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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Fodder Update: Adding clover sprouts

We recently started growing fodder, or sprouted seeds, to supplement the feed for our chickens and turkeys. Its been going well so far, and the results have been very rewarding. Every morning I pull out 6 lbs of fresh sprouted grains to feed our birds, and in return egg quality has gotten noticeably better. Yolks seem to be richer in color, and the whites are denser and les...
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Food for food: our hydroponic fodder system

In an effort to improve the feed for our chickens and turkeys, and cut feed costs, we've decided to grow hydroponic fodder. Fodder is basically sprouted grains, and we're growing ours in irrigated trays without soil. In addition to increasing in weight by simply adding water, the activity of sprouting makes more of the nutrients within the seed available, so it seemed like ...
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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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Making compost from table and yard scraps

The benefits of composting are abundant. By making your own compost, you can cut down on household waste, improve your soil to grow healthier plants without chemicals, and reduce the costs associated with your garden. So the decision was easy, but starting this adventure was not quite so straight forward. First things to consider... Space - For starters you'll need to ...
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