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I completely understand. I am doing the same this year. Small farming in the north Virginia mountains has been a five year learning experience. Thanks for all the tips through the years.
Comment by K Wed May 24 11:01:03 2017
I'm going to chime in with the calcium crew. I keep a little feeder filled with oyster shell and quartz grit mixed together for my hens all the time. My hens are allowed to roam a little bit (but the coyotes, raccoons and fox all like this too much)however they do not have access to 'natural' sources of grit and calcium. By supplementing their diet, I do not have egg eaters. Of course, some hens don't read my posts and they will develop a taste for eggs anyway.... But I think adding free choice calcium and granite grit for them would be good.
Comment by Tim b Inman Wed May 24 09:52:32 2017
Are the hens getting enough calcium in their diet?
Comment by Ed Wed May 24 05:32:19 2017
Looks to me that she was trying to escape and just reflexively pecked the egg that was there.
Comment by adrianne Tue May 23 19:12:19 2017
Research shows they are HEAT TOLERANT so I will try some down here in Savannah.
Comment by Eric Mon May 22 17:04:08 2017
I love Sugar Sprint! Love them so much they never get out of the garden except in my stomach!
Comment by Nayan Mon May 22 13:25:57 2017
I had a kind of feeder I had been using until I caught the chickens taking their beaks and tossing the feed onto the ground and THEN eating it. I gave up, removed the feeder and began just dumping the feed on the ground. What surprised me is that the next day, all of that feed was gone and lots of the grass was churned up into dried compost. Fine by me! :) Hopefully they got all the bugs too!
Comment by Nayan Sun May 21 19:49:10 2017
I have had hardy kiwi for 5 years and live in Northern Va. This is my first year of fruit as well. I have noticed almost every prior year that the plants get frost killed after their first leafing out. Seems like we get too many growing degree hours before the last frost.
Comment by Brian Sun May 21 12:37:04 2017
We got our gallon can at Walmart for what I think was 20 dollars.
Comment by mark Sat May 20 15:11:26 2017

Ain't real pretty, but this ain't no subdivision! :)

I may need that in a couple spots myself- sold in camper and RV dealers I take it?

Comment by Eric Fri May 19 18:06:48 2017
Thank you again so much! It's a blessing to have such kind people in my life :)
Comment by Kayla Fri May 19 13:01:09 2017
Another good side is I collect the water from the ac for garden watering
Comment by Olan Thu May 18 18:55:54 2017
So now I'm pretty curious. What's the climbing about? Also, did you tap any maples this spring?
Comment by Jennifer Thu May 18 18:46:26 2017
I found one in my pot where I grow tomatoes. I picked it up with a paper towel, and the end rotated and made a clicking sound. Icky!
Comment by Margot Thu May 18 15:29:58 2017
Winter I can skimp on heat but summer ac is my friend. Even love the white noise.
Comment by Jim Thu May 18 10:25:36 2017
That kind of prank is more Huckleberries style....good thing he doesn't have thumbs.
Comment by mark Thu May 18 08:33:13 2017
Can a second person hide around the corner and possibly kink off the hot water line while the unsuspecting other member of the dou showers? :)
Comment by Eric Wed May 17 18:33:15 2017

As a native Minnesotan of Scandinavian heritage residing in south Georgia, I can't thank the inventor of the air conditioner enough!

Living where it hit 95 today and knowing it will be like that until mid September does not make me happy...

At least in SW VA where you are it cools down at night- here, you can go outside at 10 PM and it will still be in the low 80's and so humid the sweat starts to drip as you do nothing but stand still!

NOBODY is going to think less of you because you put in a window unit. :)

Comment by Eric Tue May 16 21:40:36 2017
Now all you need is an Instant Pot to keep the kitchen cool in the summer while cooking and you'll be right up to speed. :)
Comment by Nita Tue May 16 11:27:46 2017

I can't agree with you enough that it's harder to think when it's too warm in the house. Here in the northern SF Bay Area, summers are cool or comfortable until they're not. Longtime residents claim you only use or wish for AC for a few weeks a year in total. But I think our local climate changing for the hotter. I actually prefer a lifestyle without AC, practing passive cooling techniques and enjoying the natural changes in temperature throughout the a point. Glad you're enjoying your AC. Maybe I'll take the plunge again one (hot) day.

