Just Grazing

Category Archives: Poultry


Chickens Are Like Potato Chips

Chickens are like potato chips. Once you have a handful, you want another handful. When we started keeping laying hens several years ago, we often used our spare time to simply watch them socialize, eat, forage, lay eggs and roost. As we added more animals and diversified our farm, the concept of "spare time" became ...Read more

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A Goat, Chicken, Dog Story

[caption id="attachment_466" align="aligncenter" width="604"] Loretta (left) and temporary companion Lorilei at new farm home in Michigan[/caption] One man.  An aging, incontinent dog. A pregnant goat. Six rowdy chicks. All traveling together for 15 hours across America's heartland from North Carolina to Michigan. It was a mission for a family beginning a new sustainable farm, but ...Read more

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Chickens rule the roost

Chickens are more like people than you think. We've been raising them for a few years.  In the beginning, we often used our spare time to simply watch them socialize, eat, forage, lay eggs and roost. Now that we have little spare time, our interaction with them is more limited, but we know them well. ...Read more

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Contemplating the gizzard

The gizzard. Now there's an essential turkey body part. Each bird has one. In a turkey, it's a muscle about the size of a baseball. Everything they eat, including small stones, goes into the gizzard, which is a bird's version of the Ninja Blender. The grit and stone remain in the gizzard and help grind ...Read more

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Dammit, “Little Dove,” Why Wouldn’t You Listen?

Bad things can happen to good animals. We promised ourselves we wouldn't get into writing obituaries for every animal that dies on the farm. With nearly 100 living here today, your patience--not to mention interest--would soon be spent. But this week's loss bears some note, not just because we got a little close to her, ...Read more

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These birds have beaten the odds

[caption id="attachment_339" align="aligncenter" width="604"] Newborn keets huddle around "Little Dove."[/caption] There is good news, and there is bad news. The good news: we have a second batch of baby guinea fowl. The bad news: we have a second batch of baby guinea fowl, and the really bad news is there is a third hatch pending. ...Read more

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Guinea Fowl: The Rodney Dangerfields of Poultry

"They are a good warning system--very loud when someone enters their space," we were told. "They eat lots of insects and pests, especially ticks," we read. "They are difficult to keep on a farm if allowed to run free," we heard. "They look really weird and they are loud," others said. There was more. Forget ...Read more

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Birds Take Over Farm; They’re Everywhere!

[caption id="attachment_204" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Pasture grazing broiler chicks eat from sunup until sundown.[/caption] There was a time when we would laugh and say that the farm had gone to the dogs because we have four canines, all of questionable value but at least each is a great licker.  Now, however, without question the place has ...Read more

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First babies being born on the farm

[caption id="attachment_188" align="aligncenter" width="272"] Egg Incubator At Work[/caption] The sun was quickly setting.  The blood moon was coming, and the rain was due to begin falling any minute.  Seeds hastily sown in the final hour of daylight were being harrowed in when the call came. "It's happening," she said. "You better hurry. They're starting to ...Read more

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Hammer Recovers; Bird of Prey Victim?

It's funny.  When a predator attacks one of your animals, you can get all worked up about it.  Forget the food chain.  You're messin' with my critters. Hammer, our Buff Orpington rooster, was a recent blog subject after he suffered a serious wound inflicted by unknown assailants. Unknown because we didn't actually see the attack--only ...Read more

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How We Roll
Farm Star

Our honeybees forage on a variety of crops planted on the farm, as well as native species of trees, plants and weeds.

We have many visitors to the farm each year. No visit is complete without some goat petting. When it's blueberry-picking season, the goats love culled berries.

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