Welcome back to Week 4 of our 30-Day Food Security Plan. Can you believe it's been a month since we started learning about gardening, chicken keeping, foraging, and homemaking? I have been loving teaching you everything I know about food security and this week is no different. In this final post in our 30-Day Food Security Plan you will learn (click to jump!):
If you just found this series, be sure to head back to Week 1 so you can learn how this 30-Day Food Security Plan works and get started on the right foot!
I want you to remember that you are completely capable of starting something new (like making your own yogurt). Sure, you're probably going to make some mistakes in the process as you learn but the payoff is worth it. Doing these things with a loved one or your kids will bring you some fun and purpose during this uncertain time. Let’s dive into Week 4!
Learning how to hatch your own chicks using an incubator can be one of the most rewarding experiences as you start your first flock of backyard chickens. At Green Willow Homestead I’ve always let a broody mama hen do the work for me. While this leaves hatching eggs up to the true professionals (actual hens), the downside was that expanding my flock was dependent on my hens. What if I wanted a few clutches of chicks in June or July? That’s where incubating your own hatching eggs becomes necessary!
So today I’m having Erin Roy of The Harvest Trail Blog teach all of us exactly how to hatch your own chicks using an incubator. Erin is so knowledgeable about using incubators and hatching eggs and I can’t wait for you to learn from her!
Welcome back to Week 3 on how to build food security for your family in less than 30 days. In Week 3 of our Food Security Plan, I am going to teach you (click to jump!):
If you just found this series, be sure to head back to Week 1 so you can learn how this Food Security series works and get started on the right foot!
I want you to remember that you are completely capable of starting something new (like chicken keeping). Sure, you're probably going to make some mistakes in the process as you learn but the payoff is worth it. Doing these things with a loved one or your kids will bring you some fun and purpose during this uncertain time. Let’s dive into Week 3!
Welcome back to Week 2 on how to build food security for your family in less than 30 days. In Week 2 of our Food Security Plan, I am going to teach you the straightforward step-by-step on (click to jump!):
To head back to Week 1 of this series to learn about food security, its inherent limitations, and how this four-part series works click here.
I want you to remember that you are completely capable of starting something new (like chicken keeping). Sure, you're probably going to make some mistakes in the process as you learn but the payoff is worth it! Doing these things with a loved one or your kids will bring you some fun and purpose during this uncertain time. Let’s dive into Week 2!
Starting Your First Flock? Why You Should Skip The Big Stores And Hatcheries And Buy From Small Farms Instead
As more and more of us are jumping into chicken keeping and raising chicks for the first time, I thought it would be helpful to have on an expert chicken tender to teach you why when you are shopping for chicks - you should skip the big stores and hatcheries and buy from a small farm instead.
Maeg Yosef runs Silver Fox Farm along with her wife, Sarah, in Greenfield MA. They are a very small poultry farm and humane hatchery who focus on selective chicken breeding for homesteaders, backyard chicken keepers, and small farms. Maeg is bursting with knowledge when it comes to starting your first flock so I can't wait for you to read on. Even I learned something new from this guest post!
If you are here to learn how you can build food security for your family in less than 30 days, you are in the right place. When I started out with homesteading six years ago, I knew that food security was important to me. Never did I guess that our entire world would come to a standstill and leave the majority of our society scrambling to build food security for themselves and their families.
For decades, homesteading has been a way for families to increase their self sufficiency not just out of rejection of a failing industrialized food system, but out of our love for the land, our connection with animals, and our focus on growing nutritious and safe food.
This 30-day Food Security Plan will be broken up into four weeks. We will focus on Week 1 in this post. For the next four weeks, I will share with you the simple and straightforward things you can do to boost your family's food security during this uncertain time. So if you are in need of guidance and help navigating how to get started with your first veggie garden or your first flock of chickens - you are in the right place!
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?
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.
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.
Why Pastured Chickens Are Happier Chickens That Produce Healthier Eggs And How We Built A-Frame Chicken Tractors To Protect Our Hens
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!
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