Comment by Jennifer Tue May 16 09:52:05 2017

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to post in case anyone still reads it. I found one of these in my garden this year, accidently dug him up and so decided to keep him in a clear tub with air holes to see what happened.

I had a piece of kitchen towel at the bottom, and sprayed him lightly with water now and again. I touched him lightly every now and then and he did his little Elvis wiggle so I knew he was still alive.

One day, maybe 2 weeks after I found him, I looked over to see him emerging! I can't tell you the excitement to see him there. I put a daffodil leaf upright in the tub so he could sit on it and unfurl his wings. Yes he was a lovely moth, with a beautiful orange underwing, and a splash of orange on top. Basically an orange underwing moth.

So now a proud mother of one moth, I let him go and watched him take his first flight, wishing him luck on his journey. I took some photos of him, but cant figure how to post here so if anyone would like a photo, please post with your email address and I will send one.

Comment by Jenny Tue May 16 09:19:52 2017
When they installed my doublewide, I deliberately sited it so that the side with all the windows (I picked one like that on purpose) was pointing towards the south with the idea that during the winter, all those windows would let the sun in and thus assist with heating. I was right about that and it has helped considerably. The furnace shuts off around 10AM and doesn't come back on until around 3PM. When I added a sliding glass door on the west side of the house, I inadvertently discovered that by opening the east kitchen window and also the sliding glass door, there's a wonderful breeze that flows through the house and helps to keep it cool. Then a windstorm blew most of the shingles off the roof and the insurance company gave me money for a new metal roof that was installed over the shingled roof, thus adding an extra inch or two of airspace between the two roofs. Voila! Temps in the summertime are now another 10 degrees cooler than before! Of course if it's over 85 I still turn the air conditioner on.
Comment by Nayan Tue May 16 07:26:39 2017
I had a similar encounter with a sparrow last spring. While it was wonderful to have him right at the window and singing all day (in between attacking the 'enemy/rival' reflected in the window), I became concerned when I realized he was spending all day every day at the window in battle. I looked up this behaviour online and found out that male birds will defend their territory against their own reflection for weeks or months, neglecting their other duties, not eating and also being so focused on the perceived threat that they don't pay attention to real threats like cats. Anyway, I ended up taping sheets of paper to the outside of windows he was focussed on so there was no longer a reflection and he went back to taking care of his little family.
Comment by Kate Mon May 15 23:36:41 2017
Love the pics of the woods! Do you ever worry about coming across poison ivy or the other poisonous plants?
Comment by Nayan Mon May 15 12:25:33 2017

just sent this to the VP of the company -


update after abusing the teva's yesterday.

did a bunch of calf stretches by standing on a ladder and hanging back from the forward end of the sandals.

did a lot of jumprope while using a jumping-jack motion and criss-crossing my legs to put as big a sideload strain on 'em as I could. jumped up and down on the ladder steps. ran around.

no problem with the repair.

however... while standing on one leg, lifting the other up behind me and repeatedly kicking/slamming the front of the sandals into the pool deck, HARD, I was able to slightly separate sections about 1/4" deep and maybe 1 1/2 inches across.

other than that, all of the rather large repaired areas held fast.

I reglued the small sections last night.

I do believe that if I use these as a normal human and not an absolute moron, they are fixed for good.

I've tried 3m 5200 super sealant, 3m 9460 super-duper 2 sided industrial tape, other tapes, other glues and had zero luck.

your product is clearly a winner.

thank you very, very much.


Comment by tom papp Mon May 15 08:56:52 2017

I stumbled on a new observation, when I recently merged two flocks together. I moved a larger flock (with rooster) into a smaller flock, with no rooster. So the smaller flock believed they owned the nests. I've not had egg eating from either flock, until I merged them together.

After watching the boss hen, in the old flock in the nests, I realised she was trying to turf out the new birds. She didn't want any birds (apart from her sisters) using the nest. The egg eating would only happen in the morning, if I got their food to them late. The eggs laid in the afternoon were never touched. And it was always the smaller eggs of the new flock eaten - not the larger ones.

