Apr 10, 2014

Raising Chickens Naturally- The Inside Story from Its Pioneer, Susan Burek

the woman who pioneered the natural chicken-keeping movement: Susan Burek. Susan is a highly regarded, extensively trained and experienced herbalist and decades-long poultry-keeper who will set the record straight about natural chicken-keeping in a series of articles for us. In this article, I have asked her to answer a few of my questions, to share her background and explain how she conceived the practice of raising chickens naturally.
It’s only natural to wonder about the qualifications of individuals offering us any type of advice and chicken care advice is no exception. With all the talk of “natural chicken keeping” in the past few years, it makes sense to ask questions about what it means to raise chickens naturally, where the concept for raising chickens naturally came from and who is qualified to tell us how to employ these novel methods properly in our backyard flocks. I am often asked questions about the use of apple cider vinegar, garlic, herbs, diatomaceous earth and other modalities considered holistic, natural and/or herbal, which makes me wonder what it really means to raise chickens naturally. What is holistic chicken-keeping? What does it mean to be an herbalist? You know from my blog articles about pumpkin seeds, apple cider vinegar, oregano oil, nesting box herbs and diatomaceous earth that I have dug deep to get the straight-dope on whether these things do what proponents claim they do for our chickens or whether we are being led down the garden path by blind Sherpas and that digging continues.
the woman who pioneered the natural chicken-keeping movement: Susan Burek. Susan is a highly regarded, extensively trained and experienced herbalist and decades-long poultry-keeper who will set the record straight about natural chicken-keeping in a series of articles for us. In this article, I have asked her to answer a few of my questions, to share her background and explain how she conceived the practice of raising chickens naturally.
It has long troubled me that specious claims are being disseminated about various natural chicken-keeping practices by individuals unqualified to do so, muddying the holistic waters and diluting the practice by failing to communicate proper methods of use. These concerns have led me to bring my questions to the woman who pioneered the natural chicken-keeping movement: Susan Burek. Susan is a highly regarded, extensively trained and experienced herbalist, and decades-long poultry-keeper who will set the record straight about natural chicken-keeping in a series of articles for us. In this article, I have asked her to answer a few of my questions, to share her background and explain how she conceived the practice of raising chickens naturally.
the woman who pioneered the natural chicken-keeping movement: Susan Burek. Susan is a highly regarded, extensively trained and experienced herbalist and decades-long poultry-keeper who will set the record straight about natural chicken-keeping in a series of articles for us. In this article, I have asked her to answer a few of my questions, to share her background and explain how she conceived the practice of raising chickens naturally.
Q & A with Susan Burek 
Q: What is natural chicken keeping?
A: To me, raising chickens naturally means addressing health proactively and tackling illness and disease with herbal support. Prevention is not a magic bullet.  Natural chicken keeping does not  mean that conventional chemical medicine (allopathic) is precluded- there is a time and place for all modalities of treatment, and sometimes they work very well together.

