Being able to leave the farm overnight has become a problem for us. The chickens aren't even the bigger problem as we have several friends (including some on here) that live close enough to stop by to feed and water. Our dogs are the bigger issue because my spouse insists on no kennels, so we need someone that can stay the night. Plus it's nice to know someone is there if anything goes wrong with the house. All our local nieces and nephews are now off to college or older and we lost our built in slaves help. We have a very few friends that can dog sit, except they tend to take vacations the same time we do (or would like to). It really is something people need to consider before they decide they want a farm. We were going to get a pig this year, but I have no idea how we could get someone to care for the farm if we added that to the list of things we need done. If you have someone who can do that for you, treat them like gold!
We let milkweed grow and flower on the property edges. Saw our first monarch this year!
What a great idea. May have to try this if I find some eggs. What time of year should you start looking?
Thank you for this. I've had to fight mites and lice on and off for the last couple of years. I get rid of them (lots of spraying and dusting, ugh) and they are gone for a year or a couple months, then there they are again. We get a lot of wild birds around the barn and pens. I have a feeling that is where the re-infections come from. I'm definitely going to try frontline next time.
I also wonder whether wild birds pick them up and take them around with them. Poultry lice could hop on then hop off onto other birds, I suppose. Definitely mites because I don't think they are as picky (won't swear to it though). We have fewer wild birds since we have put up poultry netting, but we do get sparrows coming to grab a snack since the netting does not cover every square inch of space (vertical and horizontal), plus we used a cheaper 2" netting. We are going to add a section to the small area that isn't covered, even though none of those birds had poultry lice at all (they are younger birds, too).
I find my free ranging flock eating wild birds.. This is mostly the excess roosters. They catch them and will kill them, and that's one of the main reasons I watch close for worms also. Until the tree fell and smashed my secure run and coop roof, We didn't have issues with wild birds or predators. I haven't seen lice on the birds yet this year, but had problems with my older wyandotte rooster last year, he wouldn't dust bathe like the rest. He felt it was more important to stand guard, lol. They have a truck cap that stays dusty-dry year around they bathe under, and I add sevin dust to the dirt every week.