Broody Hens and the Meaning of Life

Instead of making excuses for the fact that I have not made the tiniest appearance here at The Tangled Nest for, um, five months, I’m just going to jump right in with this:  Ophelia, one of my beautiful Buff Orpingtons, is broody. She’s been sitting stubbornly in the nest box for …

Opossum in the Chicken Coop

One night this week I was later than usual closing the chickens into their coop–they had already put themselves to bed on the little roost-branch in the corner.  When I shined my flashlight in the door, I jumped–I thought I was seeing the biggest rat on earth.  But I quickly …

Welcome Spring

Thank you Marigold, Ophelia, and Ethel for the beautiful eggs. And happy spring to everyone! I heard the neighborhood flickers drumming in earnest on my early morning walk today. Let the wild rumpus begin!   You may also like:The Urban Winter Wild Baby Crows In Our Midst “Crow Divebombing Help” …

Infographic: How To Build Our Backyard Chicken Coop

I am flattered that the author of a new chicken book called Henhouse has turned my humble coop-building instructions into this amazing infographic and posted it on Visual.ly. This is a slightly simplified version of our coop, with no “chicken Guantanamo” cage underneath, or aviary around it. But after many …

Friday Links: Beekeeping Donkeys and Rooster-free Eggs

Happy Friday! I’m trying a new feature where I share a roundup of links at the end of each week, for your weekend perusal. Let me know what you think. Beekeeping Donkey: I love this story from Brazil about Boneco the beekeper’s donkey, and his custom-made donkey-sized beekeeper’s suit. The …

Deconstructing Dinner: An Interview at The Tangled Nest for a New TV Series

Last Saturday I was delighted to welcome the good folks from Deconstructing Dinner for an afternoon at The Tangled Nest.  Until a couple of years ago, Deconstructing Dinner was an internationally syndicated radio show covering food and the emerging food culture, with a focus on the relationship between our food …

A Cool Coop: Caring for Chickens in the Heat

It’s actually hot in Seattle!  Yes, I know that you folks in other parts of the country have had many 90+ days, but for us Pacific Northwesterners, it’s rare–our bodies aren’t used to it, and neither are our chickens!  I’ve noticed the girls are panting a little, and seeking shade.  …

How to Herd Your Chickens (or ducks)

Y’all may have seen these photos when they were in the news last month, but they have taken on practical significance for us lately. Our chickens get to roam free  all winter, but now that the garden in our little urban backyard farm is tender and tasty, they are supposed …

The Tangled Nest Urban Chicken Roundup

It’s urban chick season once again, and past Tangled Nest posts on chickens, coops, and chick-rearing are getting a lot of readers.  We thought we’d make things convenient by gathering our most salient “chicken wisdom” in one place. Here is advice gleaned from our twelve years of backyard chicken-keeping, taking …

Eggs: Fresh and Freshest

In France, farm eggs at the market are stamped with two dates:  “Fresh until,” and “Extra-fresh until…” You can actually request extra-fresh eggs from your fromager/egg-monger! Eggs are extra-fresh until they are about 7 days old, and during this time are best for coddling, poaching, mayonnaise, aioli, mousse, or a …