Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tuesday and Amusing Animals

Today is Tuesday already.. Monday chores are overflowing into todayÂ’s chores so I best get at it!!  My computer time is almost up!


 


The weather in our parts is still rain, rain, rain..  and did I mention it has been raining??   I am hoping it will end before we go sliding down the hill side here.  I am quickly reaching the verge of my mud tolerances.  But it is not like there is anything I can do about this!!


 


Yesterday I saw the funniest thingsÂ…  There was this lull in the rain and I looked outside my living room window to see our horse Buddy standing and eating grass.  Then about 5 minutes later it started getting very, very dark and thunder and lighting came.  I wondered if it would bother him, so I looked out again.. there he was still in the same spot eating grass.  Then within another 5 minutes there was this torrent of hail stones that started falling.. I wondered how that would affect him.. I looked out and there he was in the same spot, eating grass and totally not intimidated nor bothered by it at all!!  LOL..  


 


Animals are so amusing!  Now for the Pomeranian update.  They will be 4 weeks old tomorrow.  They have almost learned to crawl out of the box!  We are constantly amazed that these little tiny pups do very dog like things.. bark (kinda like a bark), play with each other, even growl and wag their tail!   LOL.. I canÂ’t figure out why this amazes us all.  Someone will see them doing something cute, like.. “Look mom he is wagging his tail!!” and we all run to see!!  I will try and post some more pics because they keep changing in their looks.  It will be a sad day when we sell them, but dad has a limit to the number of PomÂ’s he can handle in the house! 


 


Hope you all have a great Tuesday on your homesteads!! 

Friday, January 27, 2006

My Favorite Granola

One of the things I did today was to make a double batch of granola.  My son Jacob just loves granola.  I am sure he could eat it 3 meals a day!  LOL..  I thought I would post my recipe.  It really is the yummiest granola!  Hope you enjoy it too..


 


 


My Favorite Granola


Crystal Miller


 


12 cups uncooked oats


1 cup shredded coconut


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour


½ cup powdered milk


1 T. cinnamon


1 ½ t. salt


1 cup light olive oil


1 1/3 cup honey


1 T. vanilla


2 cup raisins


2 cups nuts of your choice, chopped


 


You will need a very large bowl for mixing.  Combine oats, coconut, flour, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt well in the large bowl and mix well.  In a saucepan heat the oil, honey and vanilla until just warm.  This helps the mixture pour easily.  Pour this over the oat mixture and stir well.  I start out by stirring it with a large spoon, but end up mixing it with my hands to insure that everything is evenly mixed.  Spread this in a thin layer on 2 to 3 large cookie sheets and bake in the oven at 300 for 45 to 50 minutes. You will need to stir it about every 15 minutes.  I bake two trays at a time and switch the position of the trays each time I stir so that the granola browns evenly. When the mixture is done you can pour it back into the large pan and let it cool.  When completely cool stir in the raisins and the nuts.  You can store the finished granola in any air tight container or even a couple of large Ziploc type bags.  This recipe will make approx. 20 cups of granola. 

Pastry Flour Question Answered

 


First off I would like to answer BrandiÂ’s question on what ‘pastry flourÂ’ is.  You can usually buy whole wheat pastry flour from a health food store. 


 


Here is a little info from my site on this topic:


 


Whole-wheat flour can be a bit confusing because there are a few things to understand before you use it in order to have good success in your baked goods.  There are 2 basic types of wheat.  Hard and Soft.  We use hard wheat for any baked goods that have yeast added to them.  Hard wheat has a higher gluten content and this is what gives the bread it elasticity and makes it rise so beautifully.  There are two different types of hard wheat available, red and white.  Red is darker in color and has a strong taste.  White has a nice light color and light taste.  Hard White wheat has become my most favored in bread baking.  Soft white wheat, also know as Pastry Flour, is used in all baking that requires baking power or soda (quick breads) for leavening.  This flour will not give your baked goods that dense, heavy reputation that wheat flour has.


 


Hope that helps to answer the question!!


 


 

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Our Breakfast for Wednesday and Whole Wheat Honey Scone Recipe

I made some whole wheat honey scones for breakfast this morning and they were so good!!  I found a scone recipe that I liked, that used honey, and I adapted and made changes to the recipe to be made more whole foods friendly. 


 


I made a double batch of scones, cooked up 1 pound of farm fresh bacon in my new cast iron pan, then Emily scrambled up 14 farm fresh eggs while Leanne made orange juice and filled a pitcher with our own goatÂ’s milk. 



