Log home

I truly enjoy reading your blog and all your articles. From my perspective growing up in a rural area on a one mule farm, I can see you are “the genuine article” and it is not all publicity. My question to you is are you happy with your log home? What are some pros and cons. Would you advise someone planning to build a home to build with logs? I do have a small farm in mountains in eastern Ky where I plan to build. I value your opinion in this matter. I know you live in a log home but I also know it is not for everyone.

Sarah Patrick
Salyersville, Kentucky

I totally LOVE my log home. Yes, they aren’t for everyone. They do require staining and regular care regarding re-staining as necessary, caulking checks in the logs, and chinking any air leaks due to log separation from shrinking. But the type of home you choose to build is a personal thing as well as a “best type” option. Some folks dream of an adobe, long, low Spanish-type home. Others, a straw bale home, or cordwood, or traditional brick. All can be made cozy and comfortable. Build what suits YOUR dreams!

Pros and cons? Log homes, built right, are warm in the winter, cool in the summer. They make use of renewable material. There are no toxins involved, such as formaldehyde glues. All log homes settle and this must be taken into account when building, allowing for this settling. Something as small as a single nail can cause the logs to hang up and separate. Building a log home yourself is hard work and is tedious, but you can do a log at a time and eventually get her done. It is NOT a fast process, but we feel very worthwhile. — Jackie

Sick hen

One of my old Rhode Island Red laying hens is not acting normal. She stands hunched up with her feathers puffed out (especially around her backside).

I noticed this a day ago. She is eating and when I caught her to check her out she flapped and squawked, but most of the time she just stands in one place. Her vent appears clear (not plugged with poop) but I can’t tell what might be wrong with her. Any suggestions?

Spokane, Washington

She may be egg bound. This is sort of like constipation only with an egg. To correct this, warm up 15 ccs of mineral oil and using an ear syringe or something similar, gently inject it into her vent. This usually remedies this problem.

Or she may have a bacterial infection, often a “cold.” You might try housing her separately for a week and adding tetracycline to her drinking water. Unfortunately, chickens are not “worth” much, so taking her to the vet is usually not an option unless she is a special pet. — Jackie