Lisa Turned an Old Dog House into a New Chicken Coop

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chicken coop ideas

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all get some cool ideas to use in our own homes and gardens.

old dog house

Check out these photos Lisa sent in of an old dog house she found on Craig’s List.

chicksHer baby chicks needed a home so she got right to work creating a new abode for them.

red chicken coop

Lisa used a scrap piece of OSB from Home Depot for $0.50 to make a new front door for the coop. She also added a roosting bar and a nesting box to complete the coop.

chicken coop ideas

Then she built a run to enclose the entire coop for predator-proofing.

Pretty Awesome if you ask me! Way to go Lisa. Thanks for sharing your photos. :)

~Mavis

 cool-chicken-coop-designsGorgeous Chicken Coop From Laramie, Wyoming

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



The Baby Chickens Have Arrived!

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dogs and chickens

Over the weekend The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I headed to the feed store and picked up 8 day old baby chicks for fall. When we brought them home Lucy flipped out!

She LOVES chickens, and especially baby chicks. When brought baby chicks home earlier this spring she sat outside of their little chicken yard every chance she got and watched them for hours. It was the sweetest thing ever, so you can imagine how excited she was to see the new flock.

mottled java baby chicken

Mottled Java #1

We picked up 8 chicks. 4 for us and 4 for Girly Girl’s kiddos. We haven’t named them yet because we are still waiting for her kids to choose which ones they want.

mottled java

Mottled Java #2

Girly Girl has a larger dog, 2 cats and a toddler so she is afraid to raise baby chicks. We told her we’d be happy to raise her chicks until they are about 8-10 weeks old and then bring them up to their enclosed chicken run/coop for her kids.

araucana chick

Araucana #1

Once her kids choose the ones they want, we’ll name ours. I’m pretty sure she’s not going to pick the Buff Orpington though. ;) Not after the whole Buff the chicken fiasco last year.

araucana chick

Araucana #2

The Girl wants to keep this one and name it chippy. She says it looks like a chipmunk.

Buff Orpington chick

Buff Orpington

Can you see Lucy in the background? Oh my word, I think she would sleep with those chicks if we would let her.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chick

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte #1

These blue laced red wyandotte chicks are going to be beautiful. We have a lot of black chickens right now so it will be nice to add some color to our flock.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte baby chicken

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte #2

These were day old chicks so we only snapped a few photos because we didn’t want to handle them too much on the first day. I’ll take some better photos next week so you can get a closer look.

cuckoo maran chick

Cuckoo Maran

Cuckoo Marans are one of my favorite birds. All of the cuckoo’s we’ve had have been very sweet. {And quite}.

baby chicks in a box

How about you? Do you plan on getting chicks this fall, or will you wait until Spring?

~Mavis

keeping chickens ashley english book

Thinking about getting some chickens? Check out Keeping Chickens by Ashley English. It’s got everything you need to know about how to care for a happy healthy flock.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs

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How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs
I have the most amazing readers, and sometimes someone sends in a question that I think, “Hey, I bet lots of people would love to chime in on this.”  So, I am going to try to feature some of your questions and answer them, the best I can.
Question One:  ”I have a couple question that I would like your opinion on – and hopefully your readers will chime in on.  What do you do with your just-gathered eggs?  Leave on the counter?  Refrigerate immediately?  Wash or not wash?  Personally I don’t wash mine, and most of the time I store them in the refrigerator unless I’m going to use them right away.”
How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs
I personally don’t wash mine either.  I use a 3M scrub sponge to scrape off anything if it is dirty and then I refrigerate them.  I have heard you don’t have to refrigerate them, and in Europe, they rarely refrigerate their eggs–with no ill side-effects.  I think it is a personal preference.   A lot of bakers swear that room temperature eggs yield better results, so if that matters to you, you may want to take it into consideration.  Of course, I feel obligated to let you know, the FDA recommends immediate refrigeration.
Question Two:  ”My girls are laying in a really clean area/box and the eggs are clean.  It’s all new to me, so seriously I’m out getting eggs right after they are laid.  :) I put them in an egg carton without washing – but rinse in warm water before breaking them open.
What do you do?  I’m curious about what others do.
Thanks!
Susan”

broody-chicken

I don’t collect my eggs immediately.  I check them usually once a day.  Even on hot days, I have never had an issue with the eggs sitting.  As I mentioned above, I don’t wash my eggs–at all, unless for some reason they are really dirt.  I usually just buff the egg with sponge.  In the event that I have to wash an egg, I use warm running water {I don’t soak the egg}.  If I do have to wash the egg, I try to eat it first, because the protective “bloom” that comes on the egg has been washed off.  

