Installing an automatic heated livestock watering system in our barn for our farm and homestead has been one of the biggest game-changers in reducing labor effort, maintaining cleanliness, and, most importantly, combating Old Man Winter’s relentless effort to freeze everything in sight through our cold Wisconsin months. In this post, we will cover absolutely everything you need to know on how to build and install your own automatic heated livestock watering system for your barn - including plumbing supplies, heating elements, and step-by-step instructions for installing the automatic watering system.
Turns out I'm not the only one that feels like a fish out of water when the humidity and heat strike hard mid-July here in Wisconsin. My chickens were right there with me! Chickens and high heat plus humidity can be a deadly combination, especially this Wisconsin summer with the heat index climbing into the low 100s. So I wanted to share a few of the tips and tricks I've learned to keep my flock comfortable when I feel personally feel like melting.
Getting chickens out on pasture using an A-Frame chicken coop tractor is one of the best ways to give your hens access to the absolute best food. We built these A-frame chicken coop tractors to help remedy a handful of issues we kept running into when raising our hens.
My rambunctious chickens would never fail to stray a bit too far, get on the wrong side of the fence, and into our neighbors' yards. When I would open the coop door every morning, offering them their free-range freedom, I found myself checking on them every 45 minutes. It would disrupt my day, I was constantly stressed out, and the hens would always wind up into some sort of trouble. At that point, the only alternative was to keep them cooped up (hah), forbidding them access to all the wonderful things a free range chicken would have. That's where our A-frame mobile chicken coop tractor made chicken keeping a hundred percent easier!
To kick off season 4 of the podcast we have on the queen of the coop herself - Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily. Lisa has been raising chickens naturally for over a decade on her Fresh Eggs Daily Blog and shares with us all about how you can get started with your first backyard flock. We love her down-to-earth advice on using herbs and natural means to care for your hens. Lisa was and continues to be incredibly generous with her knowledge and insight on chicken care so be sure to tune in!
When chickens get lice or mites, it can cause a number of problems for your flock. From a dip in egg production to undue stress that negatively affects their immune system, these external parasites are bad news for your hens. When they show up, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. So how do you do that?
I’ve found MannaPro Poultry Protector spray to be the most effective and quick non-toxic way to get rid of lice and mites. The issue is I own over 75 hens, so when I used Poultry Protector spray to kill lice and mites, I would go through a bottle a day! With each bottle ringing up at $12, it was an expensive treatment and I couldn’t keep footing the bill.
So I did my research and came up with a DIY Poultry Protector spray that costs me a fraction of the price (1/5 the cost to be exact!) and works just as well. In this post, I’m going to share it with you so you can help your hens and save a chunk of change too.
Through the hubbub of holiday shopping I like to keep it simple here at Green Willow Homestead - today through November 30th at midnight enjoy up to 40% off!
Grab the Holistic Home eBook, the Chicken Tractor Build Plans, our handcrafted Cocktail Bitters, or even preorder the Cultivating Capital Course at a discount and start 2022 with your best foot forward. Scroll on to learn more about all four deals!
If you live in an area that gets blasted with snow and cold temperatures during the winter months, then your chickens are definitely going to need the extra nutritional boost only supplements can give.
Every winter on our farm in Wisconsin, I give a handful of high quality, natural supplements to my hens. In this post, I am going to share with you why you should consider supplementation during the winter months for your chickens, which supplements I recommend, and the benefits they provide for your flock.
Are you curious about the journey behind our DIY A-Frame chicken coop tractors? In this post I am going to share with you why we decided to design and build our own unique A-frame chicken tractor for our backyard hens. Lastly, I'll share with you how you can get your hands on our A-frame chicken coop tractor build plans so you can build one for your backyard or homestead!
My very first flock of backyard chickens clocked in at seven beautiful hens. After researching and reading as much as I could on how best to raise laying hens, I decided to let them free-range because pastured chickens are the happiest and healthiest.
Why? Being able to forage for bugs and grubs allows them a diverse diet, lots of sunshine, and never ending entertainment. Keeping hens on grass also provides us the healthiest eggs possible thanks to their higher beta-carotene, choline, and omega-3 levels. It was win-win in my book.
So after a few weeks of free-ranging my very first flock, imagine my dismay when I came out to check on my girls and found feathers and blood everywhere. My heart sank as I did a headcount and found two of my girls missing. A hawk had been through my flock and thus began the conundrum that most backyard chicken owners face. Do you let your hens free-range and take the risk of a predator attack or do you keep them cooped up and safe and limit their diet and their happiness?
There’s nothing quite like having the infrastructure you need to farm, especially for those of us who farm in colder climates. When we first purchased our farm, the barn was in desperate need of renovation. The previous owners used it to store old farm equipment, junk, and well, more junk. The mice also turned it into their personal cabin getaway. It was hard to imagine it would ever look clean again...
In this video, I share with you the before and after of our barn renovation, go over our budget, the scope of work, and give you a barn tour!
In this episode of the Positively Green Podcast, Suzette asks me all her most pressing chicken-keeping questions. There's quite a bit of information you need to know before you get started with hens, as well as myths and misconceptions that need to be de-bunked. I happily share all of my chicken knowledge with Suzette and our listeners - from backyard chickens to scaling up to farming.
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we turn the 80 acres we call home into a farm that serves its community and a homestead that nourishes us throughout the seasons.
Grab the Ebook
Tune in to our YouTube Channel
Favorite Books of 2021
2. Braiding Sweetgrass
3. As Long As Grass Grows
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. The Zero Waste Solution