Brand Your Farm

Best SignageOne thing I love about visiting a farm is all the cool ‘old’ and new stuff you get to see. Farms are sometimes like old museums , with old tractors, equipment, furniture and buildings which make it feel as though you are walking back in time. Some of the more commercial farms do this intentionally as it helps to create an atmosphere for people visiting the farm that helps to create some very long lasting memories.

I once visited a farm on Vancouver Island which was especially memorable. The farm is called Merridale Cidery and it was not only a beautiful place to visit because of its tasty cider but because it is also has some of the coolest artifacts and antiques on site. Obviously the main operation of a farm is to be as functional as possible but having awesome décor, especially when you have a product that can be sold to the public, creates an additional stream of revenue which might not have ever been considered.

I believe a fantastic farm tour always starts on the drive-in which is usually up a nice rustic dirt road. Since farms are out in the country, the best place to start with beautifying your farm is to have a professional signage company design a sign which is both unique to you and the offerings of your farm.

I know what you might be thinking! “I own an egg farm, who would ever want to come see my farm.” Well you might be surprised! Eco-tourism is on the rise and as farming becomes increasingly competitive, it’s important to at least investigate the different revenue streams which may be available to you.

A good way to market your farm without wasting too much money is to get a full vehicle wrap which has the important information for potential customers. Many people today prefer to by directly from a farmer so if you have a system of selling your eggs or other products, let people know how they can do so. You may surprised by just how many people will drive to your farm just to buy a dozen eggs because it’s more than just buying eggs. It’s about having an experience and for people who love food, an experience is all part a delicious meal.

There are lots of other opportunities which exist to create additional revenue as well. It all depends on the products you offer, the location of your farm and your willingness to invite the public into your space. With the right attitude and advice, you can have a very successful eco-tourism busi

Building Your Own Chicken Coop

mostly finished chicken coop

When I decided it was time for a new chicken coop, I certainly didn’t want to pay someone to come out and build one for me. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a carpenter, I do know my way around a workshop pretty well. Besides, a chicken coop doesn’t really have to be pretty as much as it has to be functional. Functional I can do. Pretty? Maybe not so much.

mostly finished chicken coop

What I do with the Chickens

Although I’m predominantly a grain farmer, I use the chickens for a variety of things, including eggs for breakfast almost every day. But there are way too many for my wife and me to eat ourselves, so sometimes we set up a roadside stand for our neighbors which uses the honor system. Sometimes we give them away to the homeless shelter in town, if I find that I am making a trip into town anyway and can drop them off, and there is a restaurant in town who used to have me supply their eggs but I really just didn’t want to keep up with the amount of eggs that they needed since that’s not my primary business.

Planning the Coop

So I started thinking about this chicken coop and how much space I wanted it to cover, how large I wanted it to be in height, and what would be the sturdiest way to build it for my hens. I have about fifteen chickens and a rooster who I let in sometimes when I want some chicks for the spring. They usually keep me pretty busy.

I know that chickens need 2 to 3 feet each on the inside of the coop, and 5 feet each of fenced space outside. So with 15 chickens, I did the calculations and knew approximately what the measurements needed to be.

Once I knew the size I needed, I looked up online plans for a chicken coop. Decided on one that would best fit the space and the needs of the chickens, with some extra space for new chicks when I have them. There are a lot of plans available online but I chose a fairly simple one because I don’t really need anything fancy.


The materials I needed were fairly simple. Studs for framing, paneling for the walls, coop wire, joists, joist clips, flooring, rafters and rafter ties, anchors, nailers for soffits, fasteners such as nails and screws, and shingles for the roof. Of course, you would need to follow the supplies list for whatever project plans you choose, as I had a lot of these things just lying around in my workshop. Although you would normally need gravel underneath for drainage purposes, mine was replacing the old coop so that was already in place for me.  And, of course, if you want it to be fancy you can fix it all up with wood trim, a pretty door, and all of that kind of stuff.

