Monday on the Homestead


Well my Saturday did not go quite as planned. I did get 25#’s of soap made and my sauerkraut made too (it is now sitting on the counter fermenting and will be ready by Tuesday). But my daughter Emily got a call from a lady she baby sits for and she asked if Emily could come and watch her little twin boys (who are only a few weeks old) for the afternoon. Leanne said she would go and help too. Sooo the chickens never got done! But they are still on the to-do list for this week. I should have been more clear in my post on pictures of butchering the chickens.. I will put this on a webpage.. not directly here on the blog.. so those that are vegetarians, don’t want to see something like this, or don’t think they can handle this, …don’t have to click.  


I think it was Kitty who said something about how nice it was my girls help me out with this.. haa.. haa.. it is really the other way around!! How nice it is of me to help them! LOL.. Emily and Leanne have a chicken egg business and have 50 to 60 hens (hard to count when they are always moving around) and they do all the work to care for them, sell the eggs and manage their own finances for this.  Well it is now at a point where they are eating the same amount of food but not giving the same amount of eggs. The hens are 2 to 3 years old and it is time cull the flock. Also my girls are trying to decide if they want to continue the business because if they do, they need to buy more chicks this fall so they are laying eggs by spring time. Right now they have more egg customers than eggs. However the price of chicken food is really climbing.. anyone else notice this? We have seen it go up $1 a bag just in the last month. So the other question for them is:  are people willing to pay the higher prices for the free range eggs? I know some will because they just love the eggs and know the health benefits. 



On a side note, we figured out pretty well how to tell if our hens are laying. Laying hens have bright red combs and wattles, non laying hens have combs and wattles that are dull looking. Also if you look at a chicken’s vent (where the egg comes out of) and it looks dry and withered they are not laying. Vents that are moist looking means they are laying..   The girls checked several hens out.. those with dull looking combs and wattles and those with bright looking ones and then the vents and it is a consistently good way to tell. 


The other thing that did not get done Saturday was making kefir. It does help to have the milk defrosted! LOL.. just one of those ‘little’ details I forgot!  The milk is defrosted now and I will do that today.. 


My Monday is looking busy too. I have housekeeping to do: laundry, dusting, sweeping, mopping, etc.. I will enlist the kids to help me. All but Emily, who will be caring for the little twin boys (her new part time job) for about 4 hours while the mama gets some sleep. 


Dinner is potato soup, unless something else suits my fancy. I made my menu on a day when it was cool and wet out and soup sounded good. Today is supposed be near 80 so maybe it will be potato salad and something on the grill.. 


Hope you all have a productive Monday on your homesteads!


-As a side note: my girls have posted pictures and shared about their Mexico missions trip on their blog for anyone who might be interested:


  1. Sounds like my plans for today too - housework!!

    joyful homemaker

  2. Yes, I have too noticed the price of feed going up. Especially rabbit feed. We have some layers too and if it were not for the health benefits of free range eggs it would not really be worth having our hens. We culled our flock the past fall & now have new ones that we hope will lay around October.

    I don't comment often, but I always enjoy reading your blog. Take care & hope you have a great day.

  3. UnlikelyHomesteaderJuly 23, 2007 at 5:44 AM

    I'm going to look at some in our flock with a more discriminating eye. The price of feed really does make a significant dent in the budget.

  4. Crystal,

    It's always so nice to read about days on your homestead. Glad you got your soap making done....I need to order some pumpkin spice soap soon. Thinking of you today, have a blessed evening.

    Love ya,


  5. When I was buying fresh yard eggs, I was paying $1 a doz. now with my few hens, no need to buy now, although I would pay more if need be since I love them things...Thanks for the info on telling which ones are laying or not, now I know which ones to you get all your things done this week...Debbie

  6. I make my own sauerkraut too! I don't know of many who still make their own. Way to go!


  7. Sorry about posting anonymously. I can't seem to log into my old blog of Foggy Mountain Farm.


  8. FoggyMountainFarmJuly 24, 2007 at 8:19 AM

    Aha! I figured it out. LOL Sorry. Just ignore me. Laura

  9. Hello Crystal!

    The feed has gone way up as well as the cost of fresh eggs all the way over here in Maine! So has milk! $4.65 a gallon!


  10. I was looking in to getting chickens this year (we need a coup first) and I was talking to our feed store owner, and he said you could make your own feed. I wonder if it would be cost effecient? He mentioned grinding corn and soy beans. Have you heard of this? Just curious on your thoughts. My amount of chickens would be quite a bit less than yours though. Easier to grind enough food.


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