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Chickens are a lively addition to any homestead. But it’s not all fun and games when you welcome a group of hens to your yard. Some flocks fall prey to pecking spells, where chickens begin attacking each other. Hen pecking can be an annoying problem at best, and devastating to the health of your flock at worst. Follow these best practices to keep the peace with your egg layers.

Manage stress levels

Chickens are just like people: they act out when they’re stressed. Pecking is often a symptom of a much larger problem with your hens. Address the source of the stress and your pecking problem will end.

Unfortunately, chickens aren’t able to tell us what’s going on. You’ll have to do a little detective work to spot the source of your hens’ woes. Do your chickens have at least four square feet per bird? Do they have mites or lice? Are they too hot or too cold? Are they hungry? Did a fox move into the area?

Whatever the reason for their pecking, aim to please your hens to stop pecking at the source.

Peck deterrents

Addressing underlying stress is the best way to combat pecking long term. But how do you protect your hens while getting to the root of the problem? Try store-bought peck deterrents like Pick No More. It will minimize the chances of pecking while you try to cure the hens’ anxiety.

Dust baths

Chickens will often peck when they feel dirty. Prevent pecking by giving your chickens baths. Not normal baths, of course: give your chickens access to dust baths. Your hens may have dug holes where they give themselves dust baths. If they don’t give themselves dust baths, or if digging has been discouraged, create your own dust bath. Mix sand, soil, and wood ash together in a sturdy 2’ x 2’ box.

Pecking alternatives

Remember, chickens are just like people. Chickens can get bored, and sometimes they start pecking when bored. Life on the farm doesn’t have to be boring for your hens. Provide DIY toys that let chickens use their natural instincts. Give them plenty of free range time, as well as toys like branches, string, or chicken swings.

Pecking is an irritating habit that wreaks havoc on the homestead. Instead of opting for inhumane alternatives like beak-cutting, target the source of your chickens’ stress to combat pecking.

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Fitness Tips For Farm Girls

Look, I’m not here to judge you. Working out can be a total chore if you’re not the kind of person who naturally loves running five miles after a hard day’s work on the farm. When you come from a farming background, you usually do a fair amount of physical work while you go about your daily life. And it can be hard to adapt to structured workouts even when you want to increase your fitness level, but don’t worry. There are ways to make it manageable.

Find Your Distraction

When you’re not naturally a fan of working out, it can help to distract yourself from the process of exercising. Watch a TV show on the treadmill, do Pilates while catching up on your favorite podcast, or lose yourself in an audiobook during a long hike. Your workout will be over before you know it!

Short Or Easy?

Choose between getting your workouts finished and out of the way quickly, or taking it easier over a longer period of time. Twenty minutes of high intensity exercise and an hour of leisurely cardio on the elliptical are both valid forms of exercise, so just figure out which style suits you better.

Make It Fun

Do a group Zumba class with friends and go for wine afterwards, or try out a couples yoga routine on YouTube for a giggly workout with your significant other. Making your workout fun will give you more motivation to stick with it, so get creative!

Figure Out The Right Time

Don’t try to get up for a 5 a.m. workout if you’re not a morning person. Equally, don’t wait until the evening to exercise if you know you’re exhausted by the end of the day. Look at your schedule, think about when you personally have more energy, and work out then – not when anyone else says you should.

Get Cute Gym Clothes

Looking good makes you feel good, so spend a little cash getting yourself a gym outfit that you’ll want to put on. Who cares if it’s shallow? If a sleek workout selfie is your motivation, then embrace it. You can even reward yourself with new pieces once you’re a regular exerciser!

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Be kind to yourself when you’re trying to make exercise a part of your routine. Getting out of breath, messing up a workout, and skipping gym sessions are part of the process, so just commit to improving over time rather than focusing on one bad workout.

Working out doesn’t have to be your favorite thing in the world. Just committing to your physical health and spending time getting your blood moving is enough. These fitness tips will help you get to grips with exercising regularly – even if you’d rather be lying in bed watching Netflix the whole time!


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