True 100 Years Ago, True Today? - Source: http://bit.ly/HyXs5U
According to a post on backyardchickens.com this ad was circulated in poultry magazines back in the early 20th century. After doing some research about the benefits of raising your own chickens and research done leading up to our family’s decision to not eat commercially raised meat I really found the message of this ad appealing. At the same time I found it very ironic with all the government subsidies going to mega food producers, burdensome regulations that make traditional family farms all but impossible, and local municipal and community association codes that further restrict such activity in our “modern” society.
But it really makes you think, what if we all had a couple chickens in our back yard? We wouldn’t have to use all the energy involved in processing, transporting, and refrigerating poultry based products, we’d have readily accessible manure perfect for enriching our garden soil, feathers for pillows, and much more! Not to mention the need for medication in small scale chicken operations is significantly reduced compared to mass factory farms, resulting in healthier chickens as well as mitigating super bacteria that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics. Continue reading
Assembling Barrel Top Bar Hives
Martha and I would like to share with you our experience building our own Barrel Top Bar Hives (TBH). This is not meant to be a step-by-step tutorial, but rather a general overview of the steps we took and lessons learned during the process,. There are plenty of excellent step-by-step tutorials out on the internet you can follow if you need that level of help. You’re also welcome to post questions here and we’ll happily answer them to assist you in your process!
Original 55-Gallon Barrel
The largest component in a barrel TBH is obviously the barrel. Lots of people from what we read online said they had cheap to free access to 55-gallon food grade barrels but we had to buy ours. If you live in the Northern Virginia area we highly recommend NOVA Barrel. They have a great selection of barrels and very reasonable prices. We were able to get a food grade 55-gallon barrel from NOVA Barrel for just $35. One thing that was really nice about the model they had was the top rim completely snapped off when we were cutting the barrel in half which provided a flatter surface and eliminated the need to cut the rim off (a step shown in the earlier referenced tutorial).