Category Archives: Backyard Chickens

Spring has sprung and like me, many of you are thinking about or already investing in CHICKS!!! This is my fifth spring getting new chicks and I just love this time of year. Last year, I tried my hand at using an incubator to hatch my own eggs (much harder than I thought it would be but very rewarding and wonderful for the kids to see), but this year I just got five little chicks from our hardware store. They are currently right next to me cheeping away in their box. They have such fun little personalities and the kids Continue Reading →

10 Things I Wish I Would have Known Before Getting Chicks

Happy Black Friday Friends! You know I certainly won’t be out shopping today (I’ll be eating leftover pie for breakfast, playing games, and crafting with the kids!), but that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing some online shopping in the coming days and weeks. If you are planning on doing the same I wanted to invite you to check out my Etsy shop. My Etsy shop has some really unique and beautiful handmade items in it that I’m very proud of. I get the privilege of work with my mom and my good friend/second-cousin-once-removed Richard on these projects and I Continue Reading →

Black Friday Coupon For Bless this Mess on Etsy

We spent the bulk of a Saturday in the garden preparing the chickens for winter. We normally move their coop and run around once a week so the hens have fresh grass under them (I have two of each coop/run combo, 4 hens in one, 3 in the other, and Roostio the Rooster just roams free around the garden). When winter comes though moving them around gets a lot harder to do and the grass isn’t there anyways. So we decided we’d stick them right in the middle of the garden (which finally had a hard freeze and died last week). They’ll stay Continue Reading →

Prepping the Chickens for Winter + a video

The last time I showed you my garden it was so very young. I can’t believe how quickly it all grows and produces. All that time and effort and weeding turns into food on our table and food in my pantry. The Law of the Harvest in every sense of the phrase is such a neat concept and one I’m glad to be learning about and teaching me kids. Here’s what the garden is looking like right now! The hump of dirt you can see at the bottom was our potato tower. We used some 4 inch square wire to make Continue Reading →

Farm, Chicken, and Garden Tour: September

I figured it was high time to get a little garden update going for you! The garden is growing like a weed, weeds included! Here’s what I planted this year: Red onions White onions Potatoes Radishes Carrots Peas Swiss chard Spinach LOTS of green beans (they are the only things that I feel like I have to get in bottles this year, I’m hoping they’ll be ready right when my mom gets here to help with the baby. Convenient!) Corn Tomatoes Assorted Bell peppers Jalapenos Green Cabbage Eggplant Cucumbers Watermelon (2 varieties) Cantaloupe Butternut Squash A million kids of pumpkins Continue Reading →

Farm and Garden Update: June

I’ve mentioned a few times that I was incubating eggs from some of my hens, well folk, this weekend was their big début! This was my second clutch of eggs to try to incubate. The first batch stopped growing when we had an all day power outage and I couldn’t keep the incubator warm enough for the developing chicks. That little hiccup was something I had not even thought of happening and I was pretty disappointed. I decided I could try one more time though and I’m pretty pleased that I did. We had 3 of our 8 eggs hatch Continue Reading →

That one time we hatched our own chicks…

Spring is in the air and I thought I’d show you what we are up to in the farm and garden area of life. All of our trees budded so nicely! Our property is exactly next to my in-laws and they share the same lane, so I’ve been driving past this neglected orchard for almost 10 years now. We’ve been wanting to buy it and talking to the owner for at least the last three, so while we were around we would turn on the water and water the trees once in a while but I never really went over Continue Reading →

Farm and Garden Update: Spring 2015

Eggs are a really interesting topic to me right now and I thought I would share some egg tips and tricks with you including how to tell the freshness of an egg. Did you know that your average store-bought egg is 3 weeks old but they could very well be months old. Farmers can hold onto eggs for 30 to 90 days before they are shipped off for “packing” (the information that I found for that number varied a lot, so it’s a wide range). Eggs are several more weeks old by they time they are packed, shipped, and then purchased Continue Reading →