I hope that helps, and I would also LOVE to know what the readers think.  How do you collect, clean and store your eggs?

~Mavis 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

New FDA Guidelines on Free Range Chickens

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New FDA Guidelines on Free Range Chickens

So I stumbled onto this NPR article last week about the new FDA guidelines on organic and free range egg farms.  In a nutshell {or eggshell, rather}, the FDA wants free range and organic farmers to limit their chicken’s outdoor time in order to avoid salmonella.  Because free-ranging chickens encounter more wild animal feces than the caged variety, the FDA wants farmers to limit their outdoor access when birds are migrating, to build fences that keeps out cats and other animals, and set traps/bait to control mice and voles.

Some farmers feel that the guidelines defeat the whole purpose of free-range chickens and argue that a hen in its natural environment is less likely to get sick anyway.  Larger farms, like Organic Valley say that it’s just a guideline and not really enforceable yet.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been so glad to have my own flock.  I’ve never really worried about them pecking and foraging, and I have NEVER had any issue with salmonella.  I guess I have always taken the healthy, happy chicken = healthy egg approach.

The article has got me thinking about mass food production–and you know what that means?  I have to share it with you.  Do you think their should be guidelines?  Have you ever gotten salmonella from your flock–or even worried about it for that matter?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Baby Quail Eggs Hatching

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baby quail

Last month One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Anastasia shared pictures of her parents amazing garden in Glazov, Russia. Well since then her dad has been reading my blog and wanted Anastasia to some pictures of his baby quail with you.

baby quail hatching

Here is what Anastasia had to say:

Hi Mavis!

Since you posted my parents’ garden on your blog, my dad has been following your adventures with a dictionary on hand. My mom and my dad were really happy to be able to share their garden with you and your readers. But since then my dad has been asking me to send you pictures of his other hobby – quails.

baby quail egg

My parents have raised poultry in the past. My dad is an electrician so he built an incubator to hatch his own chicks. Chickens were the birds of their choice at first, but about 8-9 years ago they caught a ‘quail bug’. They never went back to chickens. The mineral and vitamin value of quail eggs is a lot higher than of the chicken eggs.

baby quail

And the quails do not need as much space or feed. My dad puts between 100 and 200 eggs in the incubator every spring and fall. When the babies hatch, he helps them get a first drink of water and food, checks them and let them go play with brothers and sisters. He loves it and he has become an expert.

The quails also provide an income for my parents (they sell eggs, meat and quail fertilizer which does wonders for the garden).

baby quail hatching

I hope you like the quails as much as the garden!

P.S. My dad will be here at the end of August. If you would like to ask him some questions personally, he will be happy to meet you or email you. Or even set up place for quails at your place!

baby quail

Wow! Thanks for the offer Anastasia. I’ll have to ask the HH about getting quail.

And Anastasia’s Dad, if you are reading this : Ваша перепелиные красивы. Счастливые садоводство!

 Mavis

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour

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Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour

Yesterday the Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I headed out early to check out the Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour.  There were so many coops and gardens to see it was crazy fun!

black australorp chicken

To be honest, I don’t think I have ever seen so many pampered chickens before in my life. Not only were these hens happy, but quite a few of them were wanting to be held and petted too.

Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour

The chicken coops on the Seattle chicken coop tour were a cool mix of recycled urban hipsters coops, to full out designer chicken coops {although we didn’t find the $100,00 chicken coop anywhere!}.

garden boxes

And there were gardens, lots and lots of gardens. Everything from raised garden boxes to mini farms.

caged doves

One house we stopped by even had doves.

rain barrel water system

We also noticed rain barrels were pretty popular as well.

Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour

Here’s another coop. I think this one might have been my favorite. 

Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour

Even though these people had 8 hens, the birds had oodles of room. The chickens could roost in the 2 story part of the coop, hang out in the covered area, or go sun themselves and take dirt baths in the uncovered sunny front part of the coop.

Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour

Look to the bottom left of this picture, you’ll see a sun shade. Can you imagine? How cute is that?

carrot in dirt

I don’t know though, if I was one of those pampered chickens living the good life in suburbia, I might just spend my days scheming up way to dig under the pen to escape to the garden to gobble up all the vegetables while the owners were sleeping. ;)

The Seattle Urban Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour was cool. I’m glad we went!

