Monday, August 27, 2012

A Busy Kitchen

So this past week was extremely busy. We started last Sunday by driving to the middle of no-where (my husband's co-worker lives there) and picking apples ... who would have known it was a day trip that ended up with lunch out since we were starving. Once we arrived at the co-workers house I was amazed with the amount of fruit trees they had (I honestly wished they lived closers so we could visit more often) ... they had plum trees, lots of different types of apple trees, and some peach trees (unfortuanetly they didn't do good this year). We ended up bartering 3 dozen eggs (its only the 2 of them) for as many apples as we wanted. I think we scored on this one!!! We ended up picking about a 100 apples ... they were small compared to your store bought, but for the price and knowing they were semi-local (remember day trip!!!) it made it completely worth the work.

After our great apple adventure on Sunday, my husband and son were in the mood to continue picking. Monday morning they ventured to Jossy Farms and picked 53 lbs of Veteran peaches. They also met up with Jen from and dropped off Mo Didly. Jen was not only nice enough to take Mo she also sent home Zucchinis and Squash from her garden, and brought the 2 roosters back processed (the ones we sent to them about a month ago ... Meanie and his brother!) ... and for those of you that are worried that is not the fate of Mo (Jen wants him to possibly put in with her Easter Egger hens for possible chicks).

Now what was I to do with all this fruit. We ended up canning 31 quarts of peaches this week (that was an experience since it was my first time canning peaches) and 7 quarts and 7 pints of Apple Pie Filling. I still had enough to make an Apple Crisp for cabining over the long weekend. I also made 2 loaves of Zucchinni Bread for camping (and I still have 4 or 5 more to deal with).

As for our ladies ... they are doing great ... I think we now have everyone laying. We did have a surprise when I finally figured out this week that our white egg is not coming from our Easter Eggers ... it is actually coming from a hen that was suppose to be a Cuckoo Marans ... hmmm what another disappointment from the hatchery that we bought them from. So, I now need to do some reseach and find out what type of bird she really is.

Egg Count:

Week of August 12 - August 18: 90 eggs (47 RIRs, 21 BCMs, 11 Cuckoos, and 11 EE)
Week of August 19 - August 25: 103 eggs (42 RIRs, 22 BCMs, 10 Cuckoos, and 29 EE)

Friday, August 17, 2012

What a White Egg?

So, last weekend we went away to Tillamook for County Fair weekend ... and we had a blast!!! It was nice to get away for a couple days and spend time with my family! Hubby watched the "farm" on Friday while we were away and then joined us Saturday morning after his morning chores. Our wonderful neighbors kept an eye out for our ladies for us on Saturday, collected the eggs, locked everyone in their coops at night, and let everyone out Sunday morning since we wouldn't be home until later in the day.

I went down Monday to talk with our neighbors to see how everything went while we were gone and she stated that they ended up with 9 eggs (several brown, a green, and a couple white). When she said white, I thought she was just talking about really light blue/green eggs ... until yesterday when I went out to the coop and low and behold a white egg. I'm thinking that our Easter Eggers (the three blondies) are throwing white eggs. I was a little disappointed since we got the Easter Eggers for their colored eggs, but after having a day to think about it I guess it really doesn't matter ... it just adds another color to our egg basket.

We are now up to brown eggs, chocolate colored eggs, blue (robin egg colored) eggs, a green tinted egg, and now our white eggs. Hopefully this coming week I will remember to take a picture of our full egg basket with the assortment.

Week of August 5 - August 11: 71 eggs (35 RIRs, 17 BCMs, 9 Cuckoos, and 10 EE) *plus eggs the neighbors collected which I didn't count in our count.

