wrote a book. Not a how to or recipe book, oh no, I want to write a children's book! I have a jumble of story ideas in my head, many to do with the critters that call this place home. And while I am great at taking pictures of those animals, I haven't really made any "art" since high school, and that my friends, was a looooong time ago!

Of course the important part of a children's book, other then a good story, is the illustrations. I know when I read to my children, the pictures matter. They can either draw the reader's eye in or just fall flat. I don't want my children's book (if I do get it done) to fall flat in the art department.

Oh, I know, if you write a great story publishers will hook you up with a fantastic artist to illustrate your book. But let's be honest, at this rate, I don't even know any publishers...... So I figure I better be able to illustrate my own story. We will worry about the whole "actually getting it published" thing when I actually get the book written and illustrated!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos January 15th - 21st

We made the final push this week in homeschooling to tie up loose ends, finish chapters, and wrap up the semester before the oldest country kid starts public school this week. I am a nervous wreck. I hope he can perform academically for them as he has done for me. I pray he finds at least one other kid to fit in with. I cross my fingers the school doesn't call me with behavioral problems.

The weather continues to baffle me. It is January, right? Right?!?! We have had rain and mud all week. It has been so wet and weird that we had school closed because the back roads were such a mess. The grass is greening back up. And on Saturday it hit 60 degrees! While I love not having to wear a coat.... it's JANUARY in MICHIGAN. Where the freakin frackin is my snow? Yes, I am missing my snow.

So what made me smile this week?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lemon Crinkle Cookie Recipe

Around here, our cookies tend to be mild manner. You know, your run of the mill peanut butter, chocolate chip, and sugar. My family doesn't tend to beg for fruity type cookies.

Recently though, the littlest country kid has taken to lemons like white on rice. He goes so far as to suck lemons! I find this disturbing, personally, but to each their own, right?

So I decided to come up with a cookie just for him and his love of lemons. I wanted them strong enough to appeal to his pallet but not too lemony so that everyone else would turn their noses up at them. Thus was born my Lemon Crinkle Cookie recipe.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos January 8th - 14th

Remember how last week I said things were returning to normal after the holidays? Bwaaa haa haa That will teach me to assume.... The world has flipped upside down around here, and maybe in a good way. Only time will tell.

I took the oldest country kid to meet the middle school principal and tour the school, thinking it would scare him into buckling down here at homeschool. Wow did that backfire on me! When the principal handed me enrollment papers (which I thought would seal the deal for better behavior at home) the oldest country kid asked me to sign them!?!? Yup, he wants to go back to a brick and mortar school.

I have spent the week getting paperwork done, dealing with multiple littlest country kid issues, and trying to learn to crotchet (which isn't going well.) I doubt our lives will ever be "normal" so I just best get used to it.

So what made me smile this week?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Is It Really Honey?

According to the Oxford dictionary, honey is "a sweet, sticky yellowish-brown fluid made by bees and other insects from nectar collected from flowers." Simple, right? Wrong! Because that may not be all you're getting in that bottle of honey you purchased from the store!! "But the label says honey!" Sorry honey, just because it says honey, is it really?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has no legal requirement for honey labels. They have "guidance" for labeling on their site. They will even spell out what mislabeling is or what adulterated honey is, but you basically have to put blind faith that the supplier really put honey in the jar and properly label it, because the FDA really doesn't care if they do. Let that sink in.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos January 1st- 7th

Life is returning to "normal" as this new year kicks off. It is so nice to be back to a schedule when it comes to the boys' schooling. They are a lot less annoying (to me an each other) when their time is filled.

And while life is returning to normal, some things continue to change. The oldest country kid took it upon himself to tell his little brother that we had monsters in our house. *smacks forehead* No matter what we try to do to convince him otherwise.... he isn't buying it. There has been very little sleep for me this past week as I battle the monsters and end up with a 4 year old in bed with me almost ever night. There is nothing like taking an elbow repeatedly to the throat to just make life worth living......

So what made me smile this week?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie Recipe

Every year at Christmas, I like to go all out in the baking department. I make more cookies then are really needed, if there is such a thing! But every year, it seems like I make the same old family favorites, so this year I decided to add a few new cookies into the mix.

My hubby loves peanut butter, it is one of his all time favorite cookies, like ever. So this year I thought I would try my hand at Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies. I am sure you have seen these before, received some in a cookie swap, or had the pleasure of just stuffing your face with them at someone's holiday gathering. But do you know the secret to making them that no one seems to mention? Yes, there is a secret to making these even better then most recipes tell you! Don't worry, I WILL share my secret!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Week of Homestead Photos December 25th - 31st

Christmas came, much to the delight of the littlest country kid! Holidays are hard sometimes as parents, they take work to make the magic! The pay off is seeing the twinkle in your child's eye and the squeals of glee on Christmas morning when Santa came.

