Tag Archives: Chickens

Searching for information on building chicken coops and raising chickens in the United States? Click here to read more about raising and breeding chickens for eggs and meat on off grid properties in the United States.

How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles for Off the Grid Farms

Off Grid Living:  How to Raise Crickets for
Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

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Off Grid Living - How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

Off Grid Living – How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

Raising Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

New Mexico – Breeding crickets is surprisingly easy and a great way to have different sizes on hand for feeding an array of animals. In this blog, we’ll run down the supplies needed and the techniques we use to breed and raise crickets.

How to Get a Cricket Farm Started

First, you’ll need to order in some crickets – you’ll want to order 3/4”, as most adult crickets have already been bred before they are shipped out. This base of crickets will set you up for success and get the life cycle moving quickly.

How to Build Houses for Crickets

Your crickets housing is up to you. Some have great success with 10 and 20-gallon tanks, and others prefer plastic tote bins. Whatever you use is up to you, just make sure the sides are high enough crickets can’t jump out, or provide a well-ventilated top.

Set up the 3/4” crickets as you would any other crickets – egg crate for climbing and hiding, then a food and water source. Josh’s Frogs cricket food and Insect watering gel is the easiest way to go as these items wont spoil like fresh vegetables will.

You’ll want to maintain crickets at a temperature of 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity. This can easily be achieved with a low-watt light suspended above your cricket housing.

How to Know If Crickets Are Laying Eggs

After crickets are mature, in generally 1-2 weeks, you’ll hear plenty of chirping. This is an indication your crickets are ready to breed and it’s time to provide them with a place to lay their eggs.

At Josh’s Frogs, we use sandwich containers containing 2 ½ cups of vermiculite and ¾ cups water. Any shallow container will work, so long as it can hold the vermiculite and water. Using a container that you can pop a top onto is ideal.

Place the egg laying container on top of a piece of egg crate in your crickets enclosure, then use a smaller piece of egg crate to make a ramp up to to the container. Leave the container in place for a couple days to give your crickets plenty of time to lay their eggs. Then remove it for incubation.

How to Incubate Cricket Eggs

Cover half of the egg container’s top with paper towel to catch condensation, then put on the top. Incubate the egg laying bin at 89F for 8-10 days. We’ve modified freezers as incubators at Josh’s Frogs, or you can purchase an Exo-Terra Incubator for easy use.

What to Do When Baby Crickets Are Hatched

After the pinhead crickets hatch, place the bin in a container the pinheads cannot escape from and provide them with a bit of egg crate to act as a ramp.

You can feed out the pinheads to your animals, or raise them up to a larger size before feeding. Younger crickets require a higher level of humidity than older crickets.

Source: http://www.joshsfrogs.com/catalog/blog/2015/03/how-to-breed-crickets/

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How to Get Rid of Skunks and Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homestead

Off Grid Living – How to Get Rid of Skunks and
Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homestead

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Off Grid Living - How to Get Rid of Skunks and Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Home

Off Grid Living – How to Get Rid of Skunks and Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Home

Getting Rid of Skunks and Discouraging Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homes, Cabins, Sheds, Porches, Patios and Chicken Coops

Idaho – Having skunks around your home can present a number of health and safety hazards. Aside from the threat of being sprayed with their noxious musk, skunks are also known carriers of rabies and other diseases that can harm your family or pets.

Skunks will also tear open trash bags and topple garbage cans, which can attract other vermin and insects to your home. By removing food sources, eliminating hiding places and using an effective skunk repellent, you can make your home inhospitable to skunks, forcing them to go elsewhere.

Five Important Steps to Dissuade Skunks from Visiting

Step 1: Remove food sources around your home, such as pet-food bowls and low-hanging bird feeders.

Step 2: Place all trash in cans with tight-fitting, locking lids.

Step 3: Eliminate any insect infestations you have. Also be sure to take care of any rodent infestations, as skunks will eat small rodents.

Step 4: Remove piles of brush, wood or other debris in your yard that could serve as a hiding place for skunks.

Step 5: Use wire mesh to seal any openings in or around your home that skunks could be using to enter crawlspaces, basements or other areas.

