Finishing the chicken yard….and pics

Recently we’ve had something showing up in the middle of the day and snatching chickens. It comes in fast and is gone even before the dogs can react. Seems to be after mostly white birds. I guess they’re easier to see. After the guineas gave the alarm the other day I managed to get out there and whatever it was dropped the hen and ran. It grabs them by the head. I found her on her back and thought she was dead. She had some blood coming out of her mouth and blood filling one eye but she was alive. I put her in a basket with some straw and she is fine except for wanting to keep that injured eye closed. We found where one had been caught and it looked like the head had been sliced off with a knife. Any ideas what might do that? I still haven’t done a count to figure out exactly how many are missing.

We started working on the yard for the birds when we first moved here but there were so many of them I hated to confine them and with so many other things needing done it was shoved to the back burner.

Michael and Clifford finishing the yard. It needed one strip of wire to complete the top and the boards along the bottom to attach the wire to.

Day one.

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Day two. Time to finish all but the bottom strip so the birds could get back into their house for the night. Clifford loves to help Dada.

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Sorry gang. Last day of freedom!

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At some point in the not too distant future we plan on expanding the yard to about double the current size. We will also let them out in the evenings when we’re outside.

We’re getting between 14 and 19 eggs a day now! This is what 19 eggs look like.  😀  So many nice colors.

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The biggest and smallest for the day.

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New bread. I know, I know. Funny looking. Very easy and so good. I’ll do a post!  🙂

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I have more pictures and another post or two but this is probably enough for now.I’ll leave you with another fantastic sunset from my place to yours.

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Have a great day and God bless!

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The changing weather

We’ve had a wide range of weather including temps from the teens to the upper 50s this last week. So we’ve been here….

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And here….

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and today a few flakes in the a.m. and now here! Our high was about 35.

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The chickens have started laying fairly well again. We went from 6 or 8 eggs a week to this…

My Kalina who gathers the eggs. I love the colors of our eggs!

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Today we had 15 BUT every day I have eggs with yolk all over them. No shells in the nest. Kalina thinks she knows the culprit so we’ll try confining her to see. It’s great to have eggs again! I need to pickle some!

Having so many eggs allows us to have stuff like this! Pancake squares. Yummy. I like this because it’s easy and goes in the oven. Some plain and some with chocolate chips. And home grown bacon!  And fresh whipped cream! And homemade butter!  😀

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With the cold temps we’ve been burning a lot of wood. I’ve also been trying to cook on the wood stove some and not use the electric except for baking which means I load more wood in the stove than we’d use just for heating. That means more of this…

Clifford loves to help! Thanks for the gloves Uncle Ron and Aunt Kathy!

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It’s time to get supper ready so off I go. Putting food on the table takes up a lot of your day when you cook from scratch. But it’s oh so good.

Have a great evening. God bless.

Here chick chick chick!

Catching snowflakes. No. That’s not a chicken but is so cute I just had to put it in!

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I often struggle with making our meals from scratch. It’s a lot of work and sometimes, I admit, I just get lazy. But when I do make the effort it is so worth it.

Tonight we had BBQ chicken on homemade buns with coleslaw and milk to drink. It involved a lot just for one meal and we really are far from providing everything ourselves.

First, see the title of this post. It involves raising, catching, butchering (see yesterdays post) and cooking the chicken.  Into the crock pot with a little water and cook for about 4 hours.

I mixed up the bread dough and baked the buns but I didn’t grow the wheat (we will be giving a small patch a try this year) or the yeast. I also don’t have bees to provide the honey. Yet. Our farm did provide the milk, eggs and butter.

So now we have chicken and bread. Many things went into the BBQ sauce – none of which our farm provided. Tomato paste and ketchup, which we should be able to provide, mustard, liquid smoke, worcestershire sauce, honey and cayenne pepper.

Maybe next year it will be my cabbage and carrots for the slaw. The dressing starts off by making mayo. I have the eggs but I don’t have olive trees for the oil. Anybody know of a substitute for it to make mayo? I somehow doubt that lard would do the job.  🙂  I need to do my own vinegar but haven’t yet. Vinegar is not supposed to be difficult to make. Mix, mix, mix till your arm falls off and you have mayo!  🙂  I did a post on mayo in March of last year. Add some raw sugar, a pinch of salt and mix some more and you have a delicious dressing.

Hum. Let’s see. Grate the cabbage and carrots and add dressing. Oh. And don’t forget milking that cow for the wonderful milk she provides for our family!

Hours later…delicious. And well worth the effort. (Somehow we forgot that glass of milk in the picture!)

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We really would like to provide as much for ourselves as we can and I know we can do much better than we are at this time but there will always be needs we can’t meet. And that’s ok. Community is important. I pray that as we settle in at our new place over the next year or so that we’ll find like-minded people to share what we’re learning with and to learn from. It’s sort of hard to meet people when you only get down off of the hill once a month!

Now to figure out what to do with the other 15 or so roosters we still need to butcher!  😀

And Bob, I don’t know that the kids could be convinced it was rattlesnake. Although they’d probably try it if it actually was.  🙂

God bless and have a fantastic week-end.

It’s snowing!

This was the sunrise on the 10th. Beautiful!

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Current conditions.

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Wood that has yet to make it into the shed.

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Honey and Baby aren’t impressed.

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We’ve butchered 6 roosters since Saturday doing 2 every other day. Chicken and dumplings, chicken soup, chicken ? They tend to be a little tough so I’ll slow cook them. I asked Michael how often we could eat chicken before we get sick of it and he said “A lot!” It’s a nice change from pork.

Kalina just turned 13 and really feels she needs to learn more in depth about the processing part so here you go girly!  🙂

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The end result. They’re not large because most are banty cross. My banty cross hens that I keep because they’re such great setters hid more than one batch of eggs last summer. Not what I would have chosen to hatch but they’re still good eating! I think we have about 15 or so to go.

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This is in my living room. I think it needs to be dealt with…since we need the couch to sit on.  And the chair needs screws replaced in the bottom. It leaves us a chair short at the dining table. Maybe tomorrow!  🙂

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Time to get something to eat. But not chicken tonight! I think I’ll join Kalina and toss a tater in the wood stove to bake. And then figure out what to do with chicken tomorrow!

God bless and have a marvelous evening!