~Mavis

Free-Range Chicken Gardens How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard

Thinking about getting some birds? Check out Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard. The reviews are awesome!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour + Tacoma Urban Chicken Coop Tour 2013

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seattle tilth urband farm and chicken coop tour

If you live in the Seattle or Tacoma area and LOVE chickens and gardens, then you’ll want to stop by either the Seattle Chicken Coop & Urban Farm Tour or the Tacoma Urban Chicken Coop Tour this coming Saturday, July 13th between 10 am – 4 pm.

pablo picasso

The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I have been touring local farms and chicken coops since 2009 and every year we have a blast seeing all the creative and unique designs people come up with. We have already purchased our tickets for this years events and plan on taking oodles of photos for all of you that cannot make it.

Both tours are self guided so you can go at your own pace {my favorite part}. We typically pack a cooler and make a day of it {yes, we are super nerdy like that!} ;)

chicken coop
Seattle Tilth’s Chicken Coop & Urban Farm Tour

Individuals = $12

Seattle Tilth members or bicyclists = $10
Youth {ages 4-15} = $5
Groups/Family {3-6 people} = $35
Groups/Family, Seattle Tilth members or group of bicyclists = $30
Ages 3 and under = Free

Read about my trip to the Seattle Tilth Plant Sale earlier this spring.

Tacoma Urban Chicken Coop Tour 2012

The Tacoma Urban Chicken Coop Tour 

When: Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tickets are $5 each {kids 12 & under are free}.

This year there are 8 coops on the tour {3 repeats from last year, but they are some of our favorites}.  The tour is self guided and a great family outing.

See my favorite Chicken Coop from the Tacoma Urban Chicken Coop Tour last year.

backyard chickens

If you are in the area and you have some extra time this Saturday, GO! You won’t be disappointed.

~Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Gorgeous Chicken Coop From Laramie, Wyoming

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cool chicken coop designs

Wow! Check out this gorgeous chicken coop and story reader Valerie from Laramie, Wyoming sent in:

“I started following your blog after my hairstylist recommended it to me when I told her that I was the new owner of ten chickens.  My husband and I have been throwing the idea around of getting some chickens for almost a year now, as we have never owned chickens and live in Wyoming we did a few months of research to see what types will work best in long cold winters and settled on the Wyandotte.  In the city we are allowed to have up to 12 animals, with the two dogs, that leaves us with the ten chickens, other regulations is that you cannot have a rooster or have the coop right on your property line.  So if you live in the city and want to have chickens check with your local municipality to see what you can do.

backyard chickens

This spring we purchased six Wyandottes and one Rock Partridge.  They lived in our garage for a few weeks until my husband came home with ‘The three reds’ to add to the flock. Thus began our need for a coop, we researched online and melded one we found with our own design and came up with this.  The Coop DeVille…

chicken coop double barn doors

We used mostly new material and some reclaimed wood for the structure.  We chose not to insulate the structure but have two layers of plywood, one outside and one inside, then fence material on the outside for siding.  Barn wood trims out the doors, window and nesting box lid/roof.  They are able to freely run under the coop with out worry of getting picked up by predators.  Occasionally they are able to run around the backyard with supervision.  The goal of our endeavor is egg collection and 4-H projects for our two boys.  Wyandottes are great egg layers, tolerate cold and confinement well.

Our double barn doors for easy cleaning under the roosting poles.  The doors also have a double layer of plywood, for our long cold winters here.

chicken coop

Inside the coop, two roosting poles for them.  It took them quite a while to figure out how to get up and stay on them.

chicken coop nesting boxes

Three nesting boxes, they are raised up on our retaining wall for easy access to the eggs in the winter.
silver laced Wyandottes

Hannah, on the ramp for ‘The Girls’ to get inside.

They have been interesting to watch grow up and have developed their own personalities.  They love their fruit and veggie scraps and love to get out and spread their wings and munch on some grass.”

********

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Destini From Port Orchard, Washington Sends in Her Chicken Coop Photos

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chicken coop with chicken run

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing peoples garden and chicken coop photos. It’s like snooping, but with permission. ;)  Destini from Port Orchard recently sent in these photos of her awesome chicken coop and run.