Herbs work with the body, not on it as allopathic medicine does. If a treatment is going to be lifesaving, we will use whatever we need to use. If we have time to consider options, we may want to try herbal alternatives first. I once supported my dad herbally while he was receiving conventional radiation and chemotherapy for his lung cancer.  The oncologist was very grateful for the herbs keeping his blood cell counts up and supplying deep core nutrition given the toxicity of the drugs used.
 To me, raising chickens naturally means addressing health-keeping not only preventatively, but also illness and disease with herbal support.
Q: What is an herbalist and what type of questions should we ask of anyone offering natural chicken raising advice?
A: An herbalist should have a body of study behind them with a reasonable amount of time spent and from varied sources.  Herbal study takes a lot of time to become proficient in because it is a deeply layered and acutely nuanced practice. I would ask a person about their course of study and with whom they have studied.  A person with a good herbal knowledge should not only be able to explain in detail how the herbs work, but should give examples of their own experience, and that is critical.  Study through books and classes is fine, but real life practice supporting poultry with at least a few diseases should be there.  Herbalists who grow and process their own herbs and learn from the plants hands-on are good bets.  There is no one certification, license or course of study that makes you an herbalist. Regardless of the classical education, at some point one must work with the herbs- sit with them and learn from them directly.  You will need to learn how to harvest and process correctly and finally how to apply them. Being an herbalist is a life-long commitment which requires a calling and dedication to maintain a good practice.  The risks I see happening on the Internet especially, is when people finally land on my Facebook group page, they have a willingness to learn about natural methods, but are confused by all the contradictory information they have received. That is because they have received information from those who don’t have the proper training and experience.  It makes people unsure about trying herbs at all, which is unfortunate.
Another critical component of my poultry herbalist training occurred at the GFBA club conventions all over the US at all the top veterinary colleges.  I learned a tremendous amount of poultry science, including diseases, nutrition needs, management and incubation practices from poultry scientists and veterinarians at those classes.
Q: Can you tell us more about your background and path to raising chickens naturally?
A: My love for plants and animals was instilled at a very early age.  My parents grew up on working farms; we had a big family garden and ate fresh when in season and harvested and preserved fresh foods to enjoy off-season.  My dad hunted.  We always had some critters in the family, including poultry as pets. My parents instilled in us a work ethic with everyday chores and by service to our community. As a youngster, my love of plants in my own garden and those growing wild in the fields I roamed coupled with that work ethic would factor heavily into my practice of herbalism. I carried my love of gardening throughout my life eventually venturing out into growing, cooking and crafting with cultivated herbs. In the late 1980’s I heard an herbalist speak about using herbs for medicinal value, which totally mesmerized me.  I immediately located Cindy Klement, the only herbalist in town I could find, and began studying under her for the next few years. Thereafter I trained in classes, intensives and had apprenticeships with several renowned herbalists over a decade of time, including Jim McDonald, Matthew Wood, Rosemary Gladstar,  David Winston,  Margi Flint and Caroline Gagnon, for example. 
Another critical component of my poultry herbalist training occurred at the GFBA club conventions all over the US at all the top veterinary colleges.  I learned a tremendous amount of poultry science, including diseases, nutrition needs, management and incubation practices from poultry scientists and veterinarians at those classes.
I helped found the Evening Herb Study group at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and served as its board president for 2 years. We brought in speakers monthly to teach the many various facets of employing herbs.  In 1999 I built my rural dream home and small farm in Willis, Michigan.  I aspired to one day own an herb farm. Two things would occur that changed my herbal path significantly. First was the acquisition of keets (baby guineas) in 2000, which led to my participation in the Guinea Fowl Breeders Association, (GFBA) an online breeder’s forum. At that time, the poultry keeping industry was very much based on large commercial farm operations and poultry health care products were all chemical. I needed an herbal alternative for my birds, so I set my sights on employing herbal poultry keeping on my own farm. The second major influence on my herbal path was meeting local herbalist Jim McDonald, who taught our study group about native herbs and their wondrous health benefits.  Weeds?  Really?  With that class, I knew what I needed to do and where I wanted to go with my poultry and herbs.  Jim has become a friend and has been instrumental in my ongoing training, mentoring me to this day.
I needed an herbal alternative for my birds, so I set my sights on employing herbal poultry keeping on my own farm.
Another critical component of my poultry herbalist training occurred at the GFBA club conventions all over the US at all the top veterinary colleges.  I learned a tremendous amount of poultry science, including diseases, nutrition needs, management and incubation practices from poultry scientists and veterinarians at those classes.  From 2006-2008 I had the opportunity to teach my new herbal protocols at three of those conventions, after which I was invited to write articles for the then fledgling Backyard Poultry Magazine, for which I have written ever since.

During a decade of time, armed with my birds and herbs I slowly and methodically began building solid herbal protocols for poultry.  There were no guidelines to draw on and I relied on my chickens, guineas, peafowl and ducks as instructors. The first specific protocol I developed, “The Fall Season Herbal Wormer and Alternative,” took me two years of testing with a local veterinarian monitoring the worm loads in my birds.  I am very proud of that protocol not only because it was my first, because it has served my own flock well and withstood the test of time. In 2009, I published an article about this protocol in Backyard Poultry Magazine, which advanced the use of pumpkins, carrots, garlic and dandelion within the poultry community.
During a decade of time, armed with my birds and herbs I slowly and methodically began building solid herbal protocols for poultry.  There were no guidelines to draw on and I relied on my chickens, guineas, peafowl and ducks as instructors.
I refer to myself as a poultry herbalist because I pioneered uses for herbs that benefit poultry specifically.  This has become my life’s work and study.  I was once told that that the title of herbalist is conferred upon you by the community that you support, not a title you confer upon yourself.  And for me, that is exactly what happened.  I earned that title working with guinea fowl keepers on the GFBA forum.  I also founded the first ever online herbal poultry forum within the GFBA, then I launched my own forum, Blue Moon, where I taught for 3 years. I joined Facebook in 2011 and moved my teaching there, which is where I still teach.