 


It is times like this that I really feel a lot of homesteading satisfaction!!   


 


Now for the scone recipe:


 


Whole Wheat Honey Raisins Scones


Crystal Miller


 


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour


1 T baking powder


¼ t baking soda


¼ t salt


6 T butter


1 cup raisins


¼ c honey


2 T yogurt


2 eggs


 


In a large bowl mix together the pastry flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Chop up the butter into squares and add to the flour mix.  mix in the butter by using your fingers and working the butter into the flour mixture until the mix looks like coarse crumbs.  In a 1 cup measuring cup measure out the honey and add the yogurt and the eggs.  Mix this well.   Add to flour/butter mixture.  Stir until all has just combined.  Try not to over mix this.  It may still be a bit wet or sticky, but that is ok. 


 


Lightly flour the counter top and dump the scone mix onto this and flatten them out to a circle that is about 8 inches.  I sprinkle a little more flour on the top if still feels sticky.  Using a butter knife cut the scones into 8 wedges. 


 


Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and set each scone wedge onto the tray leaving about 1 inch space between them.


 


Bake at 375 for about 18 to 20 minutes.  Enjoy!!  Makes 8 scones. 


 


 


 


AND.. while we made and ate breakfast, the puppies had their “play time”….


 


 


And then they were worn out!


 


 


 

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Pics of Ellies Pups...

Our Pomeranian dog Ellie had her pups almost 3 weeks ago. If you read my other blog I posted pics in there shortly after they were born. 


Here are the updated pics of her 2 babies..


The little boy (we have not named them as we are going to sell them)



 


The little girl



 


The two of them looking so cute!!


HONEY!!

Well I have read several websites on honey lately and have learned new things.  One of my most enjoyed websites was this one: http://www.honey.com/index.html


 


It is put out by the National Honey Board (whoever they are.. :)  )  But what I really enjoyed was all the recipes they have!!  Granted you will have to tweak them to more whole foods, because most seem to use a lot of white flour and such.  But I think anyone wanting to find more honey recipes will enjoy their selection: http://www.honey.com/recipes/index.asp 


 


The next thing I enjoyed on their site was the links to several booklets (pdf format) filled with even more honey recipes!  You can find those downloads here: http://www.honey.com/recipes/broch/index.html    I found several that I liked and printed them off. 


 


Hope you enjoy all the links and I can't for my gallon of honey from Azure to arrive on Thursday!!  :)


 

Monday, January 23, 2006

Homesteading Homemakers Diary


I have this idea to write down what my days look like.  Every day seems different in some way and so I was thinking it was hard to come up with what a typical day looks like for me.  But then it dawned on me, really the variety of what is accomplished each day and what things are done ARE what make a “typical” day for me!  So periodically I will be posting a “typical” dayÂ’s diary from my life on my homestead. 


 


I am calling this little series my: Homesteading Homemakers Diary


 


Here is a day I wrote down last week:


 


Tuesday January 17..


 


Got up in the morning (very early), made my coffee and unloaded the dishwasher while the coffee was brewing.  Went back to bed with my fresh cup of coffee and did my Bible reading for the day and praying.


 


Computer time, spend time at my message board


 


Kids are up, animal chores, breakfast (oatmeal and toast)


 


Fold 2 loads of laundry, make my bed, clean up my room


 


Pick up the living room and have Sierra fold the throws and fluff the cushions on the couch and love seat.


 


I start school with my younger 3, my oldest daughter works on math with Jacob. The other 2 daughters begin their independent studies.   I iron fabric as Isaac reads to me.


 


I start sewing while pausing to help Isaac as he works through his school work.  He is in 2nd grade and needs lots of helps.


 


Lunch Break.. leftover bean soup from Monday night.


 


After lunch my 3 older girls leave to go do the child care at our homeschool group.  I am not going this time.  Too many things still to do at home.


 


Isaac vacuums the entry way rugs.  He is done with school and now plays a spelling game on computer.  Sierra is finishing her last Pace for the day.


 


I start a load of laundry and get the black beans cooking for dinner tonight. Then I pick up the kitchen and start the dishwasher.  Now time to make some buns for the black bean sloppy joes we are having tonight. 


 


I make a large pan of buns up and when they are almost done I grind the wheat for my bread and proceed to make 6 loaves of bread.


 


While the bread is rising, I answer some email. 


 


I move the laundry to the dryer.


 


I cut up the onions and red peppers for the sloppy joes. 


