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I have a mixed breed flock that changes from time to time. Currently we have a flock of seven chickens, an Australorp, Two Buff Orpingtons and Four Silkie Bantams.
Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, gardener, and cook who pens the award winning blog, Tilly's Nest. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her family of four and her Miniature Schnauzer. She regularly writes for HGTV Gardens, Community Chickens, Grit magazine, and contributes to Country Living Magazine. Melissa is currently working on a backyard chicken book with Storey Publishing to be released this upcoming year.
Have you heard of pasty butt? It also goes by the term “pasting up”. As you spend time with your chicks, you might happen to notice that some of their bottoms have poo stuck to their backside (the vent). This can happen for a number of reasons including getting acclimated to eating food, poor quality […]Read more »
As winter draws to a close, some folks are busy drooling over mail order chick catalogs trying to determine which breeds they would like to get this year. Some are just starting out and others are trying to narrow down their must-have breeds. Chicken math is in full swing and if you are like me, […]Read more »
I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Andrea Martin Ph.D. and her wonderful Black Thistle Farm located in Massachusetts. Dr. Martin has dedicated her life to working with poultry as a behaviorist as well as running a chicken rescue. She is a terrific resource for many local and international chicken keepers. Recently […]Read more »
The Wisconsin Mother Earth News Fair returns to West Bend, Wisconsin July 09-10, 2016. For tickets and more information, click here. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few Mother Earth News Fairs throughout the country. They are hands down one of the best ways and places where you can quickly learn from others, […]Read more »
Depending on where you live in the country, your flock can be affected by a variety of pests. These include mites, lice, assorted fleas and ticks. Most people do not think of these as predators. How could something so tiny do so much damage? Well, in fact, it is important to stay on top of […]Read more »
I have been busy traveling around the country sharing my new book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, with many newbie chicken keepers and older chicken keepers alike. I have had a blast doing presentations for a variety of audiences, but my favorite chicken keeping questions still come from the kids. Today I thought that […]Read more »
Death and dying is a natural part of keeping animals. Sometimes animals become sick and perish. Other times, they live until a ripe old age and die of natural causes. The same goes for keeping backyard chickens. This is a part of the circle of life. Chickens can hide illness well. Sometimes it is not […]Read more »
Chickens love to free-range, and many folks allow their chickens to roam freely around their yards, fields, and acreage to their heart’s content. Free-ranging a flock has plenty of benefits, including access to pasture and bugs, and helps to prevent issues that confined birds face. Sometimes, free-ranging flocks face issues that can be avoided. Here […]Read more »
As the earth begins to thaw and the ice and snow melt away, we welcome spring with open arms. We have had a tough winter in the Northeast and plenty of chicken coops, including mine, needed a bit of a deep cleaning. I spent the past weekend cleaning things out and today, I thought […]Read more »