This week has been crazy since neither of the boys are doing school and hubby was off for much of it. It amazes me how people who love each other can so get on each others nerves. I will be so glad next week when hubby is back at work, the littlest country kid heads back to preschool and the oldest country kid and I can get back to homeschooling.

So what made me smile this week

Friday, December 30, 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016

It is that time of the year when people look back on their lives to see how far they have come, reflect, or plan for next year. At the end of the year, I think it is fun to look back and see what posts were popular.

This year seemed to be the year of the chicken! While we have lots of crafts, recipes, DIY, etc on our blog, articles about chickens have a strong showing in the top 10 for 2016. That doesn't take away from the wonderful recipes or cute crafts, it just lets me know that you guys enjoy learning about your flock.

Don't worry, it's not ALL chickens! If you missed out on any of these post this year, just click on the photo to go to the article. You don't want to miss out on what thousands of people seemed to have enjoyed...... Do you?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos December 18th - 24th

Brrrrr! It has been such a chilly week here in Michigan. The negative temps were starting to wear me down. I was so glad when we rebounded into the 20s by the end of the week. LOL Yes, I was excited by being in the twenties.

It was crunch time in the kitchen this week. Lots and lots of baked goods! I came up with a few new cookie recipes, which I promise to get written up and shared in the coming weeks because they are GOOD!

It has been nice to have the country kids and hubby home most of this week. We are trying to reconnect as a family in these fast paced times. From going to a movie to playing board games, it has been nice spending time away from phones, computers, and other technology.

So what made me smile this week

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos December 11th - 17th

We will be having a VERY white Christmas this year. It has done nothing but snow this week. The littlest country kid even got a couple of snow days from school. Sadly, since I homeschool the oldest country kid, he did NOT get any snow days. LOL

It has been a busy week around here trying to get the Christmas tree up and decorated, dealing with ever changing schedules due to the weather, and trying to keep up with all the critter chores. Let me tell ya, there is nothing as glamorous as dealing with frozen water containers, getting your gloves stuck to metal and trying to collect eggs before they freeze and crack.

So what made me smile this week

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wood Slice Snowmen Ornaments

If you have been around the blog the last couple of weeks, you might have noticed I have kind of been on a wood kick. It is amazing what you can do with a branch!! When my neighbors first cut down their black walnut tree it broke my heart. But now? I am so thankful for the branches that were left behind!

So far I have made Log Candlesticks, which turned out so rustic and beautiful. I then went crazy making Painted Wood Slice Ornaments. Those ornaments turned out too cute, and were so fun to personalize for folks. I painted a Mickey Mouse for my youngest and a Boston Terrier for my father. I am not an artist and you don't have to be either to make any of these projects!

Even after all the crafting I had done, I still found myself with a box that contained a considerable amount of wood slices. I had made a dent, but there were still just so many left. I couldn't just put them in my craft stash and walk away. Oh no, I had to do at least one more project this year. So I gathered up those wood slices and decided to make another ornament.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos December 4th - 10th

What a difference a week makes. Winter showed up!!! The country kids have been in seventh heaven playing in the snow. I enjoy watching it out the window. It is so pretty when it is fresh and undisturbed. I do feel a little bad for my dear hubby who has to drive in it all day at work though.

With the dropping temps have come the annual mouse invasion. Our house is over 100 years old and I will never ever find every little crack they sneak through. Thankfully our make cat, Nate, has been on duty. He is making it very clear to the mice that they will find no warm, comfy place to set up house here.

So what made me smile this week

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chicken Eggs vs. Duck Eggs

In recent year, many folks have taken more of an interest in where their food comes from and the quality of that food. This phenomenon can be seen in the increase of backyard chicken keeping. There is nothing like collecting your own eggs! You know how the animal is raised, what it has consumed, and you can see and taste the difference in the quality of those eggs.

But what about duck eggs? Duck eggs are not as readily available as homegrown chicken eggs. While many folks raise their own chickens or purchase eggs at farmers markets, duck eggs are still a "rarity." But why? Ducks are actually quieter then chickens and have been a wonderful addition to our backyard flock. Not to mention they are more consistent in laying. And ducks don't scratch up your lawn like chickens do. Of course they will walk over your plants and flowers with their big floppy feet. Why go around when you can just go over?

