Building a Whizbang Tub-Style Chicken Plucker

If you've ever processed a bird at home, I'm sure you agree: the de-feathering process can be time-consuming, messy pain in the ass. Even though at time of writing, I've processed a relatively small number of birds, I still cringe at the thought of plucking one more chicken by hand. Or, almost as bad, having to clean up the feather storm from our "Power Plucker" ...
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Keeping Bourbon Red Turkeys

When planning our farm, the thought of sitting down to lunch with a fresh roast heritage turkey sandwich or celebrating a holiday feast with a tasty home-raised bird was too good to pass up. In addition to keeping chickens on our little homestead, we decided to raise turkey. There are many breeds of turkey to choose from, so picking the type we wanted was a lot of fun...
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Raising the Cornish Rock Meat Chicken (There, we did it – won’t do it again)

We started keeping chickens after one of those quick trips to TSC during their "Chick Days" a couple years back. Typical, I know, but it wasn't without research. Before we bought our first chicks I did tons of research. I devoured every "Complete Chicken Guide" and "Top 10 Chicken Tips" article I could find - watched every chicken how-to on YouTube. I read a...
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Keeping The ‘American Bresse’ (a.k.a. Bresse Gauloise)

The Bresse Gauloise is a French heritage breed of chicken, world-renowned for it's flavor. Described as "the queen of chicken and the chicken of kings". The finishing method practiced by it's producers is said to create a fat-marbled muscle, similar to wagyu beef. Although known for their meat, hens are highly productive layers of large cream colored eggs. For tho...
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Growing protein: keeping chickens for meat

Reality check time! When we started to think about raising poultry, I had the misconception that a chicken is a chicken is a chicken. They come in different colors but it's the same bird, right? LOL. There are many many breeds of chicken each with different traits. I've since learned that the modern meat chicken, sometimes called a "broiler" or "cornish x", is...
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How we keep our home rodent free

Rodents can be cute, but it's no secret that they carry and transmit some pretty bad stuff. That's why we're serious about keeping them out of our home, and keeping their numbers down around the property. There's no shortage of barn cats, foxes, owls, and snakes in our neighborhood, which all should help in controlling rodent population, but every year in the fall we g...
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Hatching Eggs At Home

In addition to being a cheaper way to stock your flock, hatching eggs yourself is pretty easy and a lot of fun. We hatched heritage Bourbon Red turkeys and French Pearl Guinea fowl. After our 3 guinea fowl were taken by predators (in one fell swoop!), we were eager to learn from our mistakes and try again. However, being so late in the season no feed stores near us would b...
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Processing roosters for meat

When we bought chicks this spring, to start our flock, we got quite a few. They were extremely young, and being that this was our first time raising birds, I considered that some of them might not live to maturity. We must have some luck, because all of them made it! So, it was no surprise when a few of them started crowing. Out of our 12 chicks, we ended up with 4 roosters...
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Why we keep Guinea fowl

"A Guinea... What?" is perhaps the most frequent question we get about our free-ranging Guinea Fowl. Ever since we tested the avian waters with our chickens, and found birds to be an easy and rewarding addition to the farm, we've been looking to expand the menagerie. Our requirements were simple: they should devour garden pests like the chickens - but not destroy our garden...
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Building Our Chicken Coop

In 2007 we would daydream about owning an island with a double shower. We thought we wanted to lay around on a beach all day. Over the years, we have realized that we like to work. We like to build, maintain and improve the things around us and to then share our spaces with great friends and family. (Not that a week or two on the beach doing nothing sounds terrible...) Cultivat...
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