I've come to the conclusion, this boss hen is asserting her genetic progenies survival. She only wants her eggs to be in the nest. So I wonder if because there are new nests, and so many hens, if they are vying for who should own the territory? New digs, means new territory to establish in the heirachy. You could try putting a nest box inside the run, and see if any eggs get laid there, or eaten? I noticed eggs laid on the floor were never touched - only the ones in the nest.

Comment by Chris Mon May 15 02:47:33 2017
Are the shells thin? Is there a lack of calcium in there diet? When we lived out west, we fed oyster shells to the hens to prevent calcium deficiency. Mom would put a dead animal in there pen for them to peck on, so they would leave the eggs alone. sometimes it seemed to help.
Comment by wewally Sun May 14 21:51:47 2017
This sounds very interesting to me & I'd love to give it a try, but I have a couple questions. Is it necessary to dry the leaves before making the tea? Should I continually add the tea soaked paper towels, or just for a time? Thank you for any tips you can give me. Great idea!
Comment by Ann G Sat May 13 10:27:19 2017
Wish you could make a bird calendar!!
Comment by adrianne Fri May 12 16:56:15 2017
Do you intend for your fox to have plantlike qualities? I'm just saying... It is really beautiful. I love thinking about the abstract. Hope you don't mind.
Comment by Maggie Fri May 12 13:09:06 2017

I just purchased your Permaculture Chickens book after reading the article on your website. I just wondered if you have any experience with (or know anyone that does) sharing a pasture with both chickens and sheep. I am planning to do mob grazing with my sheep and would like to have the chickens also use the same pasture. But after reading about the different things that chickens like I wonder if they need their own dedicated pastures? Any advice/info/ recommends are appreciated!

Thanks. Theresa

Comment by Theresa Fri May 12 12:59:08 2017
I am incredibly impressed with your pottery skills! That wolf/fox is absolutely awesome. Keep doing pottery!
Comment by Nayan Fri May 12 11:43:03 2017
All of your stuff looks so good! Thanks for taking the class with me :)
Comment by Kayla Fri May 12 09:56:07 2017
And a great solution/ reason it is! I knew it was something ingenious!
Comment by Jayne Thu May 11 22:22:42 2017
They use pvc pipe feeders at the Creation Kingdom Zoo for the zebras! I always thought it was smart but didn't even think about using it for chickens....
Comment by Kayla Thu May 11 21:27:23 2017
So did you ever get to test it? Did it work? I know they are your friends but id like to see an honest answer.
Comment by Matt Thu May 11 18:54:41 2017

Been there my friend.

I built a bridge.

If you still want just a low water crossing, I saw one in Tennessee one time that looked like those concrete curbs they use at the front of a parking space in parking lots. Only difference is they were strung together with long links of rebar so it just lays in the creek bottom like wood rungs of a walking hanging bridge. The rebar keeps them all in place yet they just move enough to settle on the bottom and water runs between them and over them during high water.

If I wanted a crossing, that's what I'd do. You could make those your self easy. Just dig a row of forms in the dirt and lay rebar down so it goes through them all. When it's hard drag it all in to the crossing. You could pour them one at a time if you want to mix your own or just call a truck to come fill them all once it's set up.

Comment by Jack Ryan Thu May 11 17:18:55 2017
Jayne --- That's my anti-Huckleberry barrier. Unfortunately, nice soft, open soil seems to be an invitation to turn my garden into a litter box. So until I put down mulch, I cover beds with the green stuff. :-)
Comment by anna Thu May 11 17:02:59 2017
What is the purpose of the green fencing --- I know there is a reason
Comment by Jayne Thu May 11 13:51:41 2017

I had a golden delishious that was killed by the rust but our red delishious is resistant. Your must be another variety other than red delisious. Here's my list after much research (also kiefer pears gets the rust as well)

resistant apples: Liberty- (needs 2 pollinators as it is triploid and does noy pollinatany other variety even it's self. fuji- I have a tree about 30 feet away from a rust enterprize redfree winesap - (original only) roxbury russet

I like these because they are resistant to rust and other apple maladies like fire blight, mildew, scab. also they produce fruit august through late october. Also if you thin your apple trees the fruit is larger and some trees tend to be biannual if you don't. Hope this helps

Comment by debra athanas Tue May 9 14:13:55 2017