TBN Ranch Bantams border

Welcome to the TBN Ranch blog, an informative resource site for fellow backyard chicken keepers.
We are a hobby farm dedicated to raising a variety of standard and bantam chickens in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Articles 2The primary reason for keeping chickens varies from household to household. But for most, keeping a few backyard hens for a daily supply of fresh eggs is preferred over raising meat birds.

Maybe you’re looking for bug and weed control, or having your very own fertilizer machine for your garden. Whatever your reason, we are here to help you prepare, problem solve, and most importantly, to expect the unexpected with ease.

Resources 2Before you join the trendy circle of urban chicken keepers, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with what this responsibility actually entails.

There are a few basics to learn before you get started, research is always your best tool for success…. and there’s an array of information right here to help you in your successful pursuit.

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Eggs of Many Colors, How and Why

How do Blue Eggs Become Blue (Instead of White or Brown)?
Eggs in their natural, colorful glory

by My Pet Chicken

Whereas the brown color of an egg is laid on the outside of the shell, the blue color actually goes all the way through the shell, even to the inside of the shell. Originally, it was thought that color pigments were synthesized in the blood by the breakdown of hemoglobin… Continue Reading


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Standard Silver Laced Cochin Pullet

Here’s one of the near 3 month old pullets.  She’s barely out of the grow pen, so this is a rare opportunity to catch her beyond the safe zone. Not real impressed with her feathered feet, a bit sparse, but I like her head! Still giving her time, Cochins are slow to mature, but at this point, she kinda already is what she is.

Silver Laced Cochin 800 112015

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Standard Blue Cochin

Flashy gal! Piper is just under 3 months old and just beginning to venture out of the grow pen to test her acceptance with the existing flock. Day 7 of learning the serious business of social ranking. Every day brings her one step closer to finding her place, and someday she’ll learn the power of choice
Blue Cochin

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New Chicken Keeping Articles | November 19, 2015

Articles 2Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers is an updated weekly collection of chicken keeping articles from across the web archived in one convenient library on our menu bar.
Have an article to submit for consideration? Send it to amyichi@yahoo.com with Article Submission on the subject line.

New Articles | November 19, 2015
8 Strategies For Raising Chickens In The Desert – Urban Farm
What To Know Before Breeding Chickens – Hobby Farms
10 Basic Tips for Protecting Chickens from Predators
Do Chickens Need Heat in Winter? | Backyard Poultry
Tips for Keeping Your Chickens Warm and Alive in the Winter
A Guide to Raising Chickens in Your Small Yard
Chicken Diseases and Prevention Tips – Hobby Farms
How To Clip & Trim The Wings Of Your Chicken To Prevent Flight – BackYard Chickens Community

Today’s Feature Article

Definative Guide

The Happy Chicken CoopWinter Chicken Keeping, The Definitive Guide 
by The Happy Chicken Coop
Welcome to The Definitive Guide To Keeping Chickens In Winter. Raising chickens during winter can be a challenging time for backyard chicken owners. With those dark cold mornings and the drop in egg production, it’s no wonder we don’t like this time of year!

So I decided to write this guide as an aid for all backyard chicken owners, and to answer all your questions about how to care for your chickens during winter: how to keep them warm, how to stop predators, how to keep your egg production high… you will find all the answers here…  Continue Reading


What’s New at TBN Ranch
Mille Fleur & Silkie chicks, growing fast and cute as can be! The Mille Fleurs will be for sale in Spring. New projects are in the works! We’re building another large chicken structure over Thanksgiving which will house white Leghorns for egg production. Completion is planned for December, as well as an existing structure which will be redesigned for sale birds.  TBN Ranch is growing!

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The Pro’s and Con’s of Using the Brinsea EcoGlow for Chicks in Winter

An updated review by an actual user of radiant heat from a Brinsea EcoGlow20 brooder.

TBN Ranch GravitarRaising baby chicks in winter… we’re all set in our ways. Especially me, but right now I’m practicing what I preach about not keeping chicks in the house and using the Brinsea EcoGlow brooder in an outside shelter. Radiant heat certainly has it’s qualities, just not in every situation. Here’s why…


Good Points

here are many valid reasons for using radiant heat instead of a heat lamp, and for the most part I agree with them all.
It’s pounded into our head to avoid  heat lamps being they’re a fire hazard, no argument there. It’s also true that pasting up (poopy bums) is less likely to occur when using the Brinsea brooder. Another good point is radiant heat is more like being under the mother hen. But, the Brinsea does have limitations to it’s effectiveness.

The Downside

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Using radiant heat is compromised in temperatures below 50 degrees. In other words, it doesn’t offer sufficient heat for chicks when they need it most. So considering the fact we shouldn’t keep chicks in the family living space, and heat lamps are a fire hazard that should be avoided… what to do?   Every article on keeping baby chicks specifies the importance of keeping their environment at 95 the first week, then drop the temp by 5 degrees each week until they are fully feathered.
I realize there is constant controversy over the proper way to raise baby chicks. Our family has been raising chicks for three generations. My grandmother kept her chicks in the basement near the furnace, my mother in the kitchen behind the wood stove. I’ve kept them in a box in a spare bedroom with a heat lamp, then the laundry room, later in the garage. But today these practices are criticized. I’ve tried to comply with what today’s health officials consider safe chick rearing, and here’s my conclusion and solution.

Im currently using the Brinsea Ecoglow20 brooder for my 6 day old chicks in an outside draft free 8×10 insulated shed. Outdoor temperature is 43 degrees. Taking into consideration the Brinsea brooder only provides enough warmth for chicks in temps above 50 degrees, I see only one solution… a heat lamp. Securely hung above the brooder box at a height to keep the interior heat at 60. Ok… truthfully more like 70.

Do I like the Brinsea EcoGlow? Definately, wouldn’t be without one. However, I don’t feel it’s the perfect solution with all the capabilities of kicking good ol’ fashion chick rearing practices to the curb. My opinion.

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Flock I.D. Practices… and Ten New Chicks!

amy elizabethamy elizabeth|TBN Ranch

Peaches & Rose, the oldest members in an existing flock of 18. Each bird wears a brightly colored I.D. leg band so I can keep track of age, breed, color, sex, and where they originated from. Otherwise, alike breeds of same color can often look the same.
Each hen’s broodiness is recorded as well, because unfortunately not all hens are good Moms. It’s important to know which hens will not only be be loyal to their clutch of fertile eggs, but which ones can also be trusted to care for the chicks when they hatch.
As an example, these two hens are both broody on a regular basis, only the one on the right will stay on her eggs until they hatch. The bird on the left perhaps has good intentions, but gets bored with the idea of being a Mom and sometimes abandons the nest after a week or so.

Silkie Hens 111015Knowing who’s who in an immediate situation means a quick and convenient solution. So I better get busy…  today there are 10 more birds to add to the chart!

New Babies!

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Mille Fleur d'uccle Bantam Chicken HenAbout the Mille Fleur D’Uccle
Source: Cackle Hatchery

The D’uccles Bantam Chickens are a true bantam and have no standard size of them. This D’Uccle Bantam chicken has (booted) feather legs, full beards and muffs.  A great show bird and admitted into the American Poultry Standard of Perfection in 1996 (self blue) 1965 (Porcelain) 1914 (Mille Fleur).   There is a long history of breeding this poultry in Germany, Belgium and England.  Continue Reading

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