But what are the real differences in chicken and duck eggs?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DIY Painted Wood Slice Ornaments

Over the summer, one of our neighbors cut down a Black Walnut tree. The tree company that dropped it and took it, left behind a big old pile of branches. Instead of letting that wonderful wood waste away, I was going to make something out of some of those beautiful branches!

My first project I did was actually born from this project. As I was cutting the branch into slices, I got a bug up my bum when I came to a crocked section with character and made some DIY Log Candlesticks! Let me tell you, they were so easy to make and so beautiful.

Once I finished with my candle sticks I finally got back to the original project I had in mind, these DIY Painted Wood Slice Ornaments! Now I am no artist by any means, but I have just enough talent to impress myself. LOL You don't have to be an artist either! As I tell my children, there is no right or wrong in art. So let your creativity flow, and if you aren't happy with your first attempt, try, try again.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos November 27th - December 3rd

I will admit, this week I have been a slight emotional mess. This time of year, the shorter days.... It seems to make everyone a little cranky. And it would seem my entire family wanted to be cranky with me this week. *sigh*

For relief I spent time with my critters. Bless them for never being mega jerks. A few treats and they will make you feel like your are the most special person in the world!

I have also kept busy (aka away from cranky family) by working on some new crafting projects. Nothing makes me prouder then being able to make things from nothing. I am not an artist by any means, but I am just talented enough to impress myself!

So what made me smile this week

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DIY Log Candlesticks

This summer, one of our neighbors cut down a beautiful Black Walnut tree. They sold the tree to a wood company, because they hated the nuts and black walnut is worth some cash. The tree company that dropped it and took it left behind a big old pile of branches that have just been sitting there since. I looked at that pile often..... and then one day it hit me! Instead of letting that wonderful wood waste away, I was going to make something out of at least one of those beautiful branches!

So after looking over the now weed infested jumble of branches, I picked out a nice sized one (easy to carry and work with) and marched it home. My kids thought I had lost my mind when they spotted it, but I couldn’t wait to get out my miter saw and break the branch down into usable pieces. My first thought was making those wooden disks that are all the rage these days. You know, the over priced ones you can buy at the craft stores or on Etsy.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos November 20th - 26th

We saw snowflakes this week, thankfully they didn't stick. While I enjoy a white Christmas, my hubby really hates driving in it all day at work. The cold temperatures did decide to stick around though. *pout* I have lived in Michigan almost all my life and I still don't like the cold.

The country kids have been highly unruly this week, having extra days with no school. While the oldest could care less about school, the littlest can't wait to get back to preschool. These kiddos are crazy and getting on each other's and my nerves. I am just sitting here wondering how we are going to survive the Christmas break!?!?!

We had a nice Thanksgiving this year, just us. We watched the parade on tv and stuffed ourselves to the point of exhaustion. And we still have a ton of turkey left! We even boiled down the turkey carcass to make soup stock as we don't like to waste anything.

So what made me smile this week

Friday, November 25, 2016

"Old Fashion" Oven Baked Chex Mix

For me, the holidays just aren't the holidays without Chex Mix. I grew up in a family that every Thanksgiving and Christmas, my mother would bless us with the yummy goodness of handful after handful of this stuff. When I became an adult, she would gift me a big zip-lock bag full of Chex Mix for our snack table.

This year however, my mother broke her ankle and was unable to join us and bring the Chex Mix. It was tragedy upon tragedy! I'm kidding, I was more worried about my mother staying home and recovering then showing up with the Chex Mix. I mean I could totally make it myself, right? Right?!?!?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser (Because Homesteading Can Get Dirty)

Let's face it, if you homestead, you deal with a lot of dirty things. The term "crap happens" is like a homesteader mantra and we mean it literally! What goes in, comes out of critters. And then there is the garden. Every gardener know that dirt don't hurt, but it can get all over your face as your digging and then brushing the hair out of your face! Let's face it..... Homesteading can get downright dirty.

Now I am not a girly girl, never really have been. I am all about comfort. When it comes to my "beauty" routine, I shower. Seriously, I am wash and go. Every once in a blue moon I might slap some makeup on for a special occasion, but most days I am all natural. But I have noticed as I get older, my skin is oilier then it used to be, not to mention the many impurities of life that set up shop in my pores between scrubbings.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos November 13th - 19th

So glad this week is in the history books! LOL The attitudes from the country kids has been EPIC. Like, who the H E double toothpicks are these kids!?!?! Luckily by the weekend they were both managing to pull it together.

We had an oops in the animal department. Here is hoping we DON'T have any new babies around here next month. Just look at the photos, the whole sorted episode is there. Feel free to laugh. I should have doubled checked. I am slipping in my old age!