 


My daughters arrive home and Hannah cleans up the laundry room, Leanne cleans up the bathroom, Emily starts cooking the hamburger for dinner.


 


I take my 6 loaves of bread out of the oven.


 


Emily makes a salad and I finish assembling the sloppy joes.


 


We eat dinner; dad is working overtime so he will eat later on.


 


After dinner we clean up and get the house looking nice and everyone does something on their own.. Tobin comes home.


 


Him and I visit for a bit, he visits with the kids..  then someone comes over with their goats.  They are in heat and want to use my buck.  They have been here before so they know where the bucks are and what to do.  Two of my daughters go and ask them if they need help, they donÂ’t. 


 


Emily and Leanne go out to take care of the chickens, put the horse in his stall and feed the goats a little hay.


 


I make TobinÂ’s lunch and put it in the fridge, and get the coffee maker set for his morning coffee.


 


Then it is time to feed hubby, and off to bed.. the girls do the final cleaning of the kitchen and put the youngest ones to bed.  Tobin gets up at 3:am or so usually and I get up around 4:30 or 5:00 and do again! 


 


 


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Manners of the Lady & Manners of the Gentleman

I thought I would share this all with you today.. a look at times long gone..  that is for sure.  I got it from an email group quite awhile back. I enjoyed reading it to my children.  Some of these will certainly make you smile and give a little laugh but wouldnÂ’t it be nice to see some of these manners come back??   HoweverÂ…  I still want to wear my pearls in the morning.. LOL..  


 


The following comes from a book called: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by: Daniel Pool   


 


This book is an enjoyable read.. after reading these my daughter found the book in the library and checked it out.  It was a fun look at this time period.


  


Manners of the Lady

1. If unmarried and under thirty, she is never to be
in the company of a man without a chaperone. Except
for a walk to church or a park in the early morning,
she may not walk alone but should always be
accompanied by another lady, a man, or a servant.

2. Under no circumstances may a lady call on a
gentleman alone unless she is consulting that
gentleman on a professional or business matter.

3. A lady does not wear pearls or diamonds in the
morning.

4. A lady never dances more than three dances with the
same partner.

5. A lady should never "cut" someone, that is to say,
fail to acknowledge their presence after encountering
them socially, unless it is absolutely necessary. By
the same token, only a lady is ever truly justified in
cutting someone: (when a gentleman the lady does NOT
wish to keep company with, refuses to let well enough
alone) Upon the approach of the offender, a simple
stare of silent iciness should suffice; followed, if
necessary, by a "cold bow, which discourages
familiarity without offering insult," and departure
forthwith. To remark, "Sir, I have not the honour of
your acquaintance" is a very extreme measure and is a
weapon that should be deployed only as a last resort.

Bibliography:

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by:
Daniel Pool pg. 55-56


Manners of the Gentleman


1. In riding horseback or walking along the street,
the lady always has the wall.

2.
Meeting a lady in the street or in the park whom you
know only slightly, you wait for her to acknowledge
you - then and only then may you tip your hat to her,
which is done using the hand farthest away from her to
raise the hat. You do not speak to her or any other
lady - unless she speaks to you first.

3. If you meet a lady who is a good friend and who
signifies that she wishes to talk to you, you turn and
walk with her if you wish to converse. It is not
"done" to make a lady stand talking in a street.

4. In going up a flight of stairs, you precede the
lady; in going down, you follow.

5. In a carriage (stagecoach), a gentleman takes the
seat facing backward. If he is alone in a carriage
with a lady, he does not sit next to her unless he is
her husband, brother, father, or son. He alights from
the carriage first so he may hand her down. He takes
care not to step on her dress.

6. At a public exhibition or concert, if accompanied
by a lady, he goes in first in order to find her a
seat. If he enters such an exhibition alone and there
are ladies or older gentlemen present he removes his
hat.

7. A gentleman is always introduced to a lady - never
the other way around. It is presumed to be an honor
for the gentleman to meet her. (
Usually) a social
inferior is introduced to a superior - and only with
the latter's acquiescence.

8. A gentleman never smokes in the presence of ladies.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Roosters are in the Freezer!


Well I am so happy to say that the other 9 roosters are now in the freezer.  We did the deed on these guys on Friday later afternoon/evening.  Tobin, being the handy guy that he is, made a ‘killing coneÂ’ for me and he did all the killing part.  The cone made it a pretty easy job compared to tying the roosters up feet first.  Less traumatic for everyone! 


