Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Raising Chickens

family with chickens and coopEditor’s Note: We brought back chicken expert Lisa Steele to share with you essential info for raising your own flock. Pull up a chair – it’s going to be good!

Raising a small flock of backyard chickens can be a rewarding and exciting experience for the whole family, but before you dive in, there are a few things you should know. Continue reading

Meet Joel Salatin…Coming to Lehman’s This June!

Joel Salatin“I am first and foremost a farmer, but not a very ordinary farmer,” states Joel Salatin on his website. “In fact, I’m known as a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic.”

If those sound like fightin’ words, you’re right – because few people are as passionate about fighting for a healthy earth, a healthy farm, and healthy food as this pugilistic planter. Continue reading

Choosing Chicken Breeds with Lisa Steele

choosing chicken breeds

Editor’s Note: We are so happy to welcome back Lisa Steele as our guest blogger! She is a fifth-generation chicken keeper who has been around chickens most of her life. Today she’s sharing her wisdom on how to pick out the right flock for you and your family.

With more than a hundred breeds of chickens to choose from here in the United States online from hatcheries, breeders or your local feed store, finding the best breed of chickens for your needs can get pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose just one breed. And in fact, a mixed flock will give you a more colorful egg basket and more interesting group of chickens.
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Chicken Co-Op: Homesteading With Neighbors and Friends

Wire Egg BasketYears ago, when all 7 of the kids were home, a flock of chickens was a necessity. I could go through 18 eggs for a single breakfast and custard for that hungry bunch used up another dozen. Things have changed. Only my youngest remains at home and a dozen eggs lasts me for several days, even with the occasional batch of custard. A big flock of layers seems like overkill, especially as most of the neighbors have chickens too. Continue reading

The Chicken Who Could Stop Time

sarah and her chickenSeems like everyone I know who has kids has, at some point, wished to stop time.  When the little one stands on her own for the first time. When the last kid has Senior Night for football. Continue reading

Kidding Season in Full Swing on Vermont Farm

Ah, spring — the most fickle season of the year. This is a time for tender shoots to sprout from the earth, and for migratory flocks to fill the air with their familiar songs once more. Continue reading

How Farmer Hannah Gets Through the Winter

As a vegetable farmer at Humble Hands Harvest, I get asked a lot what I do during the winter. I remember asking the same question of my farmer mentors before I got started on my own, and hearing them laugh: the job never lets up. It just changes over the seasons! Continue reading

Raising Chickens when You Work Full Time

Keeping chickens takes just a few minutes a day.

When everyone in your household is either at work or school all day, it can be daunting to think about getting a pet dog or cat, much less a flock of backyard chickens! But in reality, chickens are very easy to raise once you have your set-up and routine figured out.
Feeding the chickens

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Brine That Bird (Simple Trick for Amazing Turkey)

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Planning the best Thanksgiving turkey ever? Shelley, Lehman’s Merchandising Assistant, has been brining her family’s Thanksgiving bird for the past several years, and she shared her simple recipe with us. Brining the turkey for at least 12 hours before roasting makes it extra moist, and this recipe gives the meat a slightly sweet flavor (which Shelley says her brood loves). Try it this year – it’s quick, easy and it just may become part of your Turkey Day tradition.

Classic Turkey Brine

You’ll need:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup coarse salt (such as sea salt or pink salt)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced and rind finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 turkey, 12-15 lb (thaw turkey and remove giblets before brining)
  • Ice (enough to cover turkey)
  • large stockpot and/or storage container with lid (such as a 5-gallon bucket or 4-gallon bucket)

Directions:

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients except turkey and ice. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Chill. Place the turkey, brining liquid and ice in stockpot or lidded bucket and let stand up to 12 hours, refrigerated (overnight works well). Roast and feast!

5 Tips to Keep Your Chickens Warm This Winter

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by Lisa Steele, Fresh Eggs Daily

Chickens, like most animals, do far better in the cold than the heat, but will appreciate and benefit from a bit of extra care when the frigid winter months arrive. Interestingly enough, heating your coop isn’t one of the things I recommend. Continue reading