Life Skills

Life Skills

Last weekend my 24 year old son came up to me and thanked me for teaching him how to use all the tools that I own. When he said this it got my wife and me thinking about this and our current society norms. I realize that people who garden, raise livestock or work with their hands may never think about this but if you are imparting your knowledge onto your children you are developing a level of self sufficiency that is becoming obsolete in our society. We have become such a throwaway society.  No one knows how to fix anything themselves and its often just cheaper to replace something than to hire someone to fix it.  I’m not saying there is anything wrong with replacing goods when they need to be replaced. That is what keeps the manufacturing industry alive. I think most people have forgotten the personal satisfaction … to read more of the poop…

Compost Screw Up

I got my soil test results back and I guess the easiest way to describe it is, “I screwed up!” Those of you who have been following me know I have talked about the benefits of composting. I have not changed my mind about the necessity of composting. What I am changing is how to use compost to its most productive result. Shocking Results I have included my soil test results from the University of Mass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory, and I was shocked by what I did to my little raised bed garden. When I was researching the “how much to add to a poor quality soil” I read everything from add 1” to 2” of compost every year (good advise), to grow your vegetables in straight compost (bad advice). In my mind, I thought that a 50/50 mix of soil and compost should have tremendous results. … to read more of the poop…

I HATE Flies!

I HATE Flies!

I thought today would be a good time to talk about a maintenance issue that I have had in the past. I hate flies. They annoy me immensely.  When I got chickens, I quickly came to the conclusion, that I would need to up my maintenance habits. I have two dogs which require daily poop shoveling to maintain a relatively sanitary backyard. Unfortunately,  I have neighbors that don’t spend as much time doing maintenance that also have dogs. Since I have a very small backyard, don’t have a lot of room to spread my different projects out. My compost pile butts up against the chicken run. I had to figure out how to get additional assistance in the fly eradication business. I looked at the hanging fly strips and decided with my luck I would be the one to get stuck to it. Disappointment I went to a local feed … to read more of the poop…

Trudy’s Favorite Flock Block Recipe

Trudy’s Favorite Flock Block Recipe

Another one of my passions is cooking.  One day this last fall I had a very long conversation with the girls about life in general.  The conversation for some reason got steered towards menu selections. While current epicurean delights were good, yes they really like the green horned worms, washed down with a nice 2 day old aged, imported ACV and water (ACV-apple cider vinegar imported from California and water from chez tap) they were requesting a larger variety of choices.  Trudy told me while she was on the computer she came across a recipe for Baked Flock Block served with a side of dirt with a sprinkling of compost. How can anyone resist such a cute face as this? Trudy and I Research Together So we started researching through all of my vast resources for the perfect recipe for them. I came across a number of recipes, but they … to read more of the poop…

HARDCORE Composting

HARDCORE Composting

Let’s talk about composting. I started to get hardcore into composting about June of last year and have already used two large piles of “brown gold”. I decided to call around and see what a yard of compost would cost. In the Dallas/Ft Worth area it’s about $35. At first I thought that wasn’t a bad price until I was told that it was 60% compost and 40% sand. Not what I was looking for. Plus I found out that the “greens” were trash from landscapers with no regulation on what chemicals maybe mixed into it.  I decided it would be much better to make my own. What Are You Throwing Away? Before I go any further let me give you some background on my experience with compost. Another reason I wanted to get into composting was because I started to look at what was being thrown away every week … to read more of the poop…

Simplify Your Chicken Feeding System

Simplify Your Chicken Feeding System

I talked a while back about different build outs for my chicken run.  I talked about using chicken nipples to provide clean water at all times without having to babysit their waterer.  The third item that I built for them was a very inexpensive feeder. The feeder consists of a 5 gallon bucket, a 1.25 gallon painters bucket and a piece of cheap hanging lamp chain. Any chain will work; this is what I had lying around the garage.  I used a 2.5″ hole saw to drill 4 holes equally around the lower section of each of the two buckets.  The bottoms of the holes are about 1.5″ from the bottom of the buckets.  I bolted the center of the bottom of the smaller bucket through the center of the 5 gallon bucket and offset the holes by 45 degrees.  I attached the chain to the handle so that it … to read more of the poop…

Improve your Chicken Watering System

Improve your Chicken Watering System

This last weekend I was reading the many forums about chickens and gardening because it was just too cold to play outside.  I like the temperatures to be at least in the 60’s before I go out and tackle my many elective tasks before Spring gets here (silly me).  I noticed a reoccurring theme. How do chicken owners keep up with providing fresh, clean water for their girls? As I said in one of my earlier posts, I do a lot of research before embarking on a new project. I read about a very simple system using something called chicken nipples. It involves a gravity fed watering system.  I did not want to go to the expense of building a float valve. I would be concerned if the system failed and flooded out the backyard. My system simply involves a clean 5 gallon bucket, some hose, a couple of quick … to read more of the poop…

Chicken Coop Climate

Chicken Coop Climate

Inside the Coop Today I would like to talk about building your chicken’s home specifically the inside climate (from now on they will be called my “girls”).  I am not going to go into specific designs because there are unlimited choices to pick from. You may want to purchase a prefab, renovate an old storage shed, or build from the ground up. Photo of Coop and Run before the girls moved in Prices can range from next to nothing if you have materials on hand, to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on what you want.  Bottom line, one is not necessarily better than the other as long you provide certain basic needs. The following ideas are based on chickens, and not chicks. They are my opinions based on research I have done. Q.  Do my girls need extra heat during the cold winters? A. Unless your temperatures are extremely … to read more of the poop…

Welcome

Welcome

For those of you who have found me, welcome. My family would describe me as “intense”. When I decide to do something, whether it be sailing, cooking, gardening, or raising my chickens, I try to do as much research as I possibly can so as to not make stupid mistakes (I make plenty without doing the stupid ones). My dear, lovely wife came up with this great idea that I should write a blog about my different pastimes. She calls me the original renaissance man. So while this website is called TheChickenPoop.com, you may find something other than the aforementioned topic (at least I hope so or this could become a very boring website). My History Now for my brief history, I am by trade a decorative concrete stainer who enjoys working with my hands. I have been doing this for 20 years and really enjoy it. It is awesome … to read more of the poop…