Duckling Brooder Tips: Water & Feeder Designs

Ducklings are messy and have the following list of obstacles for the hobbiest breeder or backyard poultry fancier to overcome to successfully brood them as clean and healthy as possible. Let’s look over these facts of duckling sloppiness in order to hash out duckling brooder tips to banish brooder blues in your home. Ducklings . . . love water. splash, nuzzle and quickly empty water sources into brooder bedding. create a mat of mucky semi-solid poo everywhere. freak out easy and run over water dishes, feeders and each other. FACT: water + mushy poops + warm, humid box = Massive staaank! Duckling {read more}

Planning a Garden for Maine’s Climate

Below is a micro-season outline for planning a garden for Maine’s climate. Each centered header breaks the climates down, and under each are sections with tasks with descriptions and tips in each section. Links to projects, articles and resources can be found below each section. This is a work in progress and will be updated as the seasons come and go like tides in Maine forever morphing seasonal landscape. As I’m beginning to write this in late winter, that is where I have decided to start. Late Winter Ordering seeds As winter wears on seed catalogues begin to arrive in my mailbox taunting {read more}

Raising Chickens

Incubating Chicken Eggs for Beginners

Want to hatch your own chickens but aren’t sure how to begin incubating chicken eggs? This was me a few years ago and I’ve learned a lot since hatching four batches of chickens. In This Article: Marking eggs Purchasing and setting up equipment Turning eggs daily Candling and development marking Preparing for hatch day Brooder box essentials Purchasing and Setting up Equipment Get a quality incubator Start it two-days prior Mark them on each side Keep them moist Turn eggs daily Mark either side Buy a REAL incubator for incubating chicken eggs, not one of those cheap plastic dome things. I use {read more}

Raising Chickens

Raising Chickens: Laying, Breeding, Hatching Prep

Hen Maturity and Mating Hens usually begin laying eggs between 18 to 22 weeks old which means raising chickens for half a year before you even get any eggs. At about 8 months hens reach thier optimal egg output of  6-7 days a week depending on health and daylight. Hens will stay at or near this level of egg production for a few years when kept happy and healthy. When collecting eggs from your own, or a friend’s coop, with incubating chicken eggs as your main goal, wait until hens have been laying for several weeks. Only collect eggs that are of an average size. Often when {read more}

Manual Egg Turner: inside incubator

Manual Egg Turner: 30 min. DIY Project

Winter Project: Manual Egg Turner Tool is by Mandy Pelletier Find eight plastic coat hangers and two wire hangers. Grab a wire cutter and some light rust-proof wire. This is literally all you need to make a manual egg turner to fit a Hover-Bator brand square styrofoam incubator. Why did I invent this? I was spending about 15 minutes a day to turn my eggs 3 times a day (this is once more than recommended, but it leaves the overnight period on an opposite side one night to the next). Now it takes a second to reach in, pull over the turner and {read more}

Raised Bed Gardening Plans

Raised Bed Gardening: Winter Planning

Maine has a short growing season and there are many methods gardeners can use to extend the days to get the most of your hard gardening work. As a long-time small gardener and grandchild of Maine small farmers I have taken all these methods into consideration. With an eye on budget and ease of construction and use I have decided to construct a complex raised bed gardening system this spring. Winter Planning Tips How much room do you have that is in full sun? The answer to this question is the key to what plants to choose, how large your beds will be and bed {read more}

garden 2017

Top 4 New Garden Varieties for 2017

Top 4 New Garden Varieties for 2017 is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine In the depth of a Maine winter there is nothing better than kicking back by the woodstove with a hot coffee while flipping through garden catalogues. If this isn’t your dream—you might be on the wrong website. To kick off this cozy hobby, I’d like to offer up my list of my favorite new garden varieties for 2017. Opal Creek Snap Peas I’d like to introduce Opal Creek Snap Peas sold right in Maine at Pine Tree Seeds. These pale yellow pods will pop out and holler to {read more}

get more eggs in winter

Get More Eggs in Winter with Light and Diet

Get More Eggs in Winter with Light and Diet is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine If you’re chickens are anything like mine they go on vacation near the winter solstice. For a week before and a week after they will reduce egg output due to the shortening of daylight and colder temperatures as Maine plunges into the heart of winter. There are many measures an avid chicken owner can undertake to get more eggs in winter. How Many Eggs Does a Chicken Lay? The first thing to understand to get more eggs in winter is chickens are hard working creatures. Your average year old {read more}

small maine farm selling beef

Maine Farm Selling Grassfed Beef: Best Practices

Maine Farm Selling Grassfed Beef: Best Practices is By Kassie Dwyer, Eden Farm, Athens, ME Running a Maine farm selling grassfed beef effectively takes planning, practice, and perhaps most of all trial and error.  You must create a product that is valuable to the consumer and devise a practical way to get it to them. As a farmer, you have options for distributing your product: Farm stand Farm store Direct purchases Meeting customers locally Farmer’s markets Mail order Online sales  Local stores Restaurants The Best Practices on our Maine Farm Selling Grassfed Beef . . . Here in Eden, we rely on {read more}

domestic duck health resources

Duck Health Resources to Keep a Happy Flock

Duck Health Resources to Keep a Happy Flock is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine Reputable and Educational Duck Health Resources Ducks are adorable and fun to watch waddle around your homestead. To keep them healthy and happy, make sure you know how to care for them if they become ill. Here is a list of resources and information of duck health resources. Safety of Duck and Goose ( Consumer Education and Information, Food and Safety Inspection Service, USDA U.S. Poultry & Egg Association ( A source of information on the poultry industry in general, education, food safety, etc. Poultry Science Association. ( The {read more}