New Chicken Keeping Articles | August 7 2015


This week’s Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers.

A collection of chicken keeping articles from across the web archived in one convenient library on our menu bar.

August 7, 2015
The Truth About a Rooster’s Crow | Rodale Wellness.
The Chicken Chick®: Raising Chickens Naturally: Diatomaceous Earth is No Friend of Nature, by herbalist Susan Burek.
Chicken Quarters: 15 Terms Every Chicken Keeper Needs To Know – Hobby Farms.
What’s The Best Bedding For My Coop? – Chickens In A Minute Video | Backyard Poultry Magazine.
6 Things To Know Before Processing Chickens – Hobby Farms.

Interested in Writing an Article?

TBN Ranch is always interested in adding informative articles to continue the growth of our Frequently Asked Questions section.
If you’d like to submit an article, please send it for consideration to with FAQS Article Submission on the subject line. Or, if you’ve already posted an article, simply send the link. Thanks!

And lastly, I’ve something completely off topic to share! My pretty African Violets are just begging for a little stardom. Whoo Hoo!

African Violets

Monsoon K-9 Rescue, Saving Lucky

The Phoenix monsoon season has definitely shown it’s ugly face this year.  Last time I experienced the wicked capabilities of a monsoon storm was about twenty years ago on the west side of Phoenix. That storm kept me stranded at work until midnight. The streets turned into raging rivers, sweeping cars off the road with people inside. Muddy flood water seeped into homes and neighboring businesses causing panic and chaos.

The rain was coming down in sheets. I stood in horror watching the storm from my workplace storefront window. I remember seeing bicycles and city trash cans floating down the streets in a parade-like fashion. Police cars were packed with children, and it was disturbing to think about why.  I just froze, with a creepy helpless feeling… until seeing a little dog standing on top of a street light control box on the street corner.  We still had power, and only mild flooding.  But the little dog wasn’t as lucky, so I rolled up my pants, grabbed a few towels and ventured across the parking lot in knee deep water on a K-9 rescue mission.

The straggly terrier mix was soaking wet and shaking uncontrollably.  I threw caution to the wind and snatched him to safety. Wrapping the pooch in a towel, I wondered if he’d still be grateful once I took him back to my pet salon workplace.  There’s probably nothing more scary to a dog than a near drowning experience, but the grooming shop usually ranks pretty darn high on list of doggy dislikes.

Now we were both soaking wet, scared, and hadn’t a clue when or how we’d get back home to our families. In situations like this, comfort is first priority. We already had shelter, but there was a serious lack of cookies and junk food for our forced upon us slumber party.

Deciding my new friend needed a name, Lucky seemed fitting. The pet salon was located at the base of a mountain in an elevated strip mall. lt was probably the worst job I ever had, the only good thing worth remembering is it saved me and Lucky safe from a monsoon nightmare.

Pizza, coffee, dog food, cookies, and soda. That’s what I was able to find in the strip mall, all bought barefoot and in soaking wet clothes. Lucky was drying in a kennel on a fluffy pink towel, looking far more comfortable than me.  He had a nice dinner, curled into a little ball, and maybe for the first time… happy to be in a groom shop.

Hours went by, no phone service and no way to get home. I pushed two grooming tables together making a bed for the night. A bed I’m happy to say I never had to use. The flood waters went down by about 11:30 pm, the street barricades were lifted, and that meant I could finally go home.  But not Lucky, he spent the night in a clean dry bed, without a check-out date.

The next morning Lucky greeted me, which was a pleasant change for me. I was used to working alone in a no frills gloomy grooming shop six days a week. The first appointment for the day I gave to Lucky. Taking into consideration the fact Lucky may never be reunited with his family, I decided to created a position for him. If he was going to be the shop’s model dog, a serious makeover was a necessity.

Lucky spent eight days at the dog grooming salon. His owner located him by leaving a picture and phone number at the pizza place I visited on that stormy night.  “Henry” was immediately reunited with his family, but I still saw him on a regular basis. Lucky Henry became a regular six week client for years, right up until the day when I’d never see him again.  Here’s why…

Economy Dog Grooming after years of working 50+ hours a week for a flaky absent owner, I was let go. No notice, no explanation, just a last paycheck and a note stating the store was closing forever, effective immediately. Thanks a lot Economy Dog Grooming for taking the client files, ruining my Christmas, and putting my family in such a tough spot.