I hope I have engaged you enough to want to learn about herbs and the proper use of herbs in your own flock. Perhaps herbs can become a viable alternative to allopathic medicine for you, or in a supportive preventative role. In my next article with The Chicken Chick, I will discuss the use of garlic.  It is one of the first herbs I started using with my flock and I am happy to see it widely used by those who are using natural methods for their poultry, although it seems mostly in the form of garlic powder.  Garlic is still one of my favorite go-to herbs for poultry.  Yet I know there are more specific nuances and distinctions not being made that will make it even more effective and of the many preparations for garlic, I will explain why garlic powder is actually my last choice.  I hope to see you here soon!
Susan Burek's patented tonic.
The Chicken Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

1,355 comments :

  1. This would be awesome to win to help out with our new 4-H Club! Great information in this article! I have been planning an herb garden for my ladies and this was a big help!

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  2. Maggie Means4/10/14, 11:53 AM

    I would love to win an Eco glow brooder.

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  3. Chickadee Jess4/10/14, 11:54 AM

    Subscribed and "liked"!

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  4. Sarah Walker4/10/14, 11:54 AM

    Commented on the Brinsea Products Page! I would LOVE this Brooder!

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  5. Mandi Hinton Miller4/10/14, 11:54 AM

    All liking criteria met long ago :) I truly love the blog and am a daily "stalker" to your page :) Blessings! PS Would love to win the Ecoglow as I have new babies and more eggs on the way to restart a flock :)

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  6. Meg Kapla Oursler4/10/14, 11:56 AM

    Wow! so much great info!

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  7. Would love to win one - they are great -

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  8. Nancy Bullard4/10/14, 11:58 AM

    I am trying to get a flock started this spring. Trying to make sure my yard is predator-proof.

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  9. Hi There! Just started following you on FB. Going to get my first flock this year. Love the information, its so helpful! Signed up for your blog via email but didn't receive the confirmation via email yet. Looking forward to many years of happy chickens and eggs!

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  10. I would love to win the eco-glow! Please enter the ladies!

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  11. Joseph Wieck4/10/14, 11:59 AM

    I would love to win this. My wife and I were talking about getting rid of the heat lamps and getting something safer/better just yesterday.

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  12. Jennifer Christiansen4/10/14, 11:59 AM

    would LOVE, LOVE, LOVe to win the EcoGlow Booder!!! :)

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  13. I would love to win the incubator! Want some chicks galore!!! Thanks for this chance.

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  14. Kristen Swoope Lanier4/10/14, 12:00 PM

    My chicks arrive a couple of weeks, I can't wait!

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  15. Natasha Bura4/10/14, 12:00 PM

    Oh we would love this for our babies. Such a great idea

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  16. I would LOVE to win this as my flock is growing, growing, growing! Love Brinsea products & appreciate all your contests. :-)

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  17. I need one of these.

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  18. Julie Klaassenvanoorschot-Doug4/10/14, 12:00 PM

    What a lovely thing it would be to win an EcoGlow. I am using a borrowed Brinsea Mini Advanced for the very first time for an Easter Hatch. I love it and will be investing in one for future hatches.

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  19. Joanne Caron4/10/14, 12:01 PM

    I need one!

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  20. Done, done and done

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  21. Cynthia Nicholson4/10/14, 12:01 PM

    I already had Brinsea on facebook, but this is an awesome giveaway! Would love to have another brinsea product :)

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  22. Toni Stathis Nettles4/10/14, 12:02 PM

    Would love to have one of these.

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  23. Woohoo did all the steps to win the mini eco glow!

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  24. Dennis Doyle4/10/14, 12:04 PM

    Hey Kathy what a great prize. Thank you and have a chickeriffic day!!!

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  25. Erin Stewart4/10/14, 12:04 PM

    As always, lots of wonderful information!

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  26. I would love this alternitive to my heat lamp

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  27. Rachel J Johnson4/10/14, 12:05 PM

    Please enter me! Thank you!

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  28. Jenn Prendergast4/10/14, 12:06 PM

    I'd love one of these!

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  29. Paris Nabers4/10/14, 12:07 PM

    Would LOVE to win a brooder! Would be the best birthday present ever!!!

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  30. Thank you so much for your blog. It has been super helpful. Love the chick heater, awesome idea!

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  31. Michael Nabers4/10/14, 12:09 PM

    Been waiting for this one need bad!

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  32. Love Love Love your blog and your facebook posts! You keep me and all my followers on facebook in stitches! I would love to be entered in your giveaway! Great post by the way!