How to Test the Freshness of an Egg

a chicken shack

I had a long chat with one of my good friends the other day. Since moving away from her we don’t talk nearly enough, so when we do we always have a ton to say. She gave me a list of things she had questions about or wanted to see on the blog. It was SO helpful to hear what someone, who is a distant reader thought and wanted to see more or less of. Here was her list: Announce who won giveaways better/more publicly Fill us in on what happened to the lambs and how the chickens are Show Continue Reading →

Backyard Chickens in the Winter

Not everyone needs a post on a DIY chicken water and feeder from 5-gallon buckets, but someone out there does need it! Is it you? Even if you don’t have your own hens yet, this might be something to store away in your “someday” file because you just never know when you might need some great info that will save you a dollar or two! Or you might have a friend who is getting into backyard chickens and you could mention this cool site you found *cough cough* and then they could benefit!   We have to start out today’s Continue Reading →

DIY chicken water and feeder from 5-gallon buckets

DIY portable chicken run- Last Saturday was awesomely productive and we got this puppy built, moved to the Shanty, and put all of the hens and chicks together. The chicks had been living in an upside-down watermelon box for weeks and were excited to have something new. The hens are used to free-ranging our yard and are not excited to have something new. You can’t please everyone one I guess. Here’s how it turned out: The coop to the left I built last year when I got my very first chickens (DIY Chicken Coop Tour Here) and the the “run” or Continue Reading →

DIY Portable Chicken Run

I love me some chickens. Last spring we got our very first bunch of new chicks from the feed store, raised them inside our house (because we were in the middle of remodeling), and then moved them out to a coop that I lovingly made from scrap wood. The hens rock (and you can check out an over-view of last year under the Backyard Chickens tab at the top). In August I found my very first egg and it totally sealed my love of backyard chickens. They are so rewarding and make awesome pets. I had 9 hens for the Continue Reading →

New Chicks

Remember that one time I was in a Popular Farming Chickens magazine?! Oh, you have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s because the issue just made it onto shelves!! I’ve been sitting on this secret since the beginning of October when Popular Farming contacted me to see if I would want to be included in the 2013 edition of their Chickens magazine. Yes, yes, yes! How fun. I just answered some questions and sent a picture and then waited and waited. The magazine is a pretty all-inclusive publication that just comes out once a year. It’s big and detailed and I Continue Reading →

Popular Farming Chickens Magazine

It’s been a while since I updated you on how the hens are doing. I wasn’t very prepared for winter. Their coop is fine, but it’s not incredibly warm and is a bit drafty. I did some reading about the general needs of hens in the winter and most things suggested keeping a light or heat lamp inside the coop. Hens typically only lay eggs when there is 12 hours of sunlight in a day. Most of the time they will go into a natural rest period from egg production in the winter months. You can use a typical white Continue Reading →

Backyard Chickens in the Snow

how to collect chicken eggs, broken eggs, eggs from black leg horn chicken

My first resolution for 2013: Stop putting the eggs I collect in my pocket to carry them in the house…

Resolution #1

remodeling a house while living in it, how to remodel on a budget, renovations DIY

Hello! It’s feels like it has been ages since I posted. While you might not be seeing much on your end, things have been super busy behind the scenes! I moved to a self-hosted WordPress site, got some help with basic design, crashed the whole site, and managed to enjoy Christmas all in one week. I’m getting ready to make lots of changes to my pages and I’ve even added a page at the top just to showcase what is going on with the chickens.  So if see anything that is weird or not working please let me know! (blessthismessplease Continue Reading →

My 10 Favorite Posts from 2012

I have a hard time not calling the remaining three chickens “the survivors” after that tragic day the neighbor’s dogs killed six of my hens (Heartbreak and details on that day here). But survivors they are. After a few days of not laying, due to stress from the incident, they’ve bounced back just fine. One thing I’ve noticed though is that they never leave each other. The remaining three chickens have forged a new bond since their friends died and I rarely see them apart. It’s pretty cute really. I camera-stalked the ladies one afternoon and it was really fun Continue Reading →