Putting it Together

After making sure the excavation from the previous coop was spiffed up a little bit, I began framing the floor. This was set on top of the skids and then the floor sheathing was applied. Once the floor was finished, I began framing the walls. I pre-cut everything using my DeWalt Compound miter saw so that I could get any necessary angles cut just right.  Boy, do I love that thing!

Anyway, after making sure I had the correct space for venting and windows, as well as space for the door, I was finished framing the walls and installed them onto the floor. Next were the rafters, which were set into place by my son because I didn’t want to do as much climbing up and down on the ladder. I used the door from the old coop, since it was still in good shape, and then began putting up the chipboard for the walls.

Once the walls were up, I let the chickens run around inside and get used to their new home. I re-worked the existing framing for the fence, installed the new chicken wire for the fence, and that was it! Actually a super easy project which didn’t take a great deal of time or cost too much money. I’m certainly glad my chickens will now be safe and sound in their new home.

Image Credit: Flickr by rebecca shiraev

Whip your Morning up Right!

Healthy Eggs

One of my favorite breakfast foods are eggs. I eat eggs probably close to 5 times a week and I consider myself a little bit of an eggspert (ignore the pun)! The benefit of eggs are plenty and it seems that more and more research are confirming that the best way to start your day is to crack a couple of eggs right into the frying pan (or pot of water ;)). Eggs are high in protein, high in omega-3 fat (the good kind of fat), and basically next to no carbohydrates. In a society which generally overdoes it when it comes to carbs, this makes eggs a superfood in my books.

One of the other great things about eggs are that they are extremely versatile. There are so many ways to cook eggs that there is always away to keep your breakfast interesting. You can fry them, bake them, boil them and even eat them raw! Pair them with a morning exercise routine and you’ll be on your way to meeting your fitness goals. Below is one of my favorite egg recipes.

The Egg-Ocado

Another pun to be ignored, this extremely simple breakfast treat is not only easy but is packed full of delicious flavor and healthiness. First for the ingredients:

  • Free-Range Egg
  • Avocado
  • Salt & Pepper

First thing to do is pre-set you over for 375 degrees. While the over is warming up, take your avocado and open it up to give yourself two halves. De-pit the avocado and shave a way a few milimeters of avocado so your egg will fit. On the bottom side of the avocado, Cut a slite rivet in the peel so your avocado sits up nicely and balances when sitting flat. Be careful not to make this cut to deep and cut into the other side or else it won’t make a very good cup for your egg.

Once your avocado is prepared, take your egg and crack it into the hollowed out bowl you have created. If a little bit of the egg white leaks over the edge this is nothing to worry about. Place the Egg-Ocado on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your preference. I prefer mine a bit runny so when I scoop into my meal, the yolk leaks into the avocado. Enjoy with a spoon!

The above is not only rich and delicious but heart healthy too. The healthy fats of both the avocado will have your body dancing and the zero-carb breakfast will have you losing those extra pounds in no time. Do be aware however that although the fats in both avocado and eggs are ‘good fats’ they are still fat. Ensure you enjoy both in moderation daily as an entire avocado is more than enough ‘good fat’ for a couple of days. Enjoy this treat once per week… maybe twice!

How To Keep Your Dogs Safe On The Farm

dog on farmNo matter what kind of farm you have, there are always going to be dangers your dog can get into. Dogs are notorious for getting into places they shouldn’t, no matter how well you may have checked the area beforehand. So what can be done to stop this? Keeping them chained up in a small part of a yard when they could be exploring the farm is hardly what a dog deserves! It is very important to allow them to roam within a fair amount of your farm, especially if they are a working dog, such as a herding, guarding, or helping dog. They need to be familiar with the area and the other animals you may have on the farm, as well as what their territory is if they are there to guard. He could easily become lost or disoriented in unfamiliar territory that, little known to him, is his own property.