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  33. I find I'm not only addicted to raising my first chicks, but also to the abundance of valuable information on your blog. Thank you!

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  34. I have chicks due any day now. This would be handy.

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  35. Love your blog....the information has been so helpful as I begin my new adventure and raising chickens!

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  36. Allen Chapman4/10/14, 12:11 PM

    I would love this, it would be so much safer than the light I am using now!!

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  37. Jessica Kirk4/10/14, 12:11 PM

    I recently got some hatching eggs to start my flock and this brooder is one of the things I was looking at when deciding what to purchase for them. I think it would be a great addition to my chicken hatching adventures! I didn't get one because my husband insisted that we use his mom's brooder set up with her heat lamp. I would love to win this so I could show my husband just how much better it is than a heat lamp :)

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  38. Rhonda Barnes4/10/14, 12:11 PM

    I would love to have this

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  39. Joyce Ouellet4/10/14, 12:12 PM

    OMGoodness!! This article is awesome!!! I can't wait to read more!! And an awesome giveaway on top of that!? I'm amazed at your amazingness. How do I find out what dandelions do besides googling it? It comes up with wine and jelly. And when will she answer about which garlic to use? Tomorrow?? You rock!!! Anything I can grow to take care of my family and animals is always, ALWAYS on my want to do list. I actually ordered a heritage seed vault full of medicinal herbs. Now I know who to go to for about what they do!!!!!

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  40. Tony Gilnett4/10/14, 12:13 PM

    Love these brooders

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  41. Great information. I absolutely LOVE your blog! We are looking forward to the arrival of our first chicks a couple weeks from now and are in the process of building the "chic"-en coop. Thanks for all the information you provide in your posts....keep up the good work! :)

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  42. Andrea Whiteside Searcy4/10/14, 12:14 PM

    Awesome hope we win this for our babies Love the chicken chick!

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  43. Jeannie Palmer4/10/14, 12:14 PM

    Would love to win this brooder. I enjoy your posts of such great information. Thank you!!

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  44. Thank you for all the good information!! Would love this!!

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  45. Sharon Smith4/10/14, 12:16 PM

    I love these. I love your blog! So helpful !

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  46. Jeanwood Brown Smith4/10/14, 12:16 PM

    Entered. I sure hope I win. I need it

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  47. Jeanwood Brown Smith4/10/14, 12:17 PM

    Entered for the Eco glow

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  48. What an awesome Giveaway! Love your page!

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  49. Nancy K. Wagner4/10/14, 12:18 PM

    good stuff to know thanks

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  50. heathersadams4/10/14, 12:19 PM

    My babies would love this!

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  51. Nancy K. Wagner4/10/14, 12:19 PM

    oh and would love to win Ecoglow :)

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  52. Gina Lunsford4/10/14, 12:19 PM

    I still want one of these! Thank you for the giveaway. And I'm excited about this series of articles you're having about the herbs. Thank you is much for finding this wonderful resource and sharing with us

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  53. Cotton Carol4/10/14, 12:20 PM

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article and am looking forward to the next. This area of knowledge is much more extensive than I thought. Fascinating!

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  54. Heidi Newman4/10/14, 12:20 PM

    Oh I need one of these in the worst way. I hate the hanging light i have. I lose sleep every spring.

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  55. Would love to win this Brooder

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  56. Kara Johnson4/10/14, 12:21 PM

    This would be awesome!

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  57. Thanks for sharing your tips! My flock is going to love their herb garden.

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  58. LindandRick Vincent4/10/14, 12:22 PM

    Oh yes......this would be very nice to have!!!

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  59. This is a great blog.

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  60. Veronica L. Minke4/10/14, 12:23 PM

    Awesome!

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  61. Shanna Herndon4/10/14, 12:24 PM

    I really enjoy your blog. I have learned so much from you since I have begun following it:-)

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  62. Christine Beaty4/10/14, 12:25 PM

    I would really love to win one of these. I nearly set the house on fire last year with a heat lamp and have eggs in the incubator now due to hatch on 4/26.

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  63. Just found this blog. Your integration of herbal and traditional methods of managing a backyard flock fits perfectly with my own philosophies. Glad I found it!

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  64. Jennifer Hershberger4/10/14, 12:26 PM

    Love your site, especially your photos with coffee captions! Always share those!
    Entering to win the brooder... have some polish hen chicks on the way in May! :D

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  65. Stephanie Ramos-Herron4/10/14, 12:28 PM

    WANT ONE SOOOO BAD!!!

