Chickens Versus Snowpocalypse

Hi, Tom here… Lyanda’s away on a writing retreat so I am hijacking her blog for a few days. In Seattle it’s a snow day–we are having our annual “snowpocalypse,” when a few inches of snow completely shuts down the city and sends cars skidding into the curbs and children …

Happy Solstice…

…Peace to all creatures. Thank you for sharing The Tangled Nest this year. You may also like:The Urban Winter Wild Oddball Eggs in the Coop Broody Hens and the Meaning of Life Infographic: How To Build Our Backyard Chicken Coop Opossum in the Chicken Coop

Return of the Prodigal Chicken: A Holiday Story

Most people ate turkey on Thanksgiving.  Us?  We came home from the holiday feast with a live chicken. Last May, our older chickens went into Urban Chicken Retirement at my Uncle Joe’s farm in Maple Valley.  We’ve taken our aging flocks there in the past, where they  nibble away their …

Autumn Scenes from an Urban Smallholding

I love the idea of a “smallholding.”  It’s a term still used in England, one I re-discovered while leafing through a favorite book the other day, The Freedom Manifesto by Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson (also love The Idler…).  A smallholding is a modest parcel of land, usually just one-family’s-worth, that …

Urban Chicken Retirement: What to do when older chickens stop laying?

We were a host once again this year for Seattle Tilth’s Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour, and one of the main questions would-be chicken keepers voiced was what to do with older chickens after they stop laying, or slow way down?  The numbers vary by breed and individual, but …

Big Chicken, Little Chicken

A pick-me-up pic for a gray Seattle day: Two Buff Orpingtons.  I love how Marigold looks entirely put out by the indignity of a chick standing on her back. You may also like:Backyard Chickens, Ethiopian Style Slow Time (a book) / Chicken Time (a thought) Eggs of all Colors The …

Celebrating the Egg Moon (and a simple Huevos Rancheros recipe)

Dear me, I meant to write this post for this month’s full moon, but since we are getting ready to dye eggs for Easter today, I suppose this is just as well: In colonial America, the full moons of early spring were called Egg Moons.  The longer days and increased …

Buff Orpington: Our Favorite Backyard Chicken Breed

In my “Chickenomics” post a couple of weeks ago, I promised to share some thoughts about favorite backyard chicken breeds, but I realize now I should have said breed, singular.  Because although there are lots of good chickens out there, my choice for our own little backyard flock is–far and …

Chickenomics: It’s More than Money

It’s that time of year:  downy little peepings are starting to be heard at feed stores across the country.  Some of us are enlivening backyard flocks with a few new chicks (we are!) and many folks are thinking of starting urban coops for the first time.  I’ll be offering encouragment …

Chicken Dust Baths in Winter

We looked out one recent morning to see Esmeralda and Marigold buried up to their necks in the cold frame, right behind the last of the arugula. It was a very cute little scene, but also an essential reminder for the urban chicken farmer.  In the dripping Seattle winter, there …