Composting chicken litter

Safe Egg cleaning and handling

I have lots of different informative email subscriptions I signed up for.  This informative small scale egg handling booklet is from ATTRA; you can subscribe to a free email subscription too.

Here is the free egg handling booklet in PDF format:

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/egghandling.pdf

  ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected sources for sustainable agriculture information. Resources include hundreds of expert publications and worksheets, as well as sustainable agriculture specialists who provide personalized technical assistance on sustainable agriculture topics. ATTRA is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), a nonprofit organization focusing on sustainable agriculture, energy and communities.

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Hawk eyes

For the first time since we got our chickens and guineas over a year ago, all the guineas are roosting at night inside the coops.  The weather has been very fair recently, after all the rain we had, and in the past, the guineas loved to stay outside at night, all night.  I always worried about night predators for them.

Sometimes they would roost directly on the ground in groups, or they would fly up and stay on the coop rooftops. A perfect place for an owl to snatch one.

Several weeks ago I found a guinea dead on the ground, on it’s back with wings widespread and an obvious puncture wound in the chest, but no blood or other damage.  I speculated that it was picked up, but too heavy for the winged predator to carry off.

Curiously, now they ALL go inside the coops to be shut in. They all get along, chickens and guineas together, and seem to be glad to be there.  I wonder what scared them all so badly.  I have seen some stray white guinea feathers fluttering across the ground, but it is molting season and hard to know whether it is from molting or from running scared. 

When I am home and see hawks circling overhead I hope they move along. Occasionally I will see a kestral inside the barn flitting around when I turn on the lights in the evening to check water and hay for the alpacas. 

Today the guineas were outside a coop squawking their heads off. I was about to walk out to see what the trouble was when a huge hawk took off from the electrical pole adjacent to their pasture.  My question was answered.