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  66. This is going to be a terrific on-going discussion of herbs for poultry, and I will appreciate the science behind choices and practices.
    Cheers,
    izzi~avis

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  67. Stacey Orlowski4/10/14, 12:29 PM

    I'd love that incubator!

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  68. Nancy Addington Tye4/10/14, 12:31 PM

    So would love to have one of these!

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  69. Becky Taylor4/10/14, 12:31 PM

    We'd love to win this brooder for our hatchlings that are due late this month :)

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  70. I always thought I'd let a broody raise babies but when you want a hen to go broody, they don't. And I'll never use a heat lamp so I'm going to have to pick up one of these and some chicks one of these days to add to my flock numbers.

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  71. I have read so many articles about chicken coops catching fire because of heaters, so I know this Brinsea is a much safer alternative. And just like momma they can get under or out as much as they want. Thank you for this giveaway.

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  72. i cannot wait for the next article!! i want to plant herbs next to my chicken coop (and more in my garden) i would love to know more about this!!! thank you!

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  73. Mini Farm Girl4/10/14, 12:37 PM

    I'm starting my first herb garden this spring. Thanks for the information on using herbs with my flock!

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  74. Gayle Blakeslee4/10/14, 12:38 PM

    Awesome product would love tho win thus

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  75. Sherry Pullicar4/10/14, 12:39 PM

    I could use this....

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  76. The EcoGlow looks like a very effective product for raising chicks and keeping them snuggly warm!

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  77. Subscribed and liked Brinsea on FB. Hoping to win this for my next round of chicks :)

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  78. I was surprised I had not liked Brinsea on FB yet so thanks glad I checked and would love a safe incubator!

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  79. Lovin' this article =) thank you

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  80. Great info! Can't wait to follow her on Facebook. This giveaway would help me out tremendously! As always, thank you for the work you do in helping others raise their chickens the right way and to always be mindful of the many possibilities of taking care of them correctly.

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  81. Raven Robedeau4/10/14, 12:47 PM

    I'm the first! Great Blog and amazing giveaway!!! Would love to have an ecoglow for my babies!!!!

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  82. I like this method of warming. I also have a herbalist/acupuncturist among my treatment group.

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  83. Great prize! Great article.

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  84. Rebecca Braden4/10/14, 12:48 PM

    Please enter me in the drawing! I subscribed and liked! ;)

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  85. Thank you for this article ladies - there is SO much information "out there", it is absolutely mind-boggling and impossible to wade through!

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  86. Casandra Claybourne Thompson4/10/14, 12:48 PM

    This would be awesome im using a heat bulb for my chicks right now

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  87. Leslie Peery4/10/14, 12:48 PM

    A great read! =)

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  88. OMG!! I LOVE this product!! My husband and I give occasional chicken classes on raising chickens. I would love to have this as a demonstration item!! Pick me!! :)

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  89. Something to add to my want list. :)

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  90. Heather M Hall4/10/14, 12:51 PM

    I really want one of these brooders. I know 2 families that lost their homes because of the using heat lamps for baby chicks. This is a brilliant idea.

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  91. Lindsey Chase4/10/14, 12:51 PM

    This is a great product!

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  92. Great info! Can't wait for the next one on garlic. I use a lot of garlic with my chickens -in powder form of course - so I'm interested to find out what other options there are!

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  93. I'm gonna be a first time chicken mom when we finish our coop and run,love ur fb page and blogs,has been very informative and I will continue to follow and learn more,hope for a win with this give away

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  94. Would LOVE to win this Ecoglow!!!

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  95. love every bit of info i get from you Kathy, really could use this i want new chicken but have read so much about these heat lamps that im scared to use them. good luck everyone

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  96. Heather Litke4/10/14, 12:58 PM

    I love reading chicken blogs!! One day I hope to put all the knowledge to use! For now I enter the giveaway in hopes to help some family chicken keepers!

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  97. Love it ! Thanks for the information

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  98. Kenna Rogers4/10/14, 1:00 PM

    I have to have this Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder! My eggs are in the incubator and I am anxiously awaiting my first hatch! Love those chickens!!

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  99. I just followed all the steps to enter the ecoglow give away. This article is very intriguing!

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  100. Thanks for the Facebook link! My daughter want to be a herbalist, so I am excited to find a place to learn about combining our passions!

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  101. Thanks so much for all of the awesome information. For a city girl, turning country :) I've got a lot to learn! But loving every step so far!

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  102. would love to win this i got baby chicks due to hatch soon...ty for all the info too

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  103. Pamela Davis North4/10/14, 1:06 PM

    I would love to keep my chicks warm with this Brinsea warmer!!!