A fantastic solution to keeping your dog on your property though not tethered up is by using a wireless fence. There are many different brands that make such fences, so you have a pretty good variety of options. Some are made with a smaller perimeter of wire, some longer, and can be increased with the purchase of more wire. The other kind of wireless fence is the deterrent kind. It basically will keep your dog away from a certain area rather than within a certain area. Both are rated very well. They way they will benefit you and your dog is by consistently training them to stay within your set boundaries. When they approach the wire laid down to indicate the boundary, they will receive a sound warning emitted by their collar. If they proceed closer to the fence, the collar will administer a static correction (this is not an electric shock like most people think!). This painless correction will startle them into returning to your property. Soon enough they will learn where they can go.

Some people will think that it’s not necessary for these precautions, but there are plenty of dangers on your farm that your dog may get themselves into. Both cattle and horses pose a danger to your dog if they get over excited. Though dog are smaller and more agile than horses and cattle, they can still get kicked or stomped on by accident. Keeping your dog at a safe distance (though not too far) from them until they need to herd them is a smart idea to protect both your livestock and your dog.

They can also get into dangerous parts of a barn or equipment shed, such as sharp equipment, unstable floors, rickety walls, and so much more. There’s no need for them to be in these buildings, so setting up the wireless fence around them is a great precaution to take to keep them out of harms way.

One last dangerous situations (though there are many more) is landscape characteristics. If you have a steep or muddy hill that they can get stuck on or slide down, keeping them away from this is very important. Water areas such as streams, lakes, wells, or anything else are also important to keep your dog away from in case of injury or contamination to your water supply.

There really isn’t a better or cheaper way to keep your farm and your dogs safe!

Why You Should Hunt For Food

Many of us hunt for sport. We do it purely as a recreational activity that gets us out of the house and into the great outdoors where we can enjoy ourselves. Meanwhile, others hunt for all of those reasons, as well as the additional reason of hunting for food. Many hunters like to eat what they kill, in large part because it tastes delicious. But other than that, there is a whole host of reasons why it’s advisable for people to hunt for their food in lieu of our conventional methods of producing meat for consumption. If you are curious about getting started with hunting and what sort of equipment you will need, check out for gear reviews and hunting stories.


For starters, hunting is more environmentally friendly than the alternative sources of food that come from the meat industry. When you consume meat from a wild animal, you know that no pesticides or artificial hormones were used in the raising of that animal, which is not something you can say for most animals raised on a farm with the intention of being slaughtered for meat. Not only does this mean that the meat from wild animals will be free of the toxins associated with pesticides and hormones that are harmful to your health, but it also means that wild animal you’re eating played no part in soil erosion, water pollution or landscape being harmed, all of which are done by the meat industry. Hunting for your own food means not supporting factory farms and the harm they do to the environment, and that’s a good way to be eco-friendly.

Along those same lines, the fees gathered from hunting licenses and tags go to fund environmental causes, so the more hunting that gets done, the more money goes to wildlife management and adding acres of land for animals to roam free. If you hunt for your food and want to give yourself some variety, then buying the licenses for duck, deer, elk, and whatever else you’d like to hunt, that just means more money for conservation projects, which essentially means that more hunting means more conservation. This is definitely important since hunters, more than most, have an incentive to conserve wildlife populations and their habitat.

Another great reason to hunt for your own meat is to ensure that none of the meat is wasted. So many large companies raise animals for meat, but only end up taking a small percentage of meat or a certain body part, while all the rest goes to waste. This is easily avoided by tending to the slaughtered animal yourself, or taking your kill to a professional butcher. Butchering an animal yourself helps to make you realize that this meat was once a life and that as much of the animal as possible should go to use. This is obviously out of your control when you get your meat elsewhere, but hunting for your food allows you to do whatever you want with the animal remains, which allows you to be creative and take pride in getting all you can out of the animal you successfully hunted.

Finally, there are financial reasons to hunt for your own food. Every pound of meat you take home from a hunting trip is one less pound of meat you need to buy from a grocery store. If you go hunting frequently enough, or are a particularly talented hunter, you can take home a whole lot of meat and save you and your family a meaningful amount of money, and that alone should be reason enough to hunt for food and not just sport.