Once you’ve eliminated food sources and hiding places, your home will be less appealing to skunks

Source: http://www.havahart.com/articles/rid-skunks-5-steps

Common Skunk Repellents and Their Effectiveness

There are numerous repellents on the market. However, many of these repellents contain harmful chemicals which may poison your pets or children if they come into contact with a treated area. In addition, they are often ineffective. Here are some other repellents which have varying effects:

Predator Urine – Sprinkling the urine of dogs, coyotes, or other predators near the den often has some effect. These may be obtained at many outdoor stores (or via your own pet). The downsides to using urine is that it must be reapplied every 24 hours, can be washed away when it rains, and is only a partial solution. You will still need to take precautions, such as installing a fence, in order to keep the skunks away. Be warned that your dog’s urine may attract stray dogs if they are not fixed.

Ammonia – Many home remedies call for mothballs or ammonia as a means to repel skunks. While skunks do have a sensitive sense of smell, these methods are not very effective. In addition, ammonia may be washed away by rain and must be reapplied frequently. If you choose to use ammonia to turn away a skunk, your best choice is the aforementioned predator urine.

Cayenne Pepper – when carefully sprinkled near the entrance of a den, will help drive the skunks away. Note that this method will require a fresh application after rain, and further measures, such as fencing, must be taken to keep the skunks from returning.

Citrus Peels – Orange or lemon peels are also quite effective. Sprinkle these around where the skunk likes to go and it will start to avoid those areas. Peels have the advantage of lasting until they decompose and will also repel many other pests. Once the skunk is out of your yard, fence him out for good.

Hot Pepper Spray – Cayenne pepper can also be used to make a repellent spray. Chop one yellow onion, and some Jalapeño peppers. Mix these with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and boil in two quarts of water for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture with a cheesecloth and place into a spray bottle. The skunk will avoid anything sprayed with this liquid, although it must be reapplied once every three to five days or after rain.

Source: https://pestkilled.com/how-to-get-rid-of-skunks/

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How to Build Sturdy, Long Lasting Fences for Off Grid Properties

Off Grid Living – How to Build Sturdy,
Long Lasting Fences for Off Grid Properties

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Off Grid Living - How to Build Fences for Off Grid Properties

Off Grid Living – How to Build Sturdy, Long Lasting Fences for Off Grid Properties 

Building Sturdy, Long Lasting Fences for Off Grid Properties

California – Off grid property fencing is a time-honored part of security on the homestead. It’s used for all kinds of purposes. From keeping out big critters, like deer, elk, moose, coyotes, mountain lions or bears, to protecting crops from smaller critters like bobcats, foxes, opossums, rabbits, raccoons and skunks.

Electric fences are one of our favorite types of fencing for off grid properties. Today, solar chargers can be purchased relatively cheaply and prove to be an asset in security on the off-grid homestead. We have used it for such a wide variety of projects and fencing needs.

We’ve used it for protecting our flower, medicinal and vegetable gardens from deer and rabbits. as well as to serve as temporary fencing between pastures when moving livestock.

One of the main drawbacks of an electric fence, for some people, is you must check it daily depending on the use. A limb may be on the fence or grass may be growing up into it causing a short out.

There’s also the possibility of a broken wire which can shut down the whole fence. To help alleviate some of these risks and others, we prefer to use a barbed wire fence in tandem with an electric fence. Especially once you consider upfront cost, upkeep, and reliability.

Hog panel or cow panel fence panels in combination with T-posts can be very cost effective for providing a very sturdy fence that is difficult to knock down and can be used to enclose the entire property or the one acre tract that protects the house and backyard gardens.

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How to Build a Baby Chick Brooder Pin for Raising Chickens

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Baby
Chick Brooder Pin for Raising Chickens

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Off Grid Living - Need to Build a Baby Chick Brooder Pin for Raising Chickens

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Baby Chick Brooder Pin for Raising Chickens

How to Build a Baby Chick Brooder Pin for Raising Chickens

Alaska – Thinking about raising some starter chicks? Here are some chicken brooder pen starter ideas.

Raising chicks is infinitely easier than incubating eggs, but there is still much more to it than just plopping them in a coop. They need a toasty-warm mini-coop – a brooder – to nurture them into toddlerhood. If they had a mother of their own, the chicks would crowd under her feathers at night for warmth, and she would show them how to forage and keep them safe by pecking viciously at any predator that came lurking.