Mo Didly Update: We have found a home for Mr. Mo Didly. He will be going to live with Farmer John and family starting on Monday!!! He really is a pretty bird ... we just have too many roosters to keep him!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let Me Introduce you to Mo Didly

So, here's his story. Mo Didly is an Easter Egger from our 2012 batch, whos sex has been questionable for awhile now. I would say his story started out back in the middle of June when my other roosters attached him. Feeling sorry for the poor chicken (and not knowing for sure its sex at that time) we seperated him from the rest of the 2012 chickens. We let him free range during the day and then we keep him locked up in a dog crate at night (to keep him safe from prediators). This has happened everyday since (other than the 2 days that we tried to introduce him back into the flock (once in with his same age chicken and the other in with the older hens - both were epic fails and Mo got his butt kicked).

Well, long story short ... all of our roosters up here (the same age as Mo) have been crowing for at least a month so Todd and I thought that maybe he was a hen (maybe it was just wishful thinking ... look at those tail feathers, sure tell sign of a rooster!). So when we were getting rid of the roosters we didn't want we kept Mo. He has continued his free range days and dog crate nights ... until today.

This morning I went out to the let chickens out of the houses, as normal in the morning. First I let out Mo Didly, then I moved on to the Rhode Island Reds, and then lastly to the new coop (the Black Copper Marans, Cuckoo Marans, and Easter Eggers). After opening everything up and checking food I went back to check the coops for eggs ... on my way to the RIR coop Mo grabbed ahold of my pajama pants and wouldn't let go (ok - I wasn't dressed yet, my neighbors were at work and the hubby was gone and Easton and I were having a lazy morning). After shaking him off, then he came back and pecked at the top of my shoe, I looked down and scolded it (probably a few cuss words) ... usually he is very friendly so I was a little taken back by this mornings activities ... then he cock-a-doodle-do'd at me.

With all that being said ... I think it is time for Mo to find a new home ... so if anyone wants him, please let me know.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Boots, New Eggs, and Heat

So what have we been up to lately on our little “farm” … It seems like we have been extremely busy but I don’t really have much news to report. I hit a great sale at Coastal the other weekend … and found a bargain on boots for my little man … we got $40 camo boots on sale for $22 (and in case anyone was wondering I would have NEVER spent $40 on a pair of boots). Little man was really excited with them, so when we came home he put them on and has wanted to wear them everywhere since (at least it made it easy to get rid of this holey fireman boots).

These are the green eggs from our Easter Eggers.

On to actual “farm” news … we switched the ladies food to 100% USDA certified organic a few weeks ago. I consider that a MAJOR accomplishment for me … hubby has been fighting me on it since we got the ladies last year, but I finally convinced him that the cost of organic feed was well worth it (even if he couldn’t see the monetary value the health value is tremendous!) The week also marks the start of our Easter Eggers beginning to lay … we received our first mint colored egg on Friday, a more olive colored egg yesterday, and another mint colored egg today. I can’t wait until all of them are laying (I believe we have 7) so we can see the variety of eggs. Also, since my last post I started keeping a spread sheet as to how many eggs we receive each day, subtotaled each week, and again added monthly (I also broke it down to which breed of hens accounted for the daily eggs). For example (so far today) we have received 10 eggs (4 RIRs, 2 BCM, 3 Cuckoos, and 1 EE). This number does not take into account any broken or unusable eggs. I think that I will try to post the total weekly egg count if possible so you can see where we are at also.

Our Sunday collection of eggs.

Week of July 22 – 28: 57 eggs (42 RIRs, 9 BCMs, 6 Cuckoos, and 0 EE)
Week of July 29 – August 4: 71 eggs (43 RIRs, 17 BCMs, 9 Cuckoos, and 2 EE)

The only other thing that I can report from our little “farm” this week is our spike in temperatures. Yesterday it was about 100 degrees here … way too hot for me and way too hot for the ladies. We made sure to keep their water cool and we brought them home a wonderful treat of watermelon. They absolutely love watermelon (I wish I would have taken photos to share with you – hopefully I will remember next time). Today is not quite as bad it was in the low 90s last time I checked and the ladies seem to be coping with it a little better. I hope everyone had a good weekend and has a productive week next week.