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Homesteading is a lot of fun and a lot of work. Aside from daily chores, homesteading also comes with the headaches of keeping your chickens alive and well. The biggest culprit? Predators. Chicken raising comes with its fair share of heartache, particularly if you have foxes, possums, and wildcats in your midst.

While there’s no such thing as being 100% predator-proof, you can take steps to protect your flock. Here are my favorite predator-proofing measures. Add yours in the comments!

No chicken wire

I know it’s called chicken wire, but it’s not the best option to protect your chickens. It’s designed to keep chickens in, but it doesn’t keep predators out. Opt for stronger hardware cloth instead. Use it anywhere you would normally use chicken wire, like the sides of the coop or windows.


Digging animals are a huge threat to grounded coops. It can cost a little more, but elevating your coop is an easier way to dig-proof. If you’d like to keep your coop on the ground, bury hardware cloth two feet below the surface. Sure, it’s extra work, but it can be the difference between having chickens and having a lot of feathers. For extra dig-proofing, design your coop to have solid floors. It’s much harder to dig through wood than dirt!

Lock it up

Always bring your chickens inside the coop before nightfall. They should be locked up safely from sunset to sunrise every day to protect against predators. Remember to choose a complex lock for your coop, too. Raccoons are very cunning critters and have been known to open simple hatch-based locks.

Have guards

Hens aren’t known for their fighting skills. However, other farm animals can defend your ladies. Roosters are a bit of a handful, but if you can tolerate them, they will protect your chickens. In fact, roosters are known to herd the hens to a safe area and sacrifice themselves protecting the flock. If you don’t want the work of keeping a rooster, guard dogs can also keep your hens safe in the event of a predator invasion.

Motion activated lights

Nighttime predators despise light. To deter predators from pestering your hens, install bright LED motion-activated lights.

The bottom line

Homesteaders are no strangers to heartbreak. However, you should take every precaution possible to prevent tragedy from befalling your chickens. Use these tips to strengthen your hens’ home and protect against pesky predators.

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The One Key Ingredient for Restoring Fragile Hair

We’ve all had those days when you wake up and realize that your hair feels like straw. Maybe you’ve recently changed hair colors, or you’ve been flat-ironing your hair a lot. In any case, all of the moisture in the world doesn’t seem to help, and you relinquish yourself to a life of frizzy, broken hair.

If that sounds familiar, I have good news for you: there’s one easy-to-find ingredient that will regenerate your hair strands and bring them back to good health. The secret? Protein. All hair strands are made of protein, but they can be made fragile by any number of common processes, like dying, straightening or over-manipulating. It only makes sense that a boost of extra protein would smooth and strengthen your hair. 

However, not all protein is the same. Use these tips to make the most of this vital ingredient.

Skip kitchen DIY recipes

DIY beauty recipes are, normally, a wonderful go-to for the farm girl on a budget. However, DIY protein masks usually use ingredients like eggs or yogurt. These foods do contain protein, but the protein molecules are far too large to actually penetrate your hair. 

Instead, you want to use hydrolyzed protein, which has been broken into smaller particles that are able to easily penetrate the hair shaft.

Look at the first 5 ingredients

The easiest way to incorporate this ingredient into your routine is to look for it in conditioners, shampoos, masks or styling products. A quick scan of the list of ingredients will tell you whether or not your favorite product has protein in it, but browse carefully — if the protein is toward the bottom of the list, that means that it doesn’t contain enough to have a significant effect on your hair. If you want a real boost, look for products that contain protein within the first five ingredients on the list.

Use with caution

Not all protein treatments have the same amount of protein. Some mask treatments, like Aphogee, provide intense restoration while others have more subtle benefits. While it may be tempting to go for the intense option every time, those products can actually harm your hair if you use them too often. Too much protein is just as harmful as too little!

For best results, a treatment like Aphogee should be used only once every few weeks. In between, you can use more gentle protein treatments until you see your hair returning to shiny, healthy, happy locks.

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