Planning a Hen House – Get the Basics Right and Enjoy the Benefits For Years to Come

There is a boom amongst urban dwellers that is sweeping the country. Keeping chickens in the backyard has really taken off with people are being encouraged to become more self sufficient for economic, ecological and social reasons. If you are considering joining these urban warriors, then carefully planning a hen house for your flock of feathered ladies is extremely important, if you are to get the best from your project.

Happy chickens produce the best eggs and most people look to those delicious healthy fresh eggs as being the greatest benefit of keeping chickens. So, ensuring that they have the most comfortable and safe housing is vital to keep these ladies fully contented and in egg laying mode.

Planning a hen house is not complicated and as there are basically three factors that you need to consider, you should be able to start reaping the rewards of your efforts quite quickly.

(a) Location

Choosing the best location in your backyard is very important as chickens require sunlight in order to get into the egg laying mood. Avoiding positioning the hen house in a shaded area is best. Also try to choose a raised position if possible, one that it is not likely to get flooded during heavy rain.

(b) Design

There are several important design features that need to be considered so that your feathered friends will be safe and comfortable and eager to reward you with that delicious breakfast.

• Size
• Weatherproofing
• Roosting
• Nesting boxes
• Feeding
• Cleaning and maintenance
• Light and ventilation
• Protection against predators

Search online and you will find full information on all the important design aspects that need to be considered when planning a hen house.

However, you should also consider the overall appearance of your hen house, for two particular reasons

(i) it could impact on your relationship with your neighbours

(ii) you may want to consider selling it at a later date, for example if you want to house a larger flock.

(c) To buy or not to buy

Having decided on what your hen house should look like, the biggest decision you then have to make is whether to buy one, either complete or as a kit, or to take the plunge and build one yourself. Obviously your budget will dictate what you do but you should always aim to get the best chicken coop possible. Your ladies will certainly appreciate it.

If your budget is limited, you really should seriously consider building one yourself. Just as planning a hen house is not complicated neither is building one. If you have basic handyman skills, a few tools and the right guidance you can plan and build a hen house that you can be proud of. It will certainly add to the fun aspect of your project.

Get the basics right and you will enjoy the benefits for years to come. So what are you waiting for? Just think of breakfast and those delicious, healthy, fresh eggs.

The Urban Legend of Eight Glasses a Day

We’ve been taught from early in our education that it is necessary to consume eight glasses of water every day. That’s a full gallon. However, researchers going over past studies could not find even *one* study that supports that claim. It appears to fit the bill of urban legend.

What about the other claims made about increasing water intake? There are many benefits touted about the beverage. Are they also legend? Probably not all of them. Our body is, on average, two thirds water. The only two factors that change that are body size and whether or not we’re chronically dehydrated.

Body Temperature: When we get overly warm, our body’s natural response is to perspire. The warmer it is, the more we sweat, whether it’s hot weather or intense activity. If we’re dehydrated, we begin to lose the ability to do so, which can cause core temperatures to rise.

Detoxification: The primary job of the kidneys is to remove waste products from our body. Lack of proper hydration puts a strain on them, and also on the liver, which has to act as a back up filter. Under these circumstances, not all of the waste gets removed, and must circulate in the blood stream until it returns.

Energy: Energy from stored fat is provided due to our metabolism. Lack of proper fluid intake, even if it is minor, can interfere with this process. That’s one of many reasons people use water in an effort to lose weight. You might try this experiment. The next time you feel fatigued in the middle of the day, grab a glass of water. You could see an increase in energy.

Moisturizer: For optimum skin, joints and lungs, adequate hydration is required. In fact, it will help every system and every organ in your body. Our brains are up to 90% water, so the addition may even help you think more clearly.

How much is needed? This is where some calculations need to be added. In case you’re worrying about having to down a gallon of fluid, that isn’t always necessary and may not be healthy for smaller people and children. You can have too much of anything, including water.

Juices, fruits, vegetables and even canned foods can provide some of the needed liquids. Coffee, tea and colas are less likely to be helpful, as they contain caffeine, a natural diuretic. Sports drinks, under the proper conditions, can also be added into the plus side of the column.

People who live in a dry climate do require more. The weather will play a big role in deciding proper amounts. If you engage in heavy duty exercise or play a sport, you may also need more. Before choosing water for this, however, speak to your coach or your doctor. You may actually need something that will increase electrolytes instead.

There are three signs of dehydration to look for when trying to figure out how much liquid you need per day, aside from those mentioned above. Darker than normal urine, especially if it has a strong smell is one symptom. Cracked, dry lips can also be a problem. If you can take a pinch of the skin on the back of your hand and it takes a while before it returns to normal, that’s a very good sign of the problem.

Water is an important part of our daily diet, and ignoring it can lead to many medical conditions. Take a look at your body and make sure that you are getting enough of the right types of fluid. That will help you to maintain optimal health.

Engravable Pens and Other Great Gift Ideas For the Urban Male

Finding a great gift for a girl friend does not take longer than 20 minutes. Whether you are browsing through online shops, or you are milling around the department store. You can give a girl a dainty hair brush, a set of handkerchief, a lovely stuffed toy, engravable pens or an exquisite angel figurine, and she would accept it with a huge, sincere grin. Finding presents for a girl is fun, uncomplicated and rewarding. Nothing beats seeing the look on your girl friend’s face as she opens your lovely, albeit cheap, gift.

Males, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated to please. If finding a present for a girl takes, at most, 20 minutes, finding a guy some gift will take nearly an entire day. Even finding something to engrave on engravable pens for males takes a lot longer. Whatever the occasion, whether it is Christmas, Valentine’s day, birthdays or weddings, finding testosterone-friendly gifts can be quite an ordeal.

So, to ease up on your worries, here are five great gift ideas for the urban male. Before you browse any further through some online gift shoppe or head right down to the mall, better read this:

1. Perfumes

Choose perfumes with known brands, not the real cheap ones that seem like cologne mixed with water. Be careful in choosing this gift item, though, because the Internet is flooded with fake perfume brands. What are the most famous perfume brands among males? You can go for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Clinique and Courvioser. With perfumes, you can not go wrong. Well, unless the recipient is allergic to perfumes that is. If so, you can always opt for pocket business card holders or a silver business card case.

2. Leather wallets

These are probably one of the most widely given gifts for males in the history of mankind. You can give your dad, your brother, your uncle, your boyfriend, your teacher, your grandfather and your kids leather wallets, and they will surely appreciate it. Finding a leather wallet is hassle-free. You can find tons of it in department stores or on the Web. Go for real leather — these are a lot sturdier than the knock-offs. When shopping online, be sure to find a reliable online seller. When shopping in malls… well, it would be a lot easier since you could immediately tell if the wallet is real leather or not.

3. Engravable pens

The ever reliable engravable pens. This one ought to top the list. Engravable pens are actually more popular gift ideas than leather wallets. Engravable pens can be given to just about anyone — any male that is. Find quality pens, such as Parker or Cross, just to make sure the engravable pen is extra special. Now for that harder part, what do you usually engrave on those pens? Names are a bit too common. Proverbs and inspirational quotes are way too cheesy for the male species. So what do you engrave on the pens? You could merely engrave one word which means something really special to the recipient. For instance, you can put in “Dad” on your dad’s engravable pen.