Oven Cleaning and Chicks: A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

 If you have followed Happy-Days-Farm for very long, you have probably heard this story before, but I am sure I will bring it up every year when people start talking about hatching eggs, and buying chicks.

Three years ago, we learned a very valuable lesson about raising chicks.
 I am going to share this again, in hopes that some people will not make the same mistake that we did. We purchased six, beautiful, little chicks from our local farm store and had raised them, by hand, in the house for four weeks.  They were precious, spoiled and completely tame. We had even given them names already. We had raised chicks many times at this point, but on this particular day, the perfect storm of events taught us a lesson we will never forget.

LoveFeast Unique Online Shop

Here at Happy Days Farm, we have a few brands that we tend to always favor. 
When we are wanting something new or different to decorate with, one of our first stops online is LoveFeast. They have so many beautiful and unique items. 
You have probably seen the velvet pumpkins throughout the fall popping up in photographs, but we were delighted when they sent us this beautiful little heart, a heartgram!
What a great and unique Valentine present that will last, not wilt or be eaten within a few days!
During the fall, we decorated with the velvet pumpkins constantly. They are so beautiful, and they seem to have them available in every color you can imagine! 
(Plus, they have them available in linen and leather)

Don't be fooled though, their shop contains much, much more than these velvet pumpkins. I am currently loving the wire heart that is on their front page right now. They have everything from jewelry, accent pieces, tablecloths, etc. Head on over to their shop and browse for a bit!

P.S.- They have given Happy-Days-Farm friends a secret coupon code to 
get free shipping on anything in their store this month!
Coupon Code: HDFFSJ

Guineas Are Loud!

This is a complaint I often hear.  I was asked recently by someone what they could
do about their loud guinea fowl. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast. If you are
considering raising guinea fowl this is one thing you must consider first!
Do you have neighbors close by? If so, you may not want to add guineas to your flock.  We have eight acres and the lot adjacent to one side of our property is vacant. We also live
about six miles outside of the city limits! Our guineas feel that it is their duty to inform us of any
intruder, possible intruder, delivery person, or visitor in the vicinity. Sometimes, they deem it necessary to announce MY approach to the chicken yard.

Timber Creek Farm- Do You Know Where Your Gloves Come From?

With the popularity of backyard farming increasing dramatically in the last few years, the
spotlight has been on the idea of sustainability, and the farms that are able to make this claim.
Webster's defines sustainability as 'able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed.'
This idea isn't something new. It was and is an important part of life on the farm. Many people don't realize that this is still the primary goal of many small family farms.
A few years ago, we were shocked, as a culture, to realize that an entire generation of children were growing up with incredible education access, but no real knowledge of things like gardening, livestock, animals, farming, etc. This way of life seemingly was becoming less and less popular, to the point where children didn't even know where an egg came from when they were asked. I am curious to know if they would have any idea about where their wool sweater or gloves came from.
Photo Credit: Janet Garman Timber Creek Farm

Stocking Stuffers For Your Flock

When you start your Christmas shopping, don't forget your favorite flock members!
Here are some great stocking stuffer ideas that we are doing! (Yes, we will have a stocking for the chicken coop! Santa wouldn't forget them, although,
I have a feeling Chachi will have a lump of coal!)
Every good Christmas present has things you need, as well as something you want!

So, we begin with the needs- Waxelene! This is a must have for combs and wattles in the winter. It helps prevent frost bite. Vetericyn is ALWAYS in our first aid kit to treat any and all wounds, scratches, or anything! VetRX is another item that we always have on hand. It is great for treating/preventing respiratory issues. You can apply directly to any chicken exhibiting issues, or put a few drops in the waterers, and treat everyone at once. Finally, I am getting some extra ProBios for their feed mixture. Your flock needs to have good bacteria in their gut, just like we do. ProBios is the best way to add probiotics to your flock.

A few wants for the flock always include meal worms and forage cakes, as well as some nesting box herbs! (Even your flock likes their nesting boxes smelling like herbal heaven!)

Of course, our favorite mealworms are live! We order them from Rainbow Mealworms and our friends get 10% off by using the code HAPPY10

Our flocks favorite Forage Cakes, Cackleberry Treats, Hot Cakes, and Baby Cakes are made byFarmer's Helper. They are also available at Tractor Supply Company

One last thing that will be in our flocks stocking is the Nite Guard Solar. This tricky little device is solar charged, and gives the illusion of eyes at the coop. This helps to ward off predators.

I included an absolutely adorable stocking kit as the last link. I admit it, it is more for me than them, and it is a splurge, plus a fun project! So, just keep your flock in mind as you are doing your Christmas shopping this year!

Treat Mix for our Guinea Fowl & Chickens

I keep a huge tub of this treat mix ready for the guinea fowl. I must admit most people let their guinea be free-range, and get 95 percent of their diet from foraging for bugs and ticks, eating grasses. However, I do keep a station set up with fresh water, extra feed and treats, just in case they want something more. This can be used for the chickens also, because they absolutely have a fit when I am mixing this up for the guineas! I always have to throw them a handful to enjoy, just so I can get past them to give it to the guinea!
I feed all my chickens and guineas Nutrena Naturewise Pellets and Crumble, and as you can see, I use a scoop of the feed in the treat mixture also. In addition to this, I add a scoop of scratch grains, a scoop of millet, and a scoop of dried mealworms.
Keep in mind these are TREATS ... these should not be used as their only source of feed. Also, please remember to provide water for all your free-range animals like the guinea. In heat or cold, even free-range guinea may have difficulty finding water sources that are usually available to them.
Guinea Collage

The Joy of Indoor Rabbit Keeping

 The Joy of Indoor Rabbit Keeping

This may be a new concept for you, just like it was for me three years ago when I began this journey. I didn't start out with the intention of having three rabbits living indoors. I received my first precious dwarf Lionhead rabbit, Sugar, for a Christmas gift three years ago. He was a little six month old bunny who had been living in an outdoor hutch his entire life. He was wary of the attention I was giving him, and didn't understand being inside.  However, it didn't take him long to start exploring the house and testing his boundaries. He was litter box trained in two days, and began returning to his cage on command in about a week. Because he was six months old when we got him, he had already reached the 'teenager' stage, and it took approximately six more months before he decided it was safe to bond with me. Now, he is my little shadow. He has an amazing personality, and even though rabbits are considered a silent animal, he voices his opinions loudly with thumps, grunts, and an array of other communications that you simply have to listen to hear.
So, Sugar is fully house-trained, travels with us in the car, walks on a leash, responds to commands, ignores us when he chooses, and most of the time eats healthier, organic foods than we do! 
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