There are many ways to build a brooder, but they all have to fulfill the basic needs of an orphan chick for the first six weeks of its life: food, water, warmth and protection.

Pine shavings are the bedding of choice for baby chicks. The essential oils in cedar shavings can cause respiratory distress and newspaper is hard for them to walk on when they’re little.

If you have your chicks in the living room where it’s 65 degrees at night, a 100-watt incandescent bulb in a clamp-on utility light (the kind with a metal reflector) will provide enough warmth. If they’re in a barn, garage or another location that gets chilly, a heat lamp is in order.

Source: https://modernfarmer.com/2015/04/how-to-build-a-brooder/

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How to Setup an Automatic Watering System for Chicken Coops with Rainwater Harvesting and Water Nipples

Off Grid Living – How to Setup an Automatic Watering
System for Chicken Coops with Rainwater Harvesting

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Off Grid Living - How to Setup an Automatic Watering System for Chicken Coops with Rainwater Harvesting

Off Grid Living – How to Setup an Automatic Watering System for Chicken Coops with Rainwater Harvesting

Setting Up an Automatic Watering System for Chicken Coops

Washington – How to setup a automated chicken watering station inside a chicken coop using rainwater harvesting rain barrels.

Providing an automatic chicken watering system for a chicken coop is important.

Most DIY feeders and waterers are just variations on the same theme. Here is how to assemble one version each of a non-spill, easy-clean feeder and waterer, but keep in mind that these directions are easily adaptable for everyone’s own situation. You may want to lengthen or shorten certain components to make them fit into your coop or to suit your number of chickens, and you can add components to fill them from outside the coop.

Because of the way these dispensers are constructed, making adjustments can be as easy as purchasing additional sections of PVC—just adjust the height and lengths of the pipes to fit your situation and needs. There are no magic lengths, though longer pipes will hold more feed and water, which is important if you have a large flock. The lengths shown here are just for illustrative purposes.

Source: https://www.hobbyfarms.com/the-no-mess-chicken-feeding-watering-system/

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How to Setup a Healthy Dust Bath for a Chicken Coop

Off Grid Living – How to Setup a
Healthy Dust Bath for a Chicken Coop

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Off Grid Living - How to Setup a Healthy Dust Bath for a Chicken Coop

Off Grid Living – How to Setup a Healthy Dust Bath for a Chicken Coop

How to Setup a Healthy Dust Bath for a Chicken Coop

Utah – Here are some tips for building a good chicken coop dust bath to help keep your chickens happy and get rid of mites.

There are four main ingredients of a good chicken dust bath are sand (tan), soil (black), ash from oak wood (grey) and food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) (white).

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How to Raise Your Own Food for Feeding Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Pigs

Off Grid Living – How to Raise Your Own
Food for Feeding Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Pigs

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Off Grid Living - How to Raise Your Own Feed Food for Feeding Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Pigs

Off Grid Living – How to Raise Your Own Feed Food for Feeding Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Pigs

Raising Your Own Food for Feeding Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Pigs

South Dakota – How to Raise Your Own Free Chicken Feed with MicroGreens, Black Soldier Flies, Crickets, Meal Worms, Red Wiggler Worms. For people who have 20 or more chickens or ducks you know they can eat a lot, especially in the winter when most grass, weeds and other summertime food sources are not in abundant supply.

Why not grow your own indoors?? Even in the wintertime with LED lights or fluorescent grow lights  you can grow your own micro greens on the inside of a greenhouse or the front room of any home that has south facing windows or any indoor room that is heated.

Micro Greens also known as Fodder will grow to a couple inches high in just 14 days.

Did you know that micro greens are 50x more nutritious than full grown vegetables, which means less will feed more. Not just for your farm animals, but also for you and your family. And you can start trimming the tops off most microgreens and they will keep growing.

And grow lights will keep a room pretty warm, warm enough to raise meal worms, red wiggler worms, crickets and black soldier flies. And when black soldier larvae feed, especially feeding on coffee grounds, they produce a LOT of heat, which can be used to heat greenhouses.

If you want to teach your chickens to roll over and do tricks, start raising these black soldier flies. Chickens, ducks and fish LOVE them.

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