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15 laying hens: Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Speckled Sussex, Barred Rock, a Silkie, a Poppyseed, and 2 Copper Maran layers and 3 Copper Marans. New this season: 15 Heirloom Breed turkeys (we'll keep 4 breeding pair) and 14 Broad Breasted White turkeys that will be ready for Thanksgiving.
I'm a country girl from birth, married for a very long time to "the boy next door". We have two grown-up daughters, seven perfect grandchildren and a brown dog. I'm a partner in a small local business "Green Circle Grove"; we make fabric bags and totes and old-fashioned soaps, which we sell at craft fairs and festivals and on our website — www.greencirclegrove.com. I've been happily blogging for Community Chickens for four years, write the material for the Green Circle Grove website and was featured in the February 2013 issue of Your Chickens magazine. I love to learn and I love to share what I have learned with others, whether it's through my fiber crafts, the summer "Granny Camps" we host, community activities or articles that I write for blogs or local newspapers. I read and write, garden and farm, travel and always return to my small, rural corner of the world.
by Meredith Chilson Probably the most important first step when going into the “chicken business” is planning where you will house your birds. The first time we had chickens, years ago, we housed them in our All-Purpose Shed, along with rabbits, a couple of goats, ducks, and occasionally, a pony and/or a goose. There was […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson Why do you have chickens? Do people ask you this? Do you ever wonder; think back to the beginning; try to figure out where it all came from? When I was small, I lived on a dairy farm. Milk checks came once a month, and my mother raised chickens for “egg […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson A lady came to my house for some eggs. She said, “I’m a vegetarian. I need vegetarian eggs. Are these vegetarian eggs?” I said: “Well, hmmm….maybe yes….and maybe no.” Maybe yesbecause: · Vegetarians do not eat animal flesh. The eggs in question are not fertilized. We do not have a rooster in […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson The hen yard is still full of feathers. There are long, sleek feathers and piles of fluffy feathers. In my last post, I talked a bit about how to ease your chickens through a molt – the annual replacement of worn and faded feathers that occurs in all birds. I have plenty […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson As a “seasoned” hen keeper, I can tell when it’s beginning. It’s partly the change in the temperatures from summer to fall and partly the evenings that arrive earlier and mornings that don’t brighten quite as early. Those are reminders. It’s the first hen that doesn’t join in the usual henny activities […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson It’s off the beaten path, even for our rural area. The directions were vague—turn here and there, over a single lane bridge, up and around to the top of the hill. But. It was worth the trip. The view is magnificent, the Biodynamic Henhouse is sturdy and modern, and Andrew, the farmer/henkeeper […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson It takes a long time to write a good story. Sometimes years. Besides the basics of plot, character and setting, a proper story should have intrigue, romance, adventurous nail biting moments, a bit of tragedy…and a happy ending. I have just such a story for you. Well, minus the romance, but including […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson “The Shenandoah Valley stretches 200 miles across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. It’s been nicknamed “The Big Valley” and immortalized in song, dance, film and television.” (Shenandoah Valley-Virginia is for Lovers) In a rural pocket of that Big Valley, a 12 year old named Josiah is raising quail, for fun AND profit. When I […]Read more »
by Meredith Chilson We have a chicken that seems to wait too long before heading to the nest boxes. About once a week, I find an egg that’s rolled into a corner of the hen yard, or under a branch, or even in the middle of the coop floor. I’m never quite sure how fresh […]Read more »
By Meredith Chilson For years, I thought there were only two breeds of chicken. White Leghorns—which laid white eggs and pecked your hands hard enough to draw blood, and Rhode Island Reds –which laid brown eggs and were so affectionate they would sit right down in front of you when you wanted to pet them. […]Read more »