Restoring Our Farm’s Pre-Storm Dignity

There are subtle hints that Fall is not that far away. This means Phoenix’s brutally hot summer is finally going to let up and we can get back to working outside. This season we’ll have a totally different agenda, clean-up from the monsoon storm is first priority, then the repairs and rebuilding of what was destroyed.

Although the temperatures are still a steamy 109, the sun isn’t quite as intense as it was a month ago and there are signs of relief. School supplies are on the store shelves, summer clothes are hanging on store sale racks, and that means only one thing to me. Phoenix will soon turn from a hellish territory to lush paradise for seven whole months!

Seven months… plenty of time to restore the farm to it’s pre-storm dignity. There’s a plan for the new shed row barn, and the replanting of lost trees and foliage will begin in November. There is progress, we’ve made a dent in the clean-up and the shed row barn is half down and  salvaged materials neatly stacked.


Our in-home remodeling projects are starting to look worthy of our efforts, and it looks like we just might meet our Spring completion deadline. However, take note I didn’t mention which Spring!

There will most likely not be any chicks in the brooder this Oct. With the barn construction, there will be too many disturbances and my hens will probably be unreliable setters.

Changes are always going to be a part of life, and none of us are immune. Rather than wallow in woe…

Perhaps change is the ladder forced upon us when we quit reaching for higher levels of accomplishment.

Featherless Jo


Jojo is my Sizzle bantam hen, she’s just over a year old, a good layer, friendly, and ugly a nudist.  At about six months old she lost her feathers and has been near naked ever since. I checked her for parasites and found nothing. Assuming the other hens were picking on her I removed her from the flock and fixed her a place in the barn where she could recover.

There are two other free roaming old hens out there as well. After six months they finally accepted Jojo’s rather disturbing appearance and have graciously allowed her to nest with them. Thank goodness for that, it’s getting chilly at night, certainly too chilly for naked Jojo to roost alone. All three of these hens have their own reasons for where they live… we call it the South coop. The designated special needs/retirement home for old or weirdo birds.

North coop is where my best hens live, they are usually an established flock of peaceful and productive layers. However, that isn’t quite the case lately. My current flock was hatched in 2010 and their egg production has significantly dropped. This is expected, and even more so during the cooler months, but some haven’t layed for months. November is usually when I bring new chicks to the farm, but I chose not to the last two seasons. I didn’t want the hassle of introducing new birds to an existing flock and then watching the chicken yard become a pecking order war zone.

This is when keeping chickens as layers only can be a problem, we don’t eat our birds, we build them retirement homes instead. I still have until February to fill the brooder if I change my mind on baby chicks. South coop is already occupied, North coop too… but I think West coop has a nice ring to it, don’t you?

Why Home Grown Eggs are Better

Why it Matters…

There are no hormones and less cholesterol in home grown eggs.  Also, there’s no worry of medications. Also, if the chickens are  allowed to eat bugs, fresh greens, and scratch grains, the eggs  will have a higher nutrient content. Researchers conclude that eggs from pasture raised chickens may contain:

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

Shelf Life of Eggs

The eggs you buy at your local grocery store are usually, probably weeks old. Technically, eggs do indeed have a long lasting shelf life once refrigerated, however the older they are the flatter the white & yoke becomes.  If your wondering about the shelf life of homegrown eggs in the refrigerator, it’s approximately 3 months.

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