 


If you donÂ’t know what a killing cone is it is a metal funnel similar in shape to those orange road side cones you see when roadwork is being done. You hang them upside down and put the chicken in head first.  Tobin attached a 2x4 to the cone and hung it up on our carport.   You can see a pic of one here: http://www.countryhorizons.net/poultry.shtml  (scroll about half way down the page). 


 


After Tobin did that part, I scalded the bird and my daughters and I plucked the feathers.  Then I transferred the birds to one of the two ice chests I had waiting with cold ice water in to sit and cool off while we did the next bird. 


 


After that Tobin and I both cleaned them out and Emily scrubbed them and weighed and bagged each one and put them in the freezer.


 


I am so happy to have this little saga over with now! But also so inspired to raise some pastured poultry for the freezer this spring.  I have been looking at different ideas and plans for a moveable pen for the birds.  I will keep you posted on this one.. with pictures if we do this! 


 


By the way we left one rooster.. the smart one.. he stayed way up in the rafters of the hen house and refused to come down! LOL.. 




 

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Details, Details, DetailsÂ…

After all the questions I got on butchering my first chicken I will share a bit about that with you..  BUT  I am no expert!!  LOL..  So if you are looking to me to give you step-by-step instructions.. sorry!!  I canÂ’t do that.  I am still learning this one!


 


I can recommend Carla EmeryÂ’s book, Encyclopedia of Country Living.  It is a great book and I refer to it all the time for all my country living questions. 


 


For my rooster, I read all the options I had and ended up tying his feet together and hanging him upside down (I used a low cross beam on my wood shelter to tie him to)  and cutting his head off with a very sharp knife. I had a bucket right under him to catch the blood.


 


Before I even started I took a large pot (14 qt size) and got water boiling in it.  When it reached 185 degrees my daughters brought the pot outside.  I dipped my bird in this hot water for about 30 seconds. 


 


I pulled him out and 2 of my daughters and I began plucking feathers.  The feathers pulled out very easily.  It took us maybe 5 minutes.  I had newspaper out to catch the feathers to make clean up easier.


 


Then I took him inside and washed him in my sink, and following CarlaÂ’s directions in her book, I cut him open and cleaned him out.  I soaked him in cold water too while I cleaned everything up.  Then I put him the fridge for about an hour to cool down and after that proceeded to make Rooster Noodle Soup .


 


After all was finished we buried all the mess so that the coyotes donÂ’t come looking around here for something to eat!!


 


So there are all the details.. maybe more than you wanted to know!!  


 


Now to get the other 9 done.. 

Monday, January 9, 2006

Butchered my first RoosterÂ…

         


In this continuing saga of my chickens/eggs/and roosters I thought I would share with you all the latest updatesÂ…. 


 


Well yesterday afternoon, surprisingly, there was no rain.  I decided the time had come to tackle butchering my first rooster.   I have never done this before.  Always my dad would come and do this for me.  My dad died last year unexpectedly.  So as I looked at my 10 (CROWING) roosters causing me nothing but headaches and I knew the time had come (actually it was overdue).  It was time for me to take another homesteaders challenge.. 


 


Now mind you less than one year ago I helped my husband slaughter and prepare 5- 300lb. pigs to take to the butcher.  So you would think one little rooster would not have been such a big deal, but it was, taking a life, even a chickens is sobering. However I am happy to say that I did it!!  It was a good experience and one I could do again.. in fact a friend of mine will come over to help me do the other 9 later this week.  


 


The final result was a rooster that dressed out to 4 ½ lbs.. which I thought was pretty good! and he made the best Rooster and Noodle Soup.. LOL..  It was the most flavorful soup I have made in some time.


 


My hubby joked with me when he came home from work and found out what I had accomplished.. he said, well you have another feather to add to your homesteader cap!! 


 


 

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Canning Questions Answered


Canning Questions Answered


 


I posted a couple of days ago on canning your own homemade convenience foods and was asked a few questions and I wanted to comment on a few comments!!   


 


1. Intimidated by pressure canners? 


 


In the old days pressure canners were more dangerous than they are today.  My grandmother had one blow up on her and she received burns because of it and would never again use one.  For years after that she canned everything from fruit to meats in a boiling water bath.  Knowing what I know about botulism and other bacterial problems I would not do that today.  The pressure canners of today have different safety features such as rubber release stoppers that will pop off to allow the steam to escape in the case of any types of emergencies.  But more importantly than that is to make sure you have a pressure canner checked periodically by your local extension service to ensure your pressure gage is working correctly.  The next would be not leave a canner while you have it on the stove.  I usually work to clean the kitchen, prepare the next batch of food or if it is my last batch of the day I have been known to take a book and a chair into the kitchen and read while the canner hums away.   A build of steam and pressure is not as likely if you are monitoring your canner and you know your gage is reading in the correct ranges.


