Photo credit: Tracy Halladay

Saturday, January 26, 2013

An Awesome Utah Coop by a Fantastic Utah Artist

You gotta check out this coop and run.  I don't know where it's at but he mentions building the cupola so the windows open to keep it cooler in Utah summers.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chris-lil-coop  Is the place to go.  By the way, Backyardchickens.com is a great resource for chicken info and is a thriving community of chicken enthusiasts. 

I want you to go to the website and see ALL the pictures, so I'll only post a couple of the outside, but the inside is amazing.  The artist who built it painted murals on the inside.  It is an amazing work of art!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beekeeping...in Brigham City?

It has recently come to my attention that some residents in Brigham City are interested in urban bee keeping and are working with the planning commission to clarify related city ordinances.

Obviously I am in favor of this, not because I am interested in keeping bees (I am not), but for the following reasons:
  1. Clarification of city ordinances reduces headaches with government and neighbors.
  2. Interest in being responsible for food production educates people about where their food comes from and how it impacts the land, animals or insects that produce it.
  3. Self Sufficiency.  Do NOT confuse this with "I will save money by doing it myself."  Economies of scale have been established and whether it is chickens or bees, you probably wont save money...BUT not relying on someone else and knowing what goes into YOUR food product can be incredibly satisfying.
  4. Bees are docile...especially when compared with the wasps and yellow jackets whose population has been exploding recently.  If bees compete with wasps and discourage them from being in our neighborhoods, I support that. :)
  5. Brigham city is full of gardeners and backyard fruit growers.  Pollination relies on these insects to spread the love so to speak and produce the fruits and vegetables that we love to eat.
I think bees need to be understood before strong opinions make uninformed decisions.  That statement is just as important to the person who wants to begin keeping bees as it is for anyone opposing it.  In a short amount of time one can easily pull up volumes of information that will help educate and inform.  Below is a small list I put together.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Receiving Eggs Again

I don't have a light in my hen house.  Although I love getting eggs, I don't feel the need to push their physiology.  I let them molt, I see it as a physical renewal and preparation for winter.  Are they earning their keep?  Not even close.  I don't think there's anything wrong with adding artificial light to extend the laying season, I just choose not to.  Maybe I'm lazy.  I do have an extension cord out there, It provides heat to keep their water defrosted and powers the Christmas lights that I like to see during the holidays.

After probably 2 months of no eggs one of my hens has begun to lay again.  Sam our "Americauna" Easter Egger has laid two days in a row.  She has been one of my most prolific layers and provides the largest eggs.  Plus they're green...thus the name, "Sam" as in "Sam-I-am".  My son came up with that when we got her.

For Christmas, I got a trail cam...one of those cameras that you strap to a tree and when it senses something walking by it takes a picture of it.  We have camping property that I want to use it at this summer to watch the deer and moose that come by when we're not there.  I've been experimenting with it, mostly learning how to set it up and change settings.  After figuring out the basics, I decided it would be fun to put in the chicken run and see what I get.  The cool thing about this is not only the pictures but it tells the time, date and temperature.  Now, we've been in the 20s and below for the past week so I was interested to see how warm the chicken's run was.  Now keep in mind, the picture below was mid day, full sun and my chicken run is wrapped in plastic (except for a foot at the top to keep fresh air in).  I was very happy to see it was a comfortable 64 degrees inside their run!

In the front is Sam, on the left is Wheezy, behind Sam is Rosie (Rhode Island Red) and Olga (polish).  Henriette and Red are not in the picture...probably up to no good.  My guess is they're sitting in the nest boxes NOT laying eggs and laughing.