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Tractor Supply Company and Nashville

Last weekend we had the opportunity to visit the Tractor Supply Company headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee. (Right outside of Nashville) On Friday, we were given a tour of their beautiful facility, and met some of their incredibly hospitable employees. Everyone was so friendly, and we learned a lot about this top notch company, and we are excited to be brand ambassadors!
 We were amazed at how community minded the company is, with their focus on customer service, and programs like the FFA, Pet Adoption, and serving communities from their 1,600 stores all over the United States.
Not only did we get to meet Brettan from Tractor Supply (and so many others), but we were also there with a couple other friends we had met on Instagram, Maria from @dreamywhiteslifestyle and Kelly @fancyfarmgirl.
They took us out for several really nice meals while we were there: Puckett's in Franklin, and Pinewood Social in Nashville. Great food, live music, and a bowling alley in Pinewood gave us a taste of the night life in the country music capital of the world. We ventured over Broadway on Friday night, and it was a little too busy for these farm girls, so we headed back to the hotel for some R&R.
Another highlight of our trip was a visit to Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's boutique at 12th Avenue South). This was on our to-do list while visiting the Nashville area. It was right up these southern girl's alley when we walked through the door and they said to us, "would you like a glass of sweet tea." If you are ever in the Nashville area, we highly recommend a visit to this boutique.
Another thing on our to-do list was to visit the art gallery of DeAnn Art. We were hoping to meet her in person, but unfortunately, she wasn't there that day. We did, however, get to see the area she paints in, and view many of her beautiful pieces.

Never have I seen so many beautiful homes, as they have in the Nashville area. The rolling hills, are home to everything from palatial estates, to plantations and log cabins. Amazing barns, and farm lands are as far as the eye can see.

We had a wonderful time, and look forward to visiting again sometime in the near future.






Nesting Boxes and Herbs

We have had a lot of people asking us today how we make our nesting box herbs. It is so simple! The initial investment is a bit high, but when you compare the amount you are making to how much you would normally pay for maybe six ounces, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

During the spring/summer/fall months, I supplement with some fresh herbs in the boxes also. I just really enjoy keeping the dried herb mixture on hand at all times. It is a great way to freshen up the coop when you have just added new bedding materials. It is also believed that it helps deter insects and rodents, as well as being a great way to soothe hens who are laying their eggs, or broody hens who are sitting on eggs to hatch.
We purchase one pound of each of these: peppermint, chamomile, marigold petals, rose petals, basil, thyme, and oregano. If you purchase everything I have in my blend here, you will spend approximately $130.00 on Amazon; however, please realize that you will be making 8 pounds of mix. If you want to start a bit cheaper, purchase the peppermint, marigold petals, lavender, and rose petals. You can always add more to the mix later. 
(Complete listing is below with links and prices to the Amazon Affiliate links to purchase them.)
I use a large rubbermaid container to mix my herbs in to avoid making a mess. Once finished I transfer them into airtight 2 gallon ziploc bags. Get ready to be in love with this scent. We have even used it in sachets in our drawers.

If you have any questions, post in the comments!

Can You Eat Turkey Eggs?

Can you eat turkey eggs?

Yes, you can eat turkey eggs. They taste very similar to chicken eggs, but are richer. They contain approximately 135 calories, 9 grams of fat, and over 10 grams of protein. They are also an excellent source of iron, selenium, and the B vitamins.
However, on the down side, turkey eggs are very high in cholesterol, averaging 737 milligrams, which is more than twice the daily recommendations. They also have 2.9 grams of saturated fatty acids, meaning one egg uses 13% of your daily intake.

So why is it so rare to hear about people eating turkey eggs?
To begin with, you generally can't find turkey eggs in the store. Basically, you need to find a farmer who is raising turkeys, and allowing them to mature to the egg-laying stage.
Compared to Chickens

  • A turkey egg is approximately 50% larger than an average large chicken egg.
  • Unlike chickens, who normally need 23-28 weeks, it normally takes a full seven months for a turkey to begin laying. Most farmers purchase turkey poults in the spring, and then slaughter right before Thanksgiving. This is right about the time the females would have begun producing eggs.
  • Turkeys eat more on a daily basis than chickens, therefore increasing the cost of production of the eggs.
  • Turkeys require a much larger housing area. You cannot keep them in a tiny coop, so if you don't have a large barn to protect all of your flock, you will need a special place to keep them safe. 
  • A turkey will lay on average 100+ eggs her first year depending on breed. The average chicken will lay approximately 300 eggs her first year, then decrease by 20% each year after that.
What if you have turkey eggs and don't want to eat them?

Due to the high demand for turkey meat in this country, generally speaking, farmers, who do allow their turkey hens to have a laying season, devote all the eggs possible for hatching, not eating. This will help cut down on their own expenses because they can incubate the eggs and start their next batch of poults from their own flock, or sell fertilized eggs to other farmers or hatcheries.
Research shows that fertilized eggs, from heritage breeds, can fetch up to $3.00 per egg. Simply advertising your eggs on craigslist, or even at a local feed store may be a great way to earn some side income from your flock. The feed store may even be willing to purchase the eggs directly from you.

So, if you have turkey eggs available, you have a couple of options. I wouldn't eat them every day, but in a pinch, absolutely. Baking with them is also a good option. However, if you can confirm they are fertile, your best bet may be to hatch them or sell them yourself.

Immune Boosting Chicken's Vegetable Noodle Soup

When it is so cold outside, I really try to focus on building our flock's immune system. Some cold mornings, I do the standard oatmeal and raisins, but lately, I have been doing something a bit different. Yes, I do cook for my chickens sometimes, so before you roll your eyes, let me explain. Have you ever heard the saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?" If my flock gets sick, I am going to spend time, energy, and money attempting to help them get well. How much better is it to attempt to maintain their immune systems so that they don't get sick? Also, I enjoy doing it, so it isn't work.
We all know that garlic is great for the immune system, and I do add garlic powder to their feed, but to add a boost I cooked them a huge pot of their very own noodle soup. 

I went to the grocery store on my way home and grabbed a few very simple ingredients. 
Chicken Broth, Garden Rotini Noodles, Barley, Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Corn, green peas, green beans, carrots), 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1 head of garlic.

Now, some people are going to gripe about me giving them noodles, but they love them, and these noodles are cooked in chicken broth and garlic, not water, so they do have some value.  

I literally dumped everything into my Instapot, turned it on, and thirty minutes later it was done. (I did dice the garlic, but that was it.) After it cooled, I bagged it into eight quart-size freezer bags. Now, every evening when it is going to be very cold, I pull one or two bags out, and leave them in the fridge. 

The next morning, I add some water or more broth, oatmeal, and any type of leftovers from the fridge that they might enjoy, and take it to them. It is a great way to warm them up, and help boost their immune systems to help withstand the stress of the cold winter weather. (Yes, my flock will literally drink the broth also, once the vegetables, noodles, etc, are all gone.)


  



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