Easy Recipe: Using Eggs to Combat Hair Loss

Hair is such an important part of many people’s look and style, and losing hair can feel like a devastating blow. Thinning hair and baldness can be the cause of a low self-esteem and can even affect the way people are perceived. There are many chemical and prescription “solutions” on the market today which may or may not be useful to fight against hair loss for certain individuals, but they may also be pricey. If you’re more into natural ways of fighting hair loss, and less expensive ways as well, consider something which you probably regularly have in your refrigerator: Eggs.

eggs for hair loss

Eggs promote hair growth because there is a great deal of protein contained in eggs, and since hair is made up of 70% keratin protein it makes sense that eggs would be a healthy answer for thinning hair or hair loss problems. Hair that is damaged or weakened can be strengthened and filled in with a conditioner made up of eggs. Eggs contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other components which promote hair health and growth. Continue reading

How To Take Care Of Your Chickens

Chickens and Hens

Without chickens (and other egg laying creatures) there would be no incubators. Without any incubators there wouldn’t be an Without that I would’ve had to resort to either working the land as a farmer or *shudder* get a real 9-5 job. So, with that in mind I owe a lot to chickens. They’re really the bread and butter of this business. Most of the egg farmers that I talk to need incubators for chickens as opposed to say quail.

And of course since I originally started as an egg farmer I know a thing or two or about taking care of the little birdies. Not in the way that you see industrial farms being run, but really taking care of them.

The very first step to taking care of the old birdies is to build your chickens a home. Give them some shelter and of course, a fence to keep them in. We don’t want our chickens running amuck. The more space the better, anything less then 4 or 6 feet per chicken is cruel in my estimation. Inside of that cute little home you built, you need to give your hens a quaint little spot to have birth. A nice little “nest” if you will so they can lay your precious eggs. By the way if you’ve never had farm fresh eggs from an ACTUAL chicken farm you don’t know what you’re missing. Delish! Delish I tell you!

Now once you’ve got your chicken house you’ll want to fire some hens in there. No eggs without hens! Hens need even more room because they’re feisty little creatures. Give them too little room and you’ll have a full blown war on your hands.

Okay, so you’ve got hens, you’ve got chickens and you’ve got a hen house! Now you’re going to need to get them some feed. Don’t give them the low quality garbage feed get them some high end organic feed. I know it’s tough to shallow the pill and cough up that much dough but I personally believe it’s worth it. You can taste the difference in the egg.

Okay now you just wait until the hens lay some eggs and you’re set right? Fat chance. These little guys requires some serious TLC. During prime egg laying season I like to check on them once or twice. I also make sure I check on them in the night. Get yourself a good flashlight and make sure there is nothing going boo in the night. Some predators like to stalk them in the evening and night time. Hens don’t lay many eggs if they’re stressed out! You have to make sure there little house is as secure as your own!

If your hens are laying an usually low number of eggs its probably because they’re stressed. Check the area for predators and look for any way they could worm there way into their hen house!

The last step is to enjoy your high quality, farm fresh eggs!

Are Eggs Healthy?

Heart-shaped fried egg

Growing up on a farm I adored eggs. I was lucky, I didn’t get any low quality, questionably coloured eggs. Almost every morning we had eggs for breakfast. My mother would always tell me that there was no use in starting your day with sugary cereal that would crash in a few hours!

At the time I remember being pissed – I wanted some Captain Crunch or Lucky Charms! Now in my old age I understand why, starting your day off with sugar for breakfast is akin to soaking a few twigs in gasoline and setting it on fire. You may come out of the gate blazing but you won’t last very long!

Naturally, when I got into the egg incubator business I did a lot of research – are eggs really healthy?

