Sunday, March 4, 2012


It's chicken time again. Although it seems a little early I have a Orpinton/Astralorp hen who thinks she wants babies, in poultry circles they call this behavior "Broody".
Signs of broodiness are that the hen stops laying and remains sitting on her eggs, ruffles her feathers, spreads her wings and makes a distinctive clucking sound. I'm not sure I fully agree with this description as my hen seems at time to growl.... goodness forbid you put your hands anywhere near her, you'll get pecked for the effort. You may be at first alarmed if you have a broody hen as I was. My hen chose to nest not in one of the provided nesting boxes but in a corner of the coop behind a large pile of straw, I thought on seeing her there that we'd lost her and reached down to check on her. I was soundly pecked and growled at. You'll know it if one of your hens is broody..

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

     The chicken project is part of Janus Youth Programs' latest foray into creating healthy, sustainable food and accessible food sources in the housing complex. The Portland nonprofit's Village Gardens urban agriculture program, which has several community gardens in North Portland, works to improve economic opportunities and build unity among low-income residents.     The nonprofit's garden project allows 30 residents living 200 percent below federal poverty level the opportunity to grow their own food by providing seeds.  
Residents take turns on chicken watch to feed them, give water and to clean any eggs that are produced. In return for their service, each neighbor has access to six eggs per shift. 
(Thank you Oregonlive and NY Times)

Friday, August 5, 2011

In the 1980s, Garfield Farm started keeping a small flock of Black Java chickens. Javas are one of the oldest, rarest and most useful chickens in North America.  Java chickens are about as close to the original domesticated chicken as you can get. However, the pressures of industrial agriculture have pushed the breed close to extinction.  Java Chickens are back from the Brink...... For more info. go to Garfield Farm

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How far should my nest be off the floor?
By nature, hens like dark out of the way places for laying eggs. The nest you provide can encourage them to lay where you can get at the eggs for collection. Nest boxes for HEAVY breeds should be approximately 14" wide by 14" high by 12" deep. Allow one nest for every 4 to 5 hens. Nests should be 18 to 20 inches off he ground.
Did you know you can test an egg and get an approximation of its age? All you need are the eggs and a bowl of cold water.
Gently drop the egg into the bowl of water.   If it:
  • sinks to the bottom and stays there,  it is about three to six days old.
  • Sinks, but floats at an angle, it's more than a week old.
  • Sinks, but then stands on end, it's about two weeks old.
  • Floats, it's too old and should be discarded.