 


2. When you can meat does it need to be refrigerated after that? 


 


No it does not!  That would take away from the advantage of canning it.  Canning began before the time when refrigeration was available and was a way to preserve foods for the future.


 


Canning food works by heating the food up to temperatures that will kill any bacteria that is living in the food and you are sealing the jar shut creating an air tight environment so no new bacteria will not begin to grow. By doing this the food will not go bad.  


 


3. Leanne NZÂ… 


I  believe canning and bottling are the same thing.  In my part of the US I know canning is the term used to seal food in jars for later use.  I have a picture on my other blog of some foods I canned up this last summerÂ…


 


This was jam and 3-bean salad I canned..



 


In the background are some jars of milk I cannedÂ…


 


 


Ok.. I hope that helps to answer the questions!! 


 

Saturday, January 7, 2006

eggs, eggs, eggsÂ…


Well it is amazing what a few changes in the coop can do!  AND maybe the warmer weather or perhaps my complaining about the lack of eggs did the trick?  But whatever it was the eggs are rolling in now..  here is a pic of some of them from the last few days(the rest have been eaten!)Â…


 


Frontier House

I realize I am a bit behind the times.  The PBS series Frontier House was aired a few years ago.  But last night my family and I watched the first DVD of the series for the first time.  I rented it for us to watch.


 


This series takes 3 families and sets them on their homestead land with only the ability to live with what people would have had in the late 1800Â’s.  No modern anything.  They are given a bit of training (which was very interesting to watch!), and some supplies and then must go and live for 5 months in the Montana wilderness.  One family had a cabin already built, another had one half-way built and the last family had to build their own.


 


I have had so many thoughts going through my head on this.  Not just about the show and the interaction between the families (which has been interesting to watch) but on life at that time.  One of the things that interested me was the list of supplies that those in the 1800Â’s would have carried along with them.  It was such a simple basic list! I thought it would be fun to see what my own list would look like.


 


If I only had so much room to pack up my home what would be the basics I would need to function?  I look at this as a simple life exercise!  I live in a 2000 sq. ft. home with a basement, and believe me; we have taken full advantage of this space! ~smile~.   Well my list will take some thought on my part.  Sounds like a good exercise for the whole family actually. 


 


Also we discussed with the kids what if we were to live for a month without electricity? What would have to go and how would our life change?  Could we handle that?  I have always wondered about living life “off the grid”.  I have known of people who do this, but they usually have alternate energy sources.


 


So far the series has given us lots of things to discuss and a little entertainment as we watch these people live this out.  I have concluded that they added the Malibu California family simply for everyoneÂ’s amusement! LOL..  To think someone would actually cry because they had to have their picture taken without their makeup on!


 


My only dislike so far of the series has been the frank talk of a couples intimate side of life and the effects of this experience on it..  not very family appropriate in my mind!  But I have a remote and a FF button that handles that situation well; a nice benefit of seeing this on DVD.   It leaves me shaking my head, once again,  to see where our world is at (that this would be something we all want or need to know!). 


 


Later this evening we will finish up the series and then maybe move onto Colonial House next!


 

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Canning Your Own Homemade Convenience Foods


Canning Your Own Homemade Convenience Foods


 


You have finally gotten to the point where most of your meals are cooked from scratch.  You are seeing the savings in your grocery budget and are so pleased to be able to feed your family wholesome health building foods. 


 


But, it would be so nice to once in awhile be able to make a fast and easy meal without compromising health and without busting the budget. 


 


What is the answer to this dilemma??  Canning up your own good quality foods so they are sitting on the shelf ready to eat!


 


You can also freeze your own foods, however freezing requires that you defrost the food first and that is one extra step that makes it not quite as convenient as it could be.


 


The first thing you will have to have is a pressure canner.  You can not use a boiling water bath canner for this.  Purchasing a canner is a big expense.  But like so many other homemaking tools it will pay great dividends in the years to come.  I have 2 pressure canners and have had them for 10 or more years.  I have had to replace the seals once.  These canners have canned hundreds and hundreds of jars of food for my family.