Birds of a Feather Stick Together

Friends, I don’t even know where to start… I’ve done too much ugly crying today and writing this post seems like the only thing that I can do now. Two-thirds of my beloved chickens are dead. Six of my beautiful hens were killed for pleasure by my neighbor’s dogs today. A rotten little Chihuahua and Dachshund came into my yard, worked together to killed my birds, and then tried to bite Thomas when he went out to chase them off. Luckily the kids and I weren’t home at the time and Thomas had time to collect the remains and bury them. Continue Reading →

The End of an Era

Chicken update! Do you guys even like to hear about the ladies? I love to talk about them because I love the chickens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you all want to hear about them. Really, do you mind a chicken post now and again? Well I’ve made some changes to our set-up since I last checked in. I got a few more chickens from a friend so I’m up to nine hens total. They are big and beautiful and they poop. A lot. They took a liking to my porches and sidewalk and I was just so sick of chicken Continue Reading →

Backyard Chickens: All Cooped Up

Let’s talk chickens. Having backyard chickens has been a ton of fun. They are more like pets than anything, but the best part is they provide eggs in exchange for feeding them. I like having productive pets around. They really are like pets. My kids pack them around, pet them, and this little feller likes to catch them, put them in their coop, and shut the door. He’ll go around and collect as many hens as he can in the coop. I’ll notice and ask him what he’s doing and he yells, “I’m trapturing your chitins!” I let him play Continue Reading →

Eggs Shells for Chickens: Oyster Shell Replacement

I was driving home last night from Salt Lake with only my thoughts to entertain me. The babies had all fallen asleep and the car was quiet without Thomas to chat with. I had spent the day at my first blogger event hosted by Ikea (more on that coming) and with friends I love but have moved far from. I had lots to think about and mull over. One thing that kept going through my mind was home; I was going home. As the distance between me and the busyness of Salt Lake and Utah Counties grew, the more I Continue Reading →

Chicken Triumph

It’s been months since I’ve updated you on my feathered babies, and they’ve grown up right before my eyes! The ladies are now four months old and all of their adult feathers are in. They roam the yard and find their way back into their coop at night. They eat chicken food, table scraps, foliage, and bugs that they find. They meander and find shade wherever they go.The rooster started to find his voice a few weeks ago. He sounded just like a teenager going through puberty. He squawked and his voice would crack mid cock-a-doodle-doo. It was hilarious and awful. Continue Reading →

Chicken Babies

I’m so proud of my coop. I have had a hard time adjusting to the fact that the chickens are pooping all over it. I knew they would do that, but it hasn’t made all the poop any easier. All in the name of fresh eggs, right? I had a few things in mind when I started. I want the coop to be portable so that I could move it around the yard and not kill the grass in any one spot. I also wanted it to be totally enclosed, so that I could leave the birds in it if Continue Reading →

DIY Chicken Coop

Today is a gorgeous day! The wind has a bit of a chill to it, but as long as you are sitting in the sun it is super comfortable. Spring is in full force here in Utah and I couldn’t be happier about it. I went for a jog with just the baby last night in the double-jogger (so much lighter than having a 2 and 4 year-old in it!). The sun was setting and I ran to the end of town. The road literally ends and gives way to the foothills preceding the mountains. I love living in Themiddleofnowhere. Continue Reading →

Chickens and the garden

The chicks are growing and growing. It’s fun to watch their bodies grow and their feathers come in. They are definitely leaving the cute chick stage and entering that awkward stage. Their feet and beaks are huge already, their necks are long and skinny, and their baby down is being replaced with feathers. They are stinky, loud, and seem to quarrel with each other occasionally. Do I have teenagers in the house or what? We’ve had them for just under a month. It’s not everyday you can keep chickens in the living room: She still has down on the top and her Continue Reading →

Those Awkward Early-Teen Years

I’ve wanted chickens for years and my dream came true this week! I took the kids down to IFA this week to go chick shopping. Even if you aren’t interested in buying chicks, you should take your kids to IFA to visit the chicks. The chicks make a lot of cute noises and stick their heads out of the crates to eat and drink. We went last year a few times just to visit the animals. In a few weeks they will have bunnies for sale in the store, too. The people have always been extremely kind and will let Continue Reading →

Chicken Drama