Due to the insane response to my DIY chicken feeder on Instagram I figured I should make a blog post about it. I found the design on My Pet Chicken's Blog and made some minor tweaks and it is working like a charm!
I don't like to keep my feeder in the coop. It takes up space, and can attract rodents which I don't want. But, I don't like open top or trough style feeders that expose feed to the elements. It is winter currently, which means snow getting the food wet and going to waste. And any other time of year, it means rain doing the same thing. I also always have issues with the hens scratching food out of the feeder, which leads to waste again. I wanted to put an end to wasting feed while having a container that was able to sit outside no matter the weather and keep the feed dry. The ability to hold a hundred pounds of feed at once is a perk too! Time will be the ultimate test, but so far this feeder has held up to Winter Storm Stella which brought a lot of blowing, drifting snow, and managed to keep the food dry!
Chickens can be vicious animals whether it be to members of their own flock or an outsider. The chicken hierarchy isn't referred to as a pecking order for no reason. They will relentlessly peck, bloody, and gang up on another bird to establish dominance. If you've ever seen it in action it can be painful to watch, and sometimes requires serious intervention. So when I recently purchased a couple of eight month old Silkie hens I was nervous about introducing them to my existing flock of nine hens and two roosters. Every spring I go through the process with chicks, but this would be the first time that I attempted to integrate full grown hens. It didn't end up being as bad as I expected, and much to my surprise went smoother than it typically goes with chicks. Prior to the introduction I read a lot of tips and tricks that seemed like much more work than they were worth. Although I wanted things to go as smoothly as possible, I am a realist and know that no amount of masking will hide the fact that there are a couple of little white hens in the coop that weren't there before. Nature will run its course, but with some patience and common sense you can help the process go a little more smoothly.
Wow it's been forever since I made a blog post! My life since we closed on our house on July 15th has been absolute, non-stop, balls to the wall madness. So many things have been going on, been done, and after the fact I think "wow that would be a great blog post" but by the time I sit down at 9-10 o'clock after working all day, and then working around the house, I just don't have the energy to get it on the site. But, fall is upon us, winter is just around the corner, and although the to-do list hasn't gotten any shorter, the fact that it's dark at 6:30pm gives the illusion I have more time. My dad used to make grape juice when I was a kid and I loved it. I grew up in Northwest PA, where grapes grow quite well thanks to the climate the Great Lakes create. So, when I moved into my house in July I was quite excited to see that there were multiple Concord grape vines loaded! Now there are different ways to make grape juice whether you use an actual juicer, boil them in water, etc. But I prefer the old fashioned way which is just whole grapes with some sugar hot pressed in jars. Albiet there is a waiting period with this method, but for me it only builds the anticipation!
I am a big fan of making food in bulk and then freezing it for a later time. Whether it be sauces, dressings, cinnamon rolls, or nuggets, I like the warm cozy feeling that comes with knowing I have a freezer full of commonly used ingredients or prepared food for when I need it. One of the potential downfalls of freezing is putting everything in one container and then when you only need some, you have this massive block of frozen sauce or a bunch of cinnamon rolls frozen together. That's why when it comes to freezing sauces or ingredients you typically need in smaller amounts I use ice cube trays. FYI each ice cube equivalent amount is 2 tablespoons ;)
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