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Articles

Hobby Farm Animals (with Audio)

I had the good fortune of spending the early years of my life on a farm. Now that I have a few acres of my own, I’m beginning to fill it with many of the animals I enjoyed in my youth. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

Peacocks Castor and Pollux

Two male peacocks, Castor and Pollux, call the Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm home.  They have several females, called peahens, to keep them company. Peafowl are in the pheasant family and hail from India where they are the national bird. In fact, the variety at the Garden Home is called...

Poultry Passion

I have a secret passion that only those who have shared the experience can really understand.  Chickens!  As a young child I became fascinated with raising various breeds of these beautiful birds. Because most people have only seen the plain white poultry that commercial breeders produce...

Poultry Profile: Jersey Giant

Jersey Giant is the largest breed of chicken that I raise at the farm. The hens can reach up to 10 pounds and the roosters a whopping 13 pounds. In comparison with the Jersey Giant, the typical weight of a Leghorn is 4 ½ pounds for hens and 6 pounds for roosters. Their hefty size demands...

Poultry Profile: Leghorns and Dorkings

I'm frequently asked which breed of chicken will produce the most eggs and my answer is always a leghorn. They are a very old breed originating in the Mediterranean and they are big on egg production. A leghorn hen will lay up to 360 eggs a year. That's almost an egg a day! At the Moss Mountain...

Poultry Profile: Silkie Chickens

One of the most adorable chickens at the Garden Home is called the Silkie because of its fine feathers that feel and look like strands of silk. The Silkie isn't a prolific egg producer, but it's one of the best breeds to have as a pet. Docile and friendly, they will come to you when called...

Poultry Profile: Slate Turkey

My first go at raising turkeys was at the age of twelve. I purchased a trio of Bronze turkeys from a local poultry show. I never got over the turkey bug and as soon as I was able I started building a turkey house at Moss Mountain Farm. Due to their size and talkative disposition turkeys are not...

Raising Chickens - Bantams

I consider these the 'Flowers' of the poultry world, offering unique qualities and colorful plumage with distinctive personalities.  A Bantam is a small variety of poultry, especially chickens.  Most breeds have a bantam counter part, or miniature, but a true bantam has no large...

Raising Chickens - Breeds to Consider

I've raised all these breeds and encourage you to read through this list to find the type of chicken that has the qualities that best match characteristics that you are looking for. When pressed to recommend a "starter chicken" for those who are new to raising poultry and want a friendly,...

Raising Chickens - Caring for Adult Chickens

Keeping adult birds requires that you have housing that protects the birds from wind, rain and snow and also provides shade on the hottest summer days.  Their instinct is to roost at night so perches are also necessary.  Wood 2-inch poles 24 inches off the floor work well for this and you...

Raising Chickens - Caring for Baby Chicks

Purchasing chicks from farm stores can be an advantage as they can offer a choice of males (cockerels) or females (pullets) or straight run which is the natural mix at hatching.   Keep in mind that the natural mix is probably 50 – 60 percent males.  Determining the sex is...

Raising Chickens - Caring for Chicks as They Grow

I used to love to sit for what seemed like hours on end and watch the antics of the little chicks.  I made sure they had plenty of room to move around in their brooding area to stretch their legs and move away from the heating lamp if they got too hot.  As they matured I had to cover...

Raising Chickens - Showing Poultry

Information on 'fitting for show' can be found in many of the books and pamphlets available from the American Poultry Association or by simply asking someone who shows.  Attend one or two shows and talk to people and judges.  State Fairs usually have shows and attending one of these is a...

Raising Chickens - Things to Watch Out For

Sometimes chicks have a problem with 'pasting'.  This is when the vent area (or rear end) becomes covered with hardened droppings.  You will need to check for this often and use a moistened towel to clean it off.  Also remember that sanitation and hygiene are of the utmost...

Raising Chickens - Which Breed is Right for You?

It didn't take me long to realize that each breed of chicken has its own temperament and personality.  Whether you are choosing a breed for meat, eggs or both, or just looking for their 'ornamental assets', there are some things you should consider.  First, all hens lay eggs, you do not...

Raising Chickens - Why Do It?

There are plenty of good reasons to raise chickens. My fascination with chickens began with a brown Leghorn hen that was running loose in front of an old hotel on main street in my hometown. After much maneuvering and the help of my grandmother, the hen was finally caught and I was determined...

Sebastopol Goslings

I want to tell you about what's just hatched in the incubator. A beautiful little Sebastopol gosling. Sebastopol is a breed of geese with the curly feathers as adults. Their feathers have a little twist to them so the bird looks like a feather pillow. When they are little like the most recent...