Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sunny Spring Morning

After heavy, early morning rains, the sun is out and the chickens are preening themselves along the banks of the stream which flows from early fall into late spring through a man and his hoe®. Chives and stinging nettles are … Continue reading

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More of the Crew

Here are more of the wonderful crew at a man and a hoe®. Each hen is special. Each hen has her favorite nest. Each hen has her favorite rooster. Each lays a unique egg. Here at a man and a … Continue reading

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Spring Is Here

Spring is here at a man and his hoe®. Vibrant shoots of stinging nettles bursting out of the ground prove it. The best vegetables never make it into the stores. Once in a great while, I’ve seen stinging nettles in … Continue reading

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Treating Chickens Humanely – Who Laid Your Egg?

If we eat eggs, chicken, or other animals, we are all concerned about how they are raised. But it’s impossible to go visiting all the farms which produce our food, especially when we live in cities long distances from the … Continue reading

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Chance to Be Alone

At a man and his hoe® chickens have plenty of chances to be alone. It’s early spring, the robins are back and the frogs’ chorus at night is almost deafening. The hens are just starting to go broody, with the … Continue reading

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Fresh Eggs

You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten eggs laid just a few minutes ago.

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Her Nest

Each hen has her favorite nesting spot. Some hens stick to using the same nest for months. Other hens switch nests daily, weekly, monthly. No two hens are exactly alike. In any case, I’ve never met a hen which did … Continue reading

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Survivor: Chicken 1 – Coyote 0

Looking at her today, you’d never guess that three days ago she survived a coyote attack. She was on the other side of the pond, scratching through the brush, when a coyote tried to nab her. The two guard dogs … Continue reading

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Working Mother To Be

So what is life like for a mother-to-be hen? Most of the time, day and night, it is sitting quietly on her eggs. She is also gently turning the eggs many times a day. This keeps the embryo centered in … Continue reading

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Laying an Egg

Chickens lay their eggs standing up. Here’s Hazel laying an egg. First, she sits quietly in the nest for ten, twenty, thirty minutes. Then when the time comes for the egg to pop out, she slowly stands and in a … Continue reading

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First Brood?

Most chickens are hatched in large commercial incubators. Here at a man and his hoe® we do things very differently. Even though it is still cool, spring is in the air. The robins are active, calling for mates. The thimble … Continue reading

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Diligent Dogs

A pair of fearless guard dogs are a necessity when you are raising free-roaming chickens. You need vigilant ears, eyes, and noses on the lookout for coyotes, eagles, and hawks. They look like they are snoozing and not paying any … Continue reading

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Free Range Eggs?

What images float through your mind when you see a carton of free range eggs? Idyllic scenes chickens foraging on grass? Chickens out enjoying fresh air and sunshine? Chasing bugs and scratching for grubs and earthworms? The reality is sadly, … Continue reading

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Strike a Pose

Chickens are born show-offs. And they have a lot to show. The colors and patterns they wear are often more intricate and elaborate than anything the haute couture houses of Paris, Adeline André, Chanel, Givency, or Versace ever imagine. The … Continue reading

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