Amy Bee

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since Apr 11, 2012
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Recent posts by Amy Bee

I hope someone here has some insight. My friend has a flock of chickens, some of which came from another farm infected with scaley leg mites. Yesterday I noticed that a couple of the hens were shaking their heads, one of them is missing some feathers from behind her left ear. The other one has little red ears but they now have white showing on them, almost like the ears are "puffed" up (both of these hens are black by the way, we are unsure of the specific breed).

Until now, they've been treating the mites on an as-needed basis with petroleum jelly on the affected birds' feet. Is there another treatment, and do you all think it's the mites that are responsible for the ear scratching/head shaking? I don't believe the missing feathers are due to pecking from another bird as this flock gets along very well and all the birds are very docile to each other and to humans. Between 10 hens they are laying anywhere from 8-11 eggs a day, which I take as an indicator of health, but they definitely want to get on top of this problem quickly.

I've already suggested that they try a paddock system for the hens, as they've been confined to a small area a bit more lately to keep them from the garden (I suspect this is why the mites have started to affect them more). Until the garden went in, these chickens were basically free ranging all over the property all day long.

I'd love your suggestions for ear mite treatments (and indeed if you agree that this is mites), Alternative treatments for scaly leg mites would be great as well. A few of her hens have never been infected with the mites on their feet despite being exposed- is this an inheritable trait if they decide to raise any chicks?
8 years ago
Crazy Maritimer boys....I rewatched the video in its entirety and apologize if it was a little too crass....but it still made me laugh
8 years ago
lol enjoyed the video....this one was created back in May by some boys a couple of hours down the highway from me (Sussex New Brunswick is known as a farming/dairy community....thus the huge concrete cows in the video). As Jocelyn said, some of this video makes me cringe (large dairy operation) but I got the local references and laughed my head off the first time I saw it

From Sussex and I Know It
8 years ago
Cynndara, I'm not keeping bees yet. But we are getting ready to. After researching, I went from wanting Langstroth hives to topbar hives and now feel that Perone's got it right, so I'm going to try his method first. If you Google "Oscar Perone" or "Perone hives" you should find some info. He actively converts Langstroths to his style of management so you might be able to use the old equipment if his style or a version of it jives for you.

I like the idea of bees making comb similar to the way they would in the wild, in long deep arcs. This requires a taller box than you get with one Langstroth frame box (I might not be using the correct terms for the parts of the hive so please bear with me). I *think* that bees who are able to replicate as close to a wild hive as possible will have the best chances.

Although aimed at top bar hive owners, the site www.biobees.com is a good resource, there are many others out there. Now I am off to continue my armchair analyzing until we get these hives done and catch a swarm!
8 years ago
Susun Weed is one of the few herbalists I've read who actually discusses many different abortifaciant herbs in her book "Wise Woman Herbal for the CHildbearing Year". A few options were discussed in older 1970s versions of "Our Bodies Ourselves" but I don't know if those sections were included in the newer versions of the book. The biggest problem is that most of these herbs have no study to back them up, just different reports of women's experiences. This is knowledge that's hard to come by for sure.
8 years ago
I'm intrigued by Perone hives lately:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9uVzPgfnM4

Another basic explanation here:

http://beehivejournal.blogspot.ca/2010/02/oscar-perone-hive.html

From what I understand, Perone is a successful Argentinean commercial beekeeper who uses feral bees and no chemical treatments or food substitutes. He describes the brood nest/main hive as a sealed environment that must be kept sealed for the health of the colony; the colony is considered as one complete organism instead of as individual bees. On top of the brood nest is placed a super that is left, permanently, as the colony's honey reserves. Any supers added above that are considered to be fair game for the beekeeper and are only removed once a year. No comb inspections, no entering the hive whatsoever. I want to try this.
8 years ago
Not meaning to hijack here, but this, I need to start to do:

Kylie Harper wrote:
When I have a really crazy week ahead, I cook as much as I can on a weekend. If I spend an entire day cooking, I can make enough food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and my sweet tooth for 6-7 days.



Thanks for inspiring me to try this....it's going to rain here tomorrow so a good day to cook
8 years ago

John Polk wrote:I know a lady who had the lunch bandit problem at work...
...until the day she made a tuna sandwich with cat food tuna.



lol that would do the trick!
8 years ago
Brent, I totally understand where you are coming from. When I used to work outside of my home, I ended up packing lunch a lot because I love good food. There's only so much fast food or cafe type lunches I could take. Plus I couldn't afford to eat out every day (and it really bugged me that I was paying so much for crappy food!).

I still do some of these things to prep for lunches now because we are a busy family- anything that can be done when things are less hectic really helps when we find ourselves really busy.

We pretty much eat all our food prepared from scratch, and a fairly locavore diet. When I'm making supper, I ask myself if I can prepare more servings now to use in recipes later this week, or as-is for individual leftover portions. I make a wicked meatloaf, double the recipe and cook half in a traditional loaf pan and half in a muffin tin. Remember that if you are cooking full sizes of recipes and serving sizes together in your oven that the individual sized pans will cook in shorter time than a loaf/casserole sized version of the same recipe.

With the meatloaf example, I'd cool the muffin tin, throw it in the freezer, then pop out the "meatloaf muffins" and bag 'em in a large freezer bag. Packing lunch for the next day is as simple as throwing some rice/potatoes (rice can be frozen in serving sizes) and one or two servings of meatloaf in a reuseable container, and taking some carrot sticks/an apple (prep a bunch of carrot sticks and keep in water in the fridge for several days). There are lots of great recipes out there for casseroles and the like that can be made ahead of time and frozen in individual portions. Having lots of choices for condiments and salad dressings/dips can help to make meals more interesting.

My best lunch packing investments have been good quality cooler bags, reuseable freezer blocks, and good quality food-safe containers (I prefer glass, then stainless steel). I take full size cutlery in lunches, if you have a set of matching cutlery and fear losing pieces just buy a cheap set new or used and keep it for lunches. I find that most cooler bags marketed as lunch bags are too small to accomodate even a kids' school lunch if using all reusable containers, so a few years ago we started using the medium-sized zippered cool/warm bags sold as reusable grocery bags at the grocery store. They are cheap as they come and really sturdy. The freezer blocks are found at the dollar store here, and you can find some glass ware.

Depending on your lunch room situation at work, you can even get a cheap set of dishes (used Corningware is great because it's virtually indestructible). I like freezing individual portions of soup and chili in smaller glass bottles. If packed in a lunch bag in the morning with no freezer pack, by lunch it's thawed enough to get out of the bottle and into a bowl to reheat in a microwave. If there's no microwave another great investment is a stainless steel thermos...although a dear price I LOVE my Sigg metro mug for coffee as it really keeps it piping hot for 8 hours or more...$40 but it's been in heavy use for five years now and no signs of stopping. We also have some Thermos vacuum insulated stainless steel 10 oz jars...got 'em at a yardsale never used for cheap.

So, hope my rambling helps inspire. Enjoy eating well and saving your money at the same time.
8 years ago
Kat, my best friend's chickens love ants (we are in the Maritimes, Canada). Although their chickens free range much of the time, if they want to target an anthill they simply put a small chicken tractor over top of the hill or put up a moveable fence and keep the chickens over top of it for a day. On a dry, sunny day, they scratch and peck to their hearts' delight....and the anthill is severely culled in the process.
8 years ago