 


Some people have asked me, “Is canning really worthwhile expense ?”  Like so many other areas you have to use common sense.  I need to have low cost foods available for me to can.  In the late summer and early fall I usually have a garden full of produce that I am able to can.  I donÂ’t generally buy anything like fruits or vegetables to can unless the cost savings is worthwhile.  I can buy peaches and applesauce from the store much cheaper than I what I am able to can them for. 


 


What I have focused on is canning my own regular home cooked foods.  By doing this I am not buying extra foods, but utilizing what I already have and I am making my life simpler by having these foods on the shelf and ready to go. 


 


What Kind of Foods to Can


 


What I like to have on hand is cooked chicken, cooked hamburger, chili, chicken soup, spaghetti sauce, and bean soups.


 


Really almost anything that you make can be canned.  What I do is try and think of canning as just a regular part of my kitchen duties.  When I make a pot of chili I double or triple the batch so that I can take the leftovers after dinner, or the next morning, and can them.  If I make spaghetti sauce I make a very large batch so that I can have a few jars leftover to can.  Same goes for any type of soups.


 


I also like having meat canned.  I look for the chicken leg/thigh quarters and will cook about 20# in my table top oven and then proceed to can the cooked meat. 


 


Hamburger can be canned too.  Cook the hamburger until it is hot, it does not need to be cooked all the way through.  The canning process will cook it completely.  Add water and/or broth and a bit of salt.  Pack the hot hamburger and liquid into quart jars and can for 90 minutes at 10#Â’s pressure.  You can use this hamburger for quick meals such as tacos, hamburger gravy, added to spaghetti sauce, or beans or any other use you would normally have for cooked hamburger.


 


How to Can Soups


 


To can your favorite soups you will need to take a look at the ingredients in your soup.  If you have vegetables, meat and beans for instance, you would need to look at the recommended time for canning each of these ingredients.  You take the longest cooking time and can the whole batch of soup for that time.  In the case of above ingredients, meat and beans typically can for about 90 minutes, so this is how long you would can the soup.


 


This is the same for other stews and sauces. 


 


You donÂ’t need new recipes to do this, simply can your familyÂ’s favorite foods and have them on the shelf ready to go.


 


I make it a goal to can something each week.  I keep my canner, lids & rings, and canning utensils in an easy to reach place so that canning can become something that is simply done as part of the kitchen chores. 


 


More Resources:


 


Ball Blue Book of PreservingÂ…  this is a must have book!  It is filled with information and recipes. I found my copy on Ebay for a very reasonable price.


 


Principles of Home Canning..  this is a fantastic online, step-by-step on line guide to home canning.  If you have never canned before this will be a great help to you.


 


How to Can Chicken



How to Can Spaghetti Sauce

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Update on My Chicken Saga..

 I was shocked to learn from my daughter that today we got 10 eggs!!  The most ever in one single day since we got these birds.  AND they were all in the nest boxes!  So these birds with the slow learning curve are figuring things out!!!


 


We booted all the roosters out of the coop.  That helped a lot.  The hens seem calmer..  Thanks for that tip Spininggrandma.   


 


We (my daughters actually do most of the chicken duty as it is there little project so to speakÂ… They hope to sell eggs one day!)..  They recounted all the hensÂ… 20+ and 10+ on the roosters.  We originally ordered 40.  A few died in the first couple of weeks, the rest we still have. 


 


To answer LeahÂ’s questionÂ…  no my hens had not started laying when the days got shorter.  They have really not laid at all (we did not get ANY eggs at all until a couple of days after Thanksgiving)..   Funny I never thought of feeding a chicken bird seed.. 


 


We do feed layer pellets and leftover scraps of veggies or grain or anything else from the house that I think they may like.  Sometimes Emily will cook them up some brown rice and split peas and they go nuts over that. 


 


I pretty sure they are not laying somewhere else.  They stay in their coop until later in the afternoon and then we let them out to free range for the rest of the day.  Although in the past with other chickens I have had I will come across a surprise nest someplace.


 


     


I like a couple of roosters around (but 10+ is getting a bit ridiculous).  I have read that fertilized eggs are healthier for you.  Also I like to have an occasionally clutch of eggs hatch from some unknown place..  it is so fun to see baby chicks with their mamaÂ’s. 


 


 


But for now, my roosters future seems to be the stew pot.  Maybe when the rain lets up for moment I will get that job done.   My dad use to come and do it for me.  Now I am on my own (my dad passed away a little over a year ago). 


 


After 10 eggs, my thoughts towards those hens are a little more pleasant.  Maybe soon I wonÂ’t be buying eggs from Costco at the same time I buy layer pellets, and all the other misc. things required to keep them going.