600th Post + One Special Egg

This marks my 600th post about our little homestead and this morning we received a special, rare gift to help us celebrate: a little blue egg from a very old hen. Pearl, an Americana, was part of our original flock of hens that moved into our backyard in 2007. She was at least two years… Read more »

January Harvest

It is mighty quiet on the homestead right now and I’m enjoying every chilly moment. It’s my one time of year to get ahead of the garden. Most of my chores of late include cleaning out dead leaves, setting up new trellis for maturing vines, and working the compost. But there are a few things… Read more »

Chicken Check Up

Happy new year friends! It’s that time of year when we take stock of what we have and dream about what will be. That includes the homestead – is it growing in the right direction and is everyone as happy and healthy as they can be? Today was the perfect time to ask that question about… Read more »

Prepping Beds for Winter

The days are growing darker and there is a bite in the morning breeze. Before the first frost hits, which for Portlanders is around November 15th, the homestead needs to be prepped for winter. We have had some fierce rain and wind storms already, so when we had a clear weekend I jumped on my… Read more »

Battling Flies

Having backyard livestock is a joy, but it’s not all eggs and sunshine. Chickens, ducks and other backyard livestock can attract flies, mice, rats and other undesirable critters. The rodents love the free food, so keeping poultry feed in a hanging feeder off the ground can help. Dealing with flies, however, is a bit harder… Read more »

How to Use Bantam Eggs

Our new flock has settled in comfortably to life in our city garden. The older chickens are still separated from the younger ones, but that will soon end as we combine the two flocks into one. The young gals are about four months old now, except for the bantam who was fully grown when we… Read more »

The New Girls

It was strange and sad not hearing the quacking of ducks outside our living room window when we re-homed them a couple weeks ago. I realize that most people would find quacking outside the living room window incredibly odd, but that just became the new norm here. Our plan was to replace the ducks with… Read more »

Goodbye Ducks

We have really loved adding Indian Runner ducks to our backyard livestock mix, but it has been a challenge to keep up with their needs over the last year. Although I had reservations, Jay has been patiently making the case to simplify our backyard livestock. We agreed to find a new home for the ducks… Read more »

Wintertime Chicken & Duck Care

I am fortunate to live in the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest, but even we have had some pretty chilly days of late. When the temperature dips around or below freezing, the backyard birds need a little extra care. There are water warming trays on the market for backyard livestock, which come in handy… Read more »