Monday, January 27, 2014

Feather Christmas Ornaments- DIY

Today's post is a tutorial for Christmas ornaments made using feathers from my flock!  It is a really easy craft project that results in a beautiful ornament for your tree.  This is the perfect gift for any chicken lover!  There will definitely be a few of these on my Christmas tree this year! 

All you need is some clear glass ornaments, some feathers from your flock, and a q-tip. You can use as little or as many feathers as you like, depending on how "full" you want your ornament to look!

 After you gather your supplies, take the cap off of the ornament.  I found that it helped to sit the ornament into a small custard bowl so it wasn't rolling around.
 Next, you begin placing your feathers into the ornament.  Once you have several in there, you can begin to use the q-tip to arrange the feathers along the sides of the ornament.  I wouldn't suggest using your finger, because you may cut yourself!  You could also use a pencil, chop-stick or some other long skinny object.

Just continue to place feathers into the ornament and arrange them along the sides of your ornament.  When you are satisfied with the way your ornament looks, you are done!  Replace the metal cap, add a hook, and it is ready to hang on your tree!

I hope to make several of these for my own tree this year!  I will probably make a few for friends and family as well!  I hope you enjoyed this DIY-tutorial and will make some for your own tree!  You have all year to collect feathers from your chickens, and have them ready for Christmas!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Review of Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele

Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele

I recently purchased and then won a copy of Lisa Steele's new book Fresh Eggs Daily.  This book goes along with the Fresh Eggs Daily blog, which provides information on raising chickens naturally without all the modern technologies and medications.  I was so excited to get my copy that I went to the post office to pick it up, rather than wait for them to deliver it the next day!

First off, the book is absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous photos of Lisa's own chickens and colors that many chicken lovers can find in their egg baskets!  Blues and greens, creams and browns,  just like eggs from our own back yard flocks!


 Lisa goes into detail on every aspect of your coop and run setup.  She talks about coop size, ventilation, predator proofing, herbs to use in your coop, as well as giving you recipes for a refresher spray and a coop cleaner!  I made a batch of the coop cleaner, and was very pleased with the results!  I have even used it to mop my own floors in the house! (With 4 little ones, it often gets quite sticky!)  She talks about nesting boxes, landscaping the run, creating a dust bath area and many other details that you might otherwise overlook! 

In the book, there are several chapters on feeding your chickens.  These include seasonal considerations, treats, and herbs that you can add at various times to your chickens diets!  There are recipes for several treats, feed mixes, and other things such as Home-Made Apple cider vinegar (pg 52) and Home-made Electrolytes (pg 67).  She also includes directions for an herb drying rack and a treat feeder!

There are specific chapters dedicated to summer, winter and when the chickens are molting, which can be stressful on their bodies!  Lisa also included lists of what herbs to use for what, and what plants are safe or toxic to your chickens!  Such as Basil and Garlic as antibacterials and Mint as an insecticide and rodent deterrent!  These herbs are covered in the chapters as well as in charts at the end of the book for easy access! 

One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapters on broody hens and chicks in the brooder!  Lisa provides a wealth of information for this very fun and stressful time of chicken keeping!  Again, she gives lists of herbs that can help keep your hen and chicks healthy and happy.  There are also suggestions on setting up your brooder and starting your chicks out as naturally as possible. 

The last chapter in the book is about possible illnesses and problems that you might run into during the adventure of chicken keeping.  There are details of preventative care, as well as symptomatic treatments.  Lisa suggests preparing a first aid kit and having it available so that you can provide treatment as soon as possible, and she gives a list of her recommendations for what needs to be included.  She covers the major illnesses and treatments for them, that are often seen in backyard flocks, including respiratory, eye problems, crop problems, egg binding, and a few others.  Parasites and prevention is also included with a natural wormer recipe using pumpkins!

This book and the website, has become my go-to source for chicken information!  I love knowing that my chickens, who provide food for my family,  are healthy and happy without the use of chemicals and antibiotics.  I love that Lisa Steele, promotes raising chickens the way that our grandparents and great-grandparents for generations have done!  In my opinion this book is one that should be included in any back yard chicken keeper's library!

If you would like to check out the Fresh Eggs Daily blog, the web address is:

If you would like to order a copy of the book, you can do so at