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  104. Rebecca White4/10/14, 1:06 PM

    I'm so excited you're giving one of these away again! Crossing my fingers for our chicks!

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  105. Samantha Schuster4/10/14, 1:08 PM

    Great Article!
    We are getting our first chicks this year (in about 2 weeks to be exact) and these articles have been really helpful and informational!
    Also, hoping to win that EcoGlow brooder! I looked into them, and don't know that it is really in my budget at the moment, but if I don't win, is there a certain place that is cheaper to buy from than others? Any help is always appreciated! Thanks Chicken Chick!!

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  106. Dawn The JOY Lady4/10/14, 1:09 PM

    LOVE your articles and would really LOVE to win this ECOGlow Brooder :)

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  107. Cindy Richardson Dennis4/10/14, 1:10 PM

    Would love to have this!!

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  108. I just requested to join Susan's facebook page...I can't wait to see what I can learn from her! Thanks to Brinsea for sponsoring this great giveaway too!

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  109. Hi Chicken Chick. I have been reading your blog for a while. I would love to win the Eco-glow. It has always been a little nerve racking to leave the heat lamp on, especially at night when all are asleep.Thanks for the good read and tips. Keep up the good work

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  110. I always look forward to your blogs, I have learned so much from you about taking care of my chicks.! Thanks for keeping me updated!

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  111. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  112. Paula Marcelin4/10/14, 1:21 PM

    Oh I would love to win this, My new Easter egg, White Silkie, Silver Spangled Hamburg, n Russian Orloff chicks would love this in their big round stock tank.

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  113. Heidi Blake Knepp4/10/14, 1:22 PM

    This would be fantastic for my little ones. Already had a small incident with the heat lamp.

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  114. Jessica Gibson4/10/14, 1:24 PM

    I've been eyeballing these for awhile. Love it as an alternative to a heat lamp being on while we're at work. Definitely looking into using some herbs in our flock too. :)

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  115. Regina M Kelly- Robillard4/10/14, 1:24 PM

    Hi, Just starting to want to raise Chicken's. My gf has the land. So I'm sooooo looking forward to winning in these contests…. Have a nice day…xxx/ooo

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  116. Deborah Tatroe4/10/14, 1:26 PM

    I would love to win this brooder! I am a chicken addict! LOL I love all of my beautiful chickens and love reading all of the wonderful helpful information you post :)

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  117. melanie bertsch4/10/14, 1:26 PM

    Would love to win this!! Back to incubation after many years of no chickens! WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG???

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  118. Countrified Hicks4/10/14, 1:27 PM

    I would LOVE to win the brooder. I have some Brinsea products and they are really good!

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  119. Misty Smith4/10/14, 1:28 PM

    I have tried several times to win hopefully this will be my lucky time. Love my babies so much

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  120. Christine Chenault-Medlin4/10/14, 1:28 PM

    What a great giveaway!!!!!!!

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  121. alan mcintyre4/10/14, 1:29 PM

    Would love have this. And thank you for the feeding information.

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  122. BG's Studio 134/10/14, 1:30 PM

    This will be a great source for us all to refer to. I love giving my chickens healthy food and treats but have never been sure about which herbs would best benefit them.
    Thank you

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  123. Shauneen Deschaine4/10/14, 1:33 PM

    I could sure use tis for the baby chicks I want to get!

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  124. Kristi Eader4/10/14, 1:34 PM

    This would be great to have! We are expecting new chicks at our house in the next few weeks for my daughters 4H project! This would be so much better to use then our heat lamp we currently have!

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  125. I hope I am putting my comment in the right place to enter for the ecoglow! Love your blog!

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  126. Susan Fischer4/10/14, 1:38 PM

    I would love to win this chick heater. Finances wouldn't allow the purchase of one this year, and the heat lamp is scarey.

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  127. Kimberly Swenson4/10/14, 1:39 PM

    I like this article glad to see you add natural chicken keeping to your site!!!

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  128. I just joined Susan Burek's group on FB and I've learned SO MUCH just in the past few days! I love my Brinsea Brooder and I'd love to win one for my friend & fellow chicken addict Kay =)

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  129. I'd love to win this

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  130. April J Lagarde Tighe4/10/14, 1:42 PM

    I would adore one of these lovely Brinsea Brooders! I am very anxious to transition my flock to natural methods. I subscribe & like all relevant parties!

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  131. Roberta Johnston4/10/14, 1:43 PM

    I would love to win the Brinsea EcoGlow brooder- then I could get my Swedish Flower hens!