We have gone from lovely fall days to creepy fog around our neck of the woods. And yesterday, we had SNOW. Thankfully it didn't stick to bad. I love snow, just hate the cold!

So what made me smile this week?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

Do you ever get in a dinner rut? You know, the same things keep showing up every week. I am so tired of having the same old, same old, so we have been on a mission to come up with new ideas for dinner time.

This week's recipe is Mexican Tater Tot Casserole. Now there are many recipes out there for Mexican Tater Tot Casserole, many of which have things in it the country kids would turn their noses up at before even taking a bite. So after much consideration, I came up with a basic recipe that you can totally add other ingredients to, but you don't need to, because it tastes that good! Sometimes simple IS better!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos November 6th - 12th

It has been another LOOOONG week here on our little homestead. The littlest country kid was sent home with a fever on Monday and never did make it back to preschool this week due to a terrible cough. Of course homeschooling is a lot harder when you'er being constantly interrupted because someone doesn't feel good and wants a hug every 10 minutes. Poor little guy.....

The temps have taken a turn for the worst, dropping into the 20's at night. I feel the pressure to get everything done before the snow flies. We are knocking of the to-do list, but I feel so behind after my surgery.

So what made me smile this week?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos October 30th - November 5th

What a long week. I mean looooong. The country kids have been sneaking downstairs at night and were a hot mess from lack of sleep. I was a hot mess because I am battling a sinus cold and am exhausted from being woke by them sneaking. Guess they don't sneak very well.

Luckily by Thursday we managed to get sleep and attitudes turned around. Mine included. Maybe it was because the stars aligned and the Cubs won the World Series!?!?!

The oldest country kid spent the weekend helping around his grandparent's property since my mom broke her ankle and they had a lot of outside jobs that had to be done before the snow flies. I will be picking him up in few and I hope the positive behavior he has been displaying before leaving and while there continues.

So what made me smile this week?

Friday, November 4, 2016

How to store Garlic, Onions and Tators (long term)

Weather you grow your own or buy in bulk, you will be faced with how to properly store garlic, onions and potatoes long term. There is nothing worse then spending quality time growing or hard earned money purchasing food and then having it go bad. There are two things I hate in life, one is lying, the other is wasting. So what do you do!?!?!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Week of Homestead Photos October 23rd - 29th

Winter is coming! Winter is coming! It is.... It's been in the 40's all week and hubby (who drives  truck) saw snow north of us. It is only a matter of time before it creeps further south.

We finally have gotten the garden ready to sleep for the winter. We harvested some late broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and tators. We managed to get the critter shed cleaned this week and ready for the snow to fly. We also started working on our 80 lbs of black walnuts we have been drying. I can't wait to use those in my holiday baking!

Pink eye made the round in preschool this week and the littlest country kid got it. Thankfully none of the rest of us did! But the cold and cough he has been battling did find its way to me. Ugh, sinus pressure.

The critters are all doing well, except poor Buffy who is the last of the girls to molt. Her feathers are starting to come in, but with these cold temps (down in the 30's at night) she better hurry up and finish up!

So what made me smile this week?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Molting Season - More than leaves are falling around the coop!

Chickens are adorable as chicks, but then they quickly grow up into roos or egg laying machines. Then one day *POOF* they start dropping feathers everywhere! Usually around 18 month of age a chicken (and you) will experience their first molt.

This is a natural process that will occur annually from this point on. Your poor chickens may look down right horrible during a molt, with feathers falling out in some spots and new ones coming in in others. Some chickens molt slowly, almost unnoticeable, others go hard and heavy and your coop may look like a pillow exploded! Just like humans, chickens are individuals, and each molts in their own way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

You might remember that earlier this month we were in the Purina First Egg Happy Dance contest, which we won (thanks to all who voted.) Besides winning chicken feed, we had the chance to get to know one of the other entrants in the contest and her amazing chicken loving son, Blake.

Just like the oldest country kid, Blake isn't your "typical" kids. And while our oldest country kid was born on the spectrum and Blake is rocking an extra chromosome, they both LOVE their chickens. Just because children may seem different to others, they are just like any other kid, really. And their love of life (and chickens) make them amazing to know.

Since October is Down Syndrome Awareness month, I wanted you to have the chance to learn a little more about Down Syndrome and have the chance to "meet" Blake. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in 1 in every 792 live births. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. Down Syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status. When I asked Blake's mom about what she wanted folks to know about Down Syndrome she said "The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different." Like their love of chickens!