Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Egg Mysteries

 I'm always dazzled by the different colors and shapes of the chickens' eggs.

They're just so pretty.

I know from some of the chicken groups I'm in that people choose their hens based on the color of their eggs.  But as you know, the last eight of our girls were rescues, so egg color was up for grabs.

The other day I found this teeny specimen.

And then there was this one.
No shell, just the membrane.

I have not yet researched, how/why this happens.  I do feed the girls their egg shells back to them for the calcium.

All our shells are kept in a bowl on the counter to dry out.  After a few days I smash them with the potato smasher and they're kept in a jar in the coop.  It used to be only a couple of the chickens had any real interest in them, but now I find many of the girls dive in with gusto.  Yes, their feed has calcium, but a resource convinced me to add in the shells.  And no, this has never prompted them to attempt to eat their eggs in the nesting boxes. 

And speaking of behinds (wait, what?), Miss Goldie had to have her dirty derriere clipped of soiled feathers.  She's not as clean as I'd like so I'm scheduling a spa treatment for her in the next few days.  Little does she know the treat that's in store for her.

  On a completely different subject, I'm pretty excited that my orchid is re-blooming.  Yup, she's showing off with those beauties.

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Say Yes

This week's vegan highlight is a recipe for Sheet Pan Chow Mein  It was just on the menu for last evening's dinner and was a keeper.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Mama Bird Chose Badly

 Mama bird picked a pretty poor location for her nest.

Take note of the tack box just inside the hay aisle sitting on the shelf.

This tack box, with lots of jumbled donkey stuff in it.

Well back in the right corner, mama bird built a nest.  I had noticed a bird flying out of the hay aisle on several occasions, but didn't pay much attention.  We have sparrows flitting around the chicken coop and the donkey barn a lot.  And then I put two and two together.

This is a really bad close up of the nest.

Just below the white fluff in the center you can see four or five eggs.  I'm trying so hard not to disturb her, and for some reason, this is hard.  I keep wanting to peek up there and see what's going on.  And when I do she gets skittish and flies off.  And then I tell myself, don't do that.  So I wait a few days and then peek again.   

Rick guessed she might abandon the nest because there was too much activity.  So far so good.

But mama, it's a really bad spot!

Donkeys are itching for that pasture to be opened.  They bellow at me constantly that they're starving.  I hadn't used the hay net in a long time, just because it's a pain in the neck.  But because they seem to gobble their hay/straw quickly and then bang their forks on the table saying they need more food, I decided the net was the thing.  It slows down their gobbling and makes meals stretch out longer. 

Instead of hanging it off the outside manger shelter, I put it in the manger (thanks to suggestion from farrier Koren).  I think it allows everyone access.

 They tend to roll their eyes when they see the net come out, but I ignore that.

Now, if you're really good, you'll recognize who's who below.

The Noses Know


Monday, April 12, 2021

Slop Soup

 April is exactly the right time to clean out a straw filled chicken porch.  So much straw from the winter.

Exactly one and a half wheelbarrow loads.

Somehow I always get helpers during the clean up tasks.  Wanted or not.

Spice lent a hand, or head, just to ensure proper procedure.  Apparently.

And yesterday I discovered, after all this time, that Gabariella is a prima donna.  Sunday is always hot slop day, although in these temps it's more like warm slop.  Rain the night before had filled feed bowls with a bit of water. I was lazy and didn't dump the water, instead slopping the slop into the bowls.   So we had something on the order of slop soup.  Well, Miss Gabby said that was just a bit too sloppy for her and moved on to the second course of hay at the manger.  Sugar and Spice did not share her hoity toity sensibilities and worked hard at cleaning out the bowls.

     Meanwhile, the clucks swooned with delight at their oatmeal treat.

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Say Yes

Today's topic:  Smoothies :)

What is your favorite ingredient list?

I always add baby spinach just to make sure all the vitamins and minerals of leafy greens are hitting my system.  Most recently I tried a blend of frozen organic cherries, spinach, banana, and a pinch of spirulina.  Pretty darn good.  In the peak of summer, watermelon and blueberries are my favorites  Deeelightful.

Share yours, please, so I can get some new ideas. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Windmills, Ladders and Hotdogs

 One of the manmade signs of spring at our house -- the windmill.  It goes up in spring and gets put to bed for the winter.  We've ended up having many of them over several years; the fabric deteriorates over time.  Rick has patched them, but there comes a point I say no, it's time.  Because the price has gone way up, last year I had to settle for a smaller version, but it still makes me smile every time I come down the driveway.

  Yes, at the end you were witness to three crazy donkeys claiming starvation.  Here they go into their posturing antics further.

Drama queens for sure

I asked Sugar for a nice close-up and she said, sure.  One of the few photos of that pretty girl without those wild eyes.

And then there's Helen, who almost daily insists she needs to make a nest in the straw bales.  Each time I have to pluck her out and put her in a coop nest.  I know she's not happy with me.

I can hear you asking, "Janet, why can't you leave her there".  Because of the dogs.  She tends to do this in the mornings and when morning chores are completed and I return to the house, two stinky dogs are allowed out.  I don't trust