Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hard Decisions

Not everything around the farm is fun, or fair.

Uggo here came in with the our pretty birds, including his dad variously known as McNasty, Big Meany, SHUT UP!!! (he's a great rooster). As you can see he's our little cross-billed chick, a pretty serious genetic deformity.

Most of these birds aren't able to eat very well and waste away, surprisingly Uggo has always eaten just fine; maybe a little messier then most.

The problem lies in the fact that this little cockrel has gotten to an age where he's noticed all the lovely hens running around, and I can't have him passing on that bill to his chicks (especially because we don't know what side the deformity came from).

The other problem is that he's sweet and pretty cute, and I'm a little soft on him. I've been trying to keep him in the barn but he's not understanding my threats and keeps wandering back to the coop during the day and breeding the hens.

If he were larger and we could eat him I wouldn't feel bad about it, but he's tiny.

It'll probably take me a few more days to screw up the nerves to get rid of him. The ugly ones always get to you!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Easter Egger Nests

Originally the Xs I put on the eggs were quite small, then I realized it was pretty difficult to actually see the Xs, so I re-drew them all today a lot bigger. I had to remove another 4 eggs from the nest today, it's a very popular spot!

EE #2's Nest is 3 days younger, but we should have all the chicks hatch around the same time. She's got 10 eggs, the warm dark brown ones are maran, the lighter ones are an assortment and the tiniest are Easter Eggers & the most white should be from the polish.

EE #3s nest should be hatching around the 24th of March, I already know a few of them are fertile and growing well. She's got 11 eggs, again lots of marans (which I brought over from the smaller breeding group's nest so their purebred), then the blue is another Easter Egger, and other assorted dark brown eggs.

I've selected for my favourite eggs which are the dark brown ones that have a smooth coating on them. So far these have had the best taste, they are easier to clean, and have had the fewest blemishes. So especially the marans which have been inbred back on their own line, they should produce hens that lay eggs that are most like they ones they lay themselves.

Good luck mommas!
EE#3 giving me the chicken-death-stare
for messing with her

EE #2 settling back on her eggs

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring, not the prettiest...

In my over-zealousness to get the barn aired out & de-frosted, I left one too many doors open and the cows got into the front where the hay is stored. No damage at all but they did fill their bellies! I was attempting to get a photo of them fleeing back to the paddock for you guys (they knew when they saw me they were in trouble!) but as you can see the goats had other ideas about whom I should be paying attention too... 

 Early Spring is definitely not the prettiest time of year around here! 
 We've had a very warm week and a few days of double-digit temperatures all the snow is melting (but not yet the ice!).

This is also a really bad sign for our young shoots of grass that are been trampled down by the horses big hooves, and nibbled up!

One more point for getting the fencing done a.s.a.p. this summer.

The horses really aren't too upset about the weather though!

Of course my hose is STILL frozen deep into the ground!! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let the Renovations Begin! Again...

After a quick change in the line-up (SO fun when you contractors run off... best part is he works in the same area as hubs, not someone you want to tick off!); the renovations take 2.

My den, my blog writing space, is gone... for now! Work is going to go extra slow as hubs got to do the work between actual work, but I know it'll get done right. For now he's busy re-running all the wiring. Old houses are great for lots of things, nob & tube is not one of them (although most of the wiring in the house has been updated I didn't have any grounds on the plugs in this room, important for computer gear).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Signs of Spring

Other then the ducks laying and the turkeys showing off, one of the Easter Eggers has set a new nest. EE#3 is quickly becoming my favourite for her mothering skills and enthusiasm! I had to remove her little chick (the one she adopted) from the big group to the smaller group, to give her peace and quiet because even at 4 months the little chick just wants to be with her hen.

She's sitting on 11 eggs, and finally I got smart! I put a little X on all the eggs that are supposed to be in there (the other ladies still like to sneak in and lay one of their own!); and I put two XXs on the eggs that I've candled fertile.

Spring is going to be exciting around here!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Parm Chicken

One of the benefits of having nice big chickens is that from one of our largest (at over 3kgs) fed 6 people (including the kids) with leftovers for at least 2 different meals.

The first of which was Parmigiana Chicken.

Incredibly easy, I divided the chicken first, saving the legs, thighs & wings for our next meal. Then pounded the breasts, and did a simple flour, egg, bread crumb cover. Then brown on both sides quick. Refrigerate for 20 minutes (or more!)  then a little sauce and some cheese and in at 350F oven for about 20 minutes.

With home-made pasta it was a delicious meal!

When I was done breading the breasts I used the same set up, just adding some spices to the bread crumbs, and we'll be having fried chicken. Also really simple and very yummy with creamy mashed potatoes and I really like making a cream gravy for the chicken too.