Saturday, February 25, 2012

YouTube is for Chickens Too

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. I started a YouTube channel in hopes that I can put together a few videos about my chickies. When we got our new computer let summer, I made a movie out of some footage of our chickens. All of our girls make an appearance and so do Erikson's babies, the bantams, who have since gone on to new homes. As I make videos, I'll post links here.

To find my channel, you can search LovinChickinFarmin in YouTube. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bags of Chicken Feed

We only have four hens, so we don't go through chicken feed at a terribly fast rate. My husband probably goes to the hardware store once a month. I started thinking there has to be something I can do with these feed bags once they're empty. I hate throwing things away - in a I-hate-to-create-trash kind of way and not in a hoarder kind of way.
It may come as a surprise to you that I'm a borderline hippie. I mean, the fact that I have chickens in my backyard even though I live in the downtown area of a capital city didn't give it away. My hippie-ness is not only reflected in my chicken ownership. I try to eat things that are defined as food (refer to any book by Michael Pollen if you're unclear) and keep away from as much food-like product as I can; I recycle everything I possibly can and get angry at the city when its recycling center doesn't have the facilities to recycle things I think should be recycled; I donate everything we don't use anymore to charities like Goodwill rather than throw things away; and, I like to reuse or repurpose things when I can. I'm currently working on a quilt made out of a million of my husband's old t-shirts. So I started looking at these chicken feed bags thinking what can I do with these things. I thought they could be good for collecting yard waste or to use as trash bags because at least they'd have some use before throwing them in the trash bin. Neither of those ideas sounded all that great though, so I started looking online and reading about what other people did with their empty bags. I found a few good ideas in my searching:
- collect waste when cleaning out chicken coop
- liner for gardens (to kill weeds)
- turn into planters (fill with dirt, plant seeds = instant planter)
- turn into reusable bags
The last one "had me at hello" as they say. I love reusable shopping bags! I looked up some instructions, got out my sewing machine, and went to work. If you hadn't thought about it, that "fabric" is hard to manipulate. It's a plastic meshy canvas type of stuff. It took some furrowing of my eyebrows and a lot of sticking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth, but after about an hour I got it. The logo didn't come out totally straight, but I figured for a prototype it came out pretty well. Here it is.
My second one came out pretty swell and turned out as part of a birthday gift for one of my friends. Yes, I said "pretty swell." Now I'm stockpiling them so I can sit down and make three or four at once. I've got two of the same chicken feed bags and one bird seed bag from the bird seed we buy for our bird feeder. My husband's going to buy the bigger bag of chicken feed next time so I can make one out of that pretty pink bag. I'll add pictures of the different ones as I make them so you can check them out. When I make my next batch, I'll take pictures of each step and post them with instructions in case anyone is interested. They aren't hard. You only need basic sewing machine skills. Nothing fancy here. Cut off the top and bottom, fashion some straps, attach a square bag-like bottom, Boom! Done.
Do you use your empty feed bags for anything fun? I'm going to need some more ideas because I only need so many shopping bags.