Here is what she had to say:

Hey Mavis,

I had wanted chickens forever. My boyfriend always said no way. I begged and pleaded and begged some more at every chance I got. Well in February of 2012 he finally said YES!

baby chickens

The next morning I was at the feed store picking out my 5 chickies. I was so excited. We did not have a coop or any supplies. I bought what I needed for a brooder and a feeder and a heat lamp. I got the babies home and set up in my garage. I had to act quick before he changed his mind.

2 of my 5 babies did not make it. I went back and got a lone week old chick and had 4. I wanted more so 2 months later I found someone who had 2 month old chicks and bought them. I had 8. Well due to some illnesses and just a couple sudden deaths over night after we had the coop built I now have 4 adult hens.

chickens

I also have 15 babies that are 8 weeks old in a new large brooder in the garage. (my boyfriend loves chickens as much as me now.)

We built an amazing barn coop and I hope you like it. I do. I do!

red chicken coop design

Our Hens give us fresh eggs daily. I wish I had a garden like yours instead I have a single 4×8 raised bed and some gutters and a strawberry pallet. I also have potted container plants too.

Oh and the picture of the black and white (splotchy) chicken is actually my pullet that is not a pullet but a cockeral. UGH!. I guess I never should have said anything about Pablo when I thought he was a rooster. I got one too.

fancy chicken coop design

Thanks Destini for your great photos! I wish I had an enclosed run on my chicken coop like you do. And hardwoods floors? Wowza! You are spoiling your birds! ;)

~Mavis

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

DIY-Chicken-coop-designs-recycled-wood-pallets

Heather’s Chicken Coop – Made from Recycled Wood Pallets!

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Laurie Sends in Pictures of Her Chicken Coop Tractor and Garden Beds

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how to build a chicken tractor

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

how to build a raised garden bed

Laurie and her husband are first time gardeners {and chicken owners} from Southern Louisiana.

Here is what she had to say about their chicken coop/tractor, that thry built with an enclosed gravity feeder, and pictures of their garden boxes thry built this year as well.

raised garden beds

“Gardening has been a learning experience in patience for me. As I was happily buying up seed packets that were labeled heirloom, non-GMO, the locals were snickering at us in the store. We couldn’t figure out why? See we just moved to Louisiana from California a year ago, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Come to find out from our local gardening center “hero”, Manny, many of the seed packets I bought are for veggies and fruits that wont really grow too well here, our climate is too wet, and then shifts from cold to immediate HOT and burns the plants. (I think stores should NOT sell you stuff in an area they know it wont grow in!)

rasied garden beds

I was so excited to try to grow our own food! I had visions of green bean towers, and spinach clusters and huge robust tomato plants and big watermelon vines. I started all of our seedlings in the house late February, and at the end of March I transplanted our happy little seedlings into our “garden soil” filled boxes we spent all weekend building. I made sure the soil we filled with had lots of rabbit poop mixed into it, as I have read that its one of the best compost materials out there. And we waited. And waited…and waited. And still waiting for something to happen.

raised garden beds

The plants have gotten a very slight amount bigger, and my strawberry plants bloomed and put on berries. and the bell pepper plants grew tall, bloomed… but nothing? The squash plants now have big yellow blooms on them just starting. but my watermelon…has not grown. My cantaloupe? nothing. My broccoli and cauliflower? No change either. I took samples of the soil in to Manny to test. He said it was not too alkaline nor too acidic. I changed watering time from the evening to the morning.

bees in frame

We brought in our own bee hives. (my husbands latest passion hobby is “beeking” Bee Keeping) We have Queen Victoria in hive one and Queen Latihfa in hive two.

So in any case, as we learn from this endeavor, and try to figure it out, try not to laugh too much at our newbie mistakes :)

chicken coop tractor picture

Our coop came about also after trial and error, predators and floods, and crazy downpours. We have a small flock of 2 RIR, 2 Ameraucana, 2 Orpingtons, and 4 “mutt” chickens someone dumped off in a cage behind my husbands work center. When he brought those poor bedraggled youngsters home, it was apparent our little doll house coop we had would no longer suffice.

chicken coop ladder

So he built a larger, portable one that has an on board gravity feeder that will hold up to 50 lbs of layer crumble at a time. Currently, he is working on making an automatic float type waterer that will feed from a rain catch barrel on a stand, through a hose to inside the run. In any case, its a work in progress LOL.”

Laurie I think you are doing great, especially for a first time gardener. Keep up the great week!

~Mavis

2liter bottles for gardening

Heather Sends in Her Backyard Garden Photos

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel