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Late winter and early spring can be a difficult time for chicken owners. The weather is unpredictable and can change at the drop of a dime. While caring for hens, chicks, and roosters in these seasonal midgrounds, certain steps should be taken to protect your flock.

For Your Coop

A well kept coop is one of the most important parts to keeping a healthy flock. In the early spring, the climate changes and seasonal shifts make for a precarious time. Rain can be plentiful, and humidity begins to rise on warmer days. Your chicken coop should have reliable and absorbent bedding, such as pine shavings. These will absorb the moisture from chicken’s droppings and will prevent the air inside of the coop from becoming too moist or humid. This can prevent problems like infectious bronchitis and other contagious respiratory diseases from developing. Your coop should be changed often to keep the ammonia from chicken’s droppings out of the air. On warmer days consider airing out your coop-if possible-or using a fan to pull air out after changing the bedding.

For Your Chickens

Your chickens will need to be closely monitored during this season. Many wild birds begin to return north after a long winter, and these can carry diseases that can be transmitted to your flock. Fresh water should be provided daily, and wet or moist feed should be discarded and replaced to prevent bacteria and mold from festering. Wherever they take their dust-baths, consider mixing the dirt in that area with diatomaceous earth to prevent lice, mites, and parasites from latching on to their skin. They should have a dry area away from snow and rain that will prevent them from getting wet in inclement weather. Wet chickens are an invitation for colds and parasites, so always make sure your flock has an area where they can stay dry.

Other Tips

There are a few other things that you can do to keep your chickens safe and healthy during this season changeover. Since wild birds can transmit parasites and worms through their droppings, consider de-worming your chickens during this time of year. Laying will be just picking up again after the short days of winter, so this is a good time to de-worm your flock with minimal stress to the chickens. Predators will be beginning to re-emerge in large numbers to feed their young, so make sure your coop is secure and without holes large enough for predators like weasels and raccoons to enter. Make sure your coop has no leaks or drafts, to keep your flock snug and dry at night. And check their water before they all head in for the night; they may begin to drink more as the daylight extends and the days become warmer.

Having chickens is a wonderful investment. They’re interesting and beneficial creatures that are sure to be worth your while. And by following these tips, you can be sure to keep your hens safe and happy as they cross over into a new season.

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Why Every Woman Should Own a Beautiful Scarf

As evidenced by the storyline of Confessions of a Shopaholic, a scarf can be a defining accessory. Just as the young heroine in the story imagined, her dreams came true as a result of one striking green scarf, though not quite as she had pictured it. What dreams might come true for every woman if she allowed herself the purchase of one beautiful, defining scarf?

Scarves have been a hot fashion trend for several years now, and there are no signs of scarves becoming passé. The scarf has always been a classic, elegant accessory, but it can also promote a casual, quirky look, depending on the style, material, and pattern of the scarf. Scarves are an especially hot trend among teens and young women.

The popularity of the scarf is perhaps due to the fact that it is no longer a cooler-weather-only accessory. Sheer, airy scarves are light enough for the warm months, especially on a mild summer night. While short neck scarves were trendy in the 50s and 60s (picture Jackie Kennedy/Onassis), today’s summer trends include the longer scarves as well.

The scarf’s ability to punch up any simple ensemble is only one of its beauties. You can wear a scarf with a solid shift, a t-shirt and jeans, or a tank top and flirty skirt. Choose a scarf to soften or brighten a dress or outfit that would otherwise not look right on you. Fashion experts recommend you try one around your waist, and some have experimented with tying one (or two) small scarves around their wrist, like a pseudo-bangle.

Why risk feeling overheated by adding a summer scarf? Because it is transferable. Choose the right material and you’ll go from cool air conditioning to summer heat without breaking a sweat. Wear it like a bandana in a convertible to keep your hair from whipping in your face, or drape it around your shoulders in the chilly blast of a/c overload. Wear it loosely draped around your neck with the ends hanging down in warmer temps, or wrap it around your waist when the temps start to sizzle.

The best thing about scarves? They make everyone – of every shape and size – look fabulous. A scarf attracts the eye to the neck and enhances the face. A long, thin scarf worn loosely draped and hanging down adds length to your body. When it trails behind you in the breeze it simulates long hair, a decidedly feminine touch. But the scarf isn’t just feminine (men are wearing them, too); a scarf can be funky or Goth.

Try these options for wearing a scarf:

  • Tie the scarf at the neck and let the ends hang down in front, on the side, or draping down your back. This is a great look for formal outfits and the LBD (little black dress).
  • Wear it open with the ends hanging down your front. Wear this look with casual, flowy clothing or to dress up a blazer.
  • Tie a gauzy, long & thin scarf once just above or below your chest. It’s perfect for tank tops paired with jewelry.
  • Fold a square scarf in half to form a triangle, then tie the very end points behind your neck. Let the shorter point drape in front, or slightly off-center.
  • Fold any long scarf in half length-wise, then put it around your neck with a loop on one side and the ends on the other. Pull the ends through the loop, then pull it until the slip-knot you’ve made is resting near your throat, or wear it more loosely.
  • Wrap a long, thin scarf twice around your neck, then tie it in a knot about three inches below your throat.

Cashmere, lace, silk, organic cotton – drape yourself in a touch of luxury with one or two definable scarves. It’s the easiest and the least expensive way to add style and interest to your wardrobe.

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