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  132. Just ordered the spring chicks! Would love to win the heater!

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  133. Tracey Thomas4/10/14, 1:47 PM

    I really really need the ecological and haven't been able to find them here in Southern Missouri. Thank you for your blog and all of your very helpful knowledge about chickens and new products! Love the pics and jokes too!

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  134. georgiaofthemtns4/10/14, 1:47 PM

    I'm so pleased to see this post, I was just wondering about the "proper use" of herbs as I just bought 6 chicks last Saturday. I haven't raised chicks before so I am soaking up info in order to do things "right". I'm looking forward to future interviews with Susan Burek!

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  135. I would love, love, love to win oneof these! They would make me feel so much safer when leaving the house . :-)

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  136. Deven Campbell Kriegl4/10/14, 1:50 PM

    This would be great for my new chicks! Here's hoping for good luck

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  137. Would love to win this brooder. Thanks for all the great giveaways !!!!!!

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  138. Love this! I really enjoy your blog, and am so glad you posted this today! I was trying to fugure out which herbs I needed to plant this year. I am so excited. This is my first time with chicks, and we are about to finish up our coop and move my 8 weekers out side :). I have a few more that just arrived (3days old now...can we say "addicted") and I would love to get rid of the fire hazard I have been using to keep them warm.

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  139. I would love this for my chicks - thanks!

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  140. We have chickens and have had them for a few years now, but we are not getting the eggs we should. I am looking forward to learning more from your blog!

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  141. Marilee Hagee4/10/14, 1:55 PM

    Thank you for your many giveaways and teaching us about chickens

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  142. I have 25 Bantam chicks arriving in a few weeks! I am beyond excited too.. Silkies, Splash Cochins, and Japanese Bantams. Love reading all your hints and tips.

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  143. I would love one I use a heat lamp its a pain

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  144. I want to incubate!

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  145. I love raising chickens and providing them with safe, happy and healthy lives! The Brinsea EcoGlo Brooder is a tool I would love to add to ensure them of that.

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  146. Tabitha Ashcraft Stanford4/10/14, 2:10 PM

    love brinsea i have 3 bators running now

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  147. Natalie E DeMarcus Kittrell4/10/14, 2:11 PM

    So excited to be part of the chicken-world.... my fingers are crossed I win one of your give-aways!! :) Awesome page, thank you for all the time and effort you put into your site!!

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  148. Fingers Crossed... Thanks Chicken Chick...

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  149. Seramasoncall4/10/14, 2:19 PM

    Gosh--this is such helpful information. Thank you!

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  150. Love love love The Chicken Chick!!! I am learning lots of new info every day thru this site!!

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  151. Nicole Weiss4/10/14, 2:33 PM

    Great article, I am very interested in incorporating herbs into my chicken's lives. I have a medium garden and am adding herbs every year. Thanks again Kathy, your the best!

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  152. Jayne Perry4/10/14, 2:35 PM

    I appreciate all this information! We are new to the world of chicks...we hope to do things the right way. Seems there is quite a huge learning curve. :-) Would love to win the Brinsea BTW. :-)

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  153. Fantastic article! Thanks! The Brinsea EcoGlo is a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing!

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  154. Jeffrey Sawyer4/10/14, 2:36 PM

    I have one and would love another one. A fella in the next town over lost his house from a heat lamp on his brooder box.

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  155. renee loveland4/10/14, 2:37 PM

    i would love one right now im using a heating lamp and i heard there not safe and i want something safe

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  156. Deanna Tyner Bartlett4/10/14, 2:41 PM

    I need this badly!

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  157. Kathy Olding4/10/14, 2:42 PM

    HI.. if I am already on your blog list, how do I get in on the Giveaways? :)

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  158. Jacqui Ainsworth4/10/14, 2:42 PM

    Interesting! Im curious what you think of fermenting feed.

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  159. Kim Collins Hunt4/10/14, 2:44 PM

    Look forward to hearing more from Susan. Also, thanks for another great giveaway!

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  160. Please pretty please could it be my turn to win !!!

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  161. You are doing a great Job with everything regarding Chicken. This Eco Glow is amazing, so much safer than a Heat Lamp. I am looking forward getting one soon. Would be great to win one :-) Thanks for your time you spend in educating so many of us.

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  162. Debbie Gordon4/10/14, 2:45 PM

    Love this, and would love to win. I love my chickies!

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  163. Debbie Gordon4/10/14, 2:46 PM

    Could always use a brooder

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  164. Stephanie Ann Hatton4/10/14, 2:47 PM

    I cold use this!