It may be twenty years ago, but I never forget a jerk.

Guinea Hens Stories

guinea hen
Photo from: anopinionatedpalate

I don’t know much about Guinea fowl, but because my neighbor raises them we have been introduced. I found one on my roof last summer that escaped an early morning coyote attack next door.

It was big, LOUD, and I had no idea what it was… I woke my husband up and informed him there was a turkey on the feed shed roof. lol.

The scared guinea hen didn’t leave for a week, giving me plenty of time to identify this odd looking creature on Google. She joined my flock of hens and every night at dusk I found her up on the fence near the chicken coop.

On trash day,  I was moving my cans curbside when I saw an elderly couple walking down the road. Both used a cane and the woman was shaking a can of grain while making the weirdest noise I’ve ever heard.

Ah… “Are you looking for a guinea hen by chance?” I asked. The old woman’s eyes lit up, she told me her entire flock was wiped out by a coyote attack, except my new flock member who she saw escape over the fence. She also informed me that although her flock of guineas lost their life, they managed to kill that coyote first… that’s pretty impressive!

The old woman was confident that in another few days the guinea hen would come home on her own. That was fine by me, after learning this prehistoric looking creature was capable of killing a coyote, I was quite happy to leave her be. Sure enough, my turkey guinea friend returned to her own coop a week or so later when she felt it was safe.


From Sunrise to Sunset

Every Day Is Precious

It’s barely dawn and the barn is shining like a brand new penny, there’s fresh water in the troughs, the hay room is raked clean, and everybody’s nose is buried deep in their morning hay. As I walk back to the house I can’t help but glance back and visually embrace my many blessings.

Beyond the corral gate, the dew is glistening like jewels on yesterday’s fresh cut grass. It’s fragrance still lingering in the morning air. The path to the chicken yard is filled with cotton tail bunnies feasting on the crisp cool greens. I sipped my coffee and waited for their mad dash to the tack shed. The not so secret haven where they raise all their babies.

I quietly sneaked up on my early risin’ ladies, just to make sure the bossy hens weren’t stirrin’ up a feud. But this morning it was peaceful, and I was entertained watching the hens tend to their morning agenda. Some were happily scratching through the fresh straw that filled their coop.  Others were preparing the ground for a dust bath. All the rest were fluffing their feathers in a single ray of insignificant sunshine.

I looked at my watch and was shocked at the time, it was a work day, and now I was running late.

How could I have wasted so much time?

The answer was simple. Today was the day I took the time to appreciate the special things in my life. Shame on me for wasting so much time taking them all for granted.


Christmas in the Desert


This is the view from my kitchen window. I planted those pine trees myself when they were only four feet tall, only four years ago. My how they have grown! It is Fall now, the grass is what we call Winter or Rye grass here in the Southwest, and it will stay green and beautiful all the way until about March. It has to be planted in October while it’s still warm, but then dies, making way for the summer grass to take over.  I love this time of year, everything comes alive after the horrendous desert heat is over. It’s impossible to keep flowers alive in the summer, but in winter there might be only a few nights when frost is a threat.

Being from the Midwest, it still seems odd at Christmas time when Santa, reindeer, and oodles of lit decorations are situated around colorful flower gardens. I put up my Christmas tree today and it was 82 degrees!

When I was a little girl the family piled into the car all bundled up in mittens and hats to go buy our tree in single digit temperatures. The tree lots would have big rusty steel drums with a fire blazing inside, and we’d all warm our hands over them.  By the time we picked out a tree we were all so cold we couldn’t even feel our toes. However, here in Phoenix I saw a hot dog vendor at a tree lot, and everybody was walking around in shorts and t-shirts.

I moved to Arizona twenty five years ago and there’s never once been a white Christmas. But the spirit is everywhere and neighborhood homes are glowing in celebration. It just doesn’t matter if Santa and Frosty are standing in snow or a bed of purple pansies. It’s still Christmas!