The Cholesterol Myth

Remember when the entire population was fascinated with cholesterol and heart disease? At one point, when I was a child our school participated in jump rope for heart, which was a charity event for heart disease. At the time cholesterol seemed to be lumped into two categories: it’s either high in cholesterol or it’s not. High = bad. Bad = heart disease. Boy were we ever given a poor outlook on eggs at that point.

Today we know, that eggs actually can help reduce your cholesterol and have a positive impact on a healthy heart. Talk about a 360.

One (recent) study did find that if you have diabetes or one of a few incredibly rare genetic disorders then eating eggs can be bad for you. But unless you fall into those two categories eat away!

WebMD ran a story called “Good Eggs: For Nutrition, They’re Hard to Beat“. They sum it up in a similar way – the debate of whether or not eggs are healthy for us is pretty well over. Just about everyone is in agreement that they’re a heart healthy food that rock in the morning.

A Super Morning

I encourage you to try eating eggs for breakfast, several times a week. They’re amazing because they are so high in protein which is a terrific way to give your body a kick start at the start of the day. And unlike Lucky Charms, they’re not going to burn you out by 9:30 AM. Eggs will sustain you until lunch time when you can refuel.

A Few Egg Recipes To Get You Started

One of the world’s easiest recipe and absolutely perfect for after a hard workout (both avocados and eggs pack a massive protein punch) is this baked eggs in avocados from Wellness Weekly.

It’s hard to beat a 4 ingredient meal that takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes in the oven. That’s as hands off as it gets.

I have this Kale & Sweet Potato Fritatta several times a week. It’s packed full of healthy vegetables and of course, eggs which is a rawkin’ way to start your morning. This was served up via Lulora and has become a staple in my diet. It requires a lot of eggs, but as a farmer and egg incubator manufacturer that’s really a none issue.


How an Egg Incubator Works


An incubator is used to hatch eggs and keep them warm. They are commonly used for premature mammals, reptile eggs and chicks. It’s more common that they are used to hatch chicks though and thus, if you own a poultry, incubators are necessary.

The incubators keep the eggs warm which allows the fetuses to grow and hatch even without their mother’s presence. The common temperature inside the incubator ranges from 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are several reasons why you would need to use an egg incubator. One of them is that the farmer wanted to hatch chicks but none of the hens are ready to breed. The other one is that for students to learn about how an egg hatches after a few weeks. They are also used in large chicken raising facilities.

Though they are most commonly used to hatch chicken eggs, they can be used to hatch any type of bird, from penguins to ostriches.

The Anatomy of How an Egg Incubator Works

As we have learned earlier, an egg incubator plays an important role in hatching eggs. Here, we are going to understand how the egg incubator works.

Temperature Control

Keeping the temperature in the right range is crucial inside the incubator environment. Chickens hatch around 100 degree Fahrenheit therefore, the incubator is an independent and controlled environment which they can be set to remain at a set temperature range as long as needed. In other words, the incubator acts as the hen’s warmth for the chicks.

Air Circulation

It is also an important factor for the eggs, air circulation. As for the growth of most organisms, oxygen and air flow plays an important role in their development. When being hatched naturally, eggs get plenty of it and since an incubator is an environment which needs control over temperature, it will naturally be an enclosed space.  As we know that an enclosed space doesn’t allow the flow of air and oxygen, the incubator includes ventilations and fans to encourage a fresh and warm oxygen to flow over eggs.

Humidity Control

If hatched naturally, a hen will provide humidity control when she sits over the eggs. She knows exactly how much moisture the egg should be losing. On average, an egg will lose about 12 percent of its moisture content during the process of incubation and humidity controls how much is lost over time. It should be required to be monitored by an individual as some eggs may need more or less depending upon the shell’s thickness.


An incubator can be really useful be it for production purposes or educational purposes. They are crucial of you want to run a large scale poultry business and optional if you want to raise your own chicken. There are plenty of them available for order online or you can just hop in and create your own.

We have also learned that the egg incubator controls three main things: temperature, airflow and humidity. These are the crucial recipe for hatching a chick.