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  165. Laurie Paulk4/10/14, 2:51 PM

    Love to hear what you say about chickens. I learn so much. Thanks!

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  166. Renee Sturgis4/10/14, 2:53 PM

    Great information as always. Can't wait to incorporate some of these ideas into our chicken keeping!

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  167. would love to have this!

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  168. Laurie Laurie4/10/14, 2:55 PM

    Count me in

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  169. OMG! This I a great product! we are expecting our first ever chicks next week and this would be perfect! Especially for beginners like us!

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  170. As usual, you're blog is so informative! I'm about to start up a new flock (with day old chicks) and could really use this Brinsea Ecoglow in the brooder, so I hope I win!

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  171. Oral Newsome4/10/14, 2:59 PM

    Good info, think I'll check into this herb stuff for my chicks.

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  172. this would be great as we are hatching 36 chicks Easter weekend love the herbal remedies good ideas too

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  173. Dina Dalzell Falasco4/10/14, 3:01 PM

    Good stuff. I just ordered a Brinsea mini advance and this give away would go lovely with it don't you think?? ;) Thanks!

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  174. Would love to win the eco-glow! Have wanted to try it for a long time!

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  175. Julie Coover Kent4/10/14, 3:03 PM

    I love your blog and your posts on Facebook. I would love to be considered for the
    chick heater --I hate heat lamps and want to get rid of those to make my chicks safer. Thanks for the chance.

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  176. I would love to win this! We started hatching our own eggs and I'm hooked! We'll have 800 chickens at the rate I'm going! Love it!

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  177. Say, she's local! I know Cindy Klement as well! What a lovely little piece. Thank you!

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  178. Lisa N Lee Schmitt4/10/14, 3:10 PM

    Hi Kathy, I am SOOOOOO glad you have chosen to expose your readers to Susan Burek. I have been a follower of hers for quite some time and am looking forward to reading more of her teachings. My chicken mentor list is short and she is at the top. Oh, and I would love to win a Brinsea EcoGlow too :)

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  179. Vikki Wright4/10/14, 3:11 PM

    It would be such a great blessing to win this, but your blog has been a great blessing to me even if I don't win this time!

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  180. Rachel Luse4/10/14, 3:11 PM

    Are there going to be more articles about herbs and natural remedies from Susan? I know the information is very confusing and while my mom is fairly experienced I would like to know more if I could remember it all!

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  181. Woot! Entered!

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  182. I love the EcoGlow

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  183. Very interesting blog! Has given me a lot to think about and maybe change. Thank you for the information. I'm also very interested in the Brinsea EcoGrow Brooder and would love to win one.

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  184. Caitlyn Ralston4/10/14, 3:24 PM

    I would love to win this! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  185. Catye Mullens4/10/14, 3:25 PM

    Love all your blogs!

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  186. Jamie Baker4/10/14, 3:26 PM

    Oh my! This article, and the upcoming series, is a God-send! One of my gardening goals is to be able to grow, harvest, and use my own herbs for my family and pets. I want to make my own teas, grow simple remedies for things like headaches or stomachaches. Recently, I have started looking for better sources for my information, and then you offer up Ms. Burek. Perfect timing!


    The giveaway is awesome too! I just ordered my EcoGlow 20, but maybe I'll be lucky enough to return it. ;)

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  187. Carolyn Carney4/10/14, 3:27 PM

    I am getting some new chicks soon and this would be great.

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  188. I want safe chicks!

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  189. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:30 PM

    What a coincidence! I hope you enjoy the series and your EcoGlow, Jamie!

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  190. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:30 PM

    Thank you, Vikki!

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  191. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:30 PM

    There certainly will be more articles, Rachel!

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  192. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:31 PM

    Cool. Why didn't you say something sooner, Lisa?! lol ;)

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  193. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:31 PM

    Small world, isn't it Lena?

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  194. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:32 PM

    Thanks Julie and good luck!

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  195. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:32 PM

    It would be a lovely set! :)

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  196. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:35 PM

    Thank you Petra. ♥

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  197. This would help me immensely in my new flock keeping!

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  198. Melissa Bauer4/10/14, 3:36 PM

    We are getting our little girls in three weeks. It's our first time owning chickens and we can't wait. I love all of the information on your blog.

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  199. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:36 PM

    This giveaway requires a comment, which you left already, and "liking" Brinsea on Facebook and telling them "The Chicken Chick sent me!"

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  200. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 3:37 PM

    Sad. That happens a lot. :(

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