Are you curious about the journey behind our DIY chicken tractors? In this post I am going to share with you why we decided to design and build our own unique chicken tractor for our backyard hens. Lastly, I'll share with you how you can get your hands on our chicken 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?
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.
If you’ve gotten started with chickens, chances are you have become all to familiar with the stinky smell of ammonia in your chicken coop. Ammonia is bad news not just for your nostrils, but for your hen’s health and egg production too.
Sweet PDZ Coop Refresher is an organic certified powder you can sprinkle under your chickens’ roost and around the coop to naturally keep the smell of ammonia down. While it absolutely works wonders, it’s incredibly overpriced.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the DIY Coop Refresher Recipe I created to cut down on ammonia in my chicken coop that's 60% cheaper!
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.
In the hubbub of holiday shopping from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, I like to keep it simple here at Green Willow Homestead and do 40% off sitewide. Grab both The Holistic Home Ebook and the Chicken Tractor Build Plans discounted at 40% off and start 2020 with your most sustainable foot forward. Scroll on to learn more about both deals!
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.
There is nothing more wonderful for a gardener than sharing the love of gardening with another. In this case, we are talking about sharing that love with your chickens! Not only will chickens love to be included in your garden, but they also can take some of the gardening work off your shoulders. In this post, we will go over how you can work with your chicken’s instincts to prep and clean up your garden during the growing season, fertilize your soil, and till your cover crops under when the timing is right.
Getting chickens out on your lawn has a ton of benefits, for the grass and for your hens! I ran into a serious conundrum when I wanted to free-range my chickens, they 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.
If you are wondering how to use diatomaceous earth for a parasite cleanse, you are in the right place! I can tell you that it has safely helped not only me and Paul, but our three cats, and all 90+ chickens on our farm.
I tried diatomaceous earth as a last ditch effort to find out why I suddenly couldn’t eat eggs anymore. TMI, I had been dealing with constant diarrhea for nearly a month that would worsen with eating eggs. I was so frustrated and at the end of my rope. After doing exhaustive research, I felt that I was dealing with a parasite. Enter diatomaceous earth.
In this post, we will discuss exactly what diatomaceous earth is, how it works to kill pests and parasites, and how exactly you can use it for your health and your pets and livestock. Let’s dive in!
You've dreamt about it. You've been pinning all the pins. You have got serious chicken fever. I hear you! Four years ago I was in the same place, my friend. The more I learned about these fluffy cuties, the more I fell in love. These amazing creature recycle our food scraps into delicious eggs, fertilize our yard better than any store-bought chemical, keep tick populations at bay, and provide us endless entertainment. So I put together a post that truly cuts to the chase of what you need to know to raise backyard chickens. We cover the basics, but I include tips that you may not have found thus far in your search. So read on my fellow chicken lover!
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 strive to live sustainably and turn these five acres from just property to a fully functioning regenerative farm.
Grab the Ebook
1. Joe Salatin
2. Rachel Carson
3. Wendell Berry
4. Temple Grandin
5. Diana Rodgers
6. Bea Johnson
7. Allan Savory
Favorite Books of 2019
1. Restoration Agriculture
3. A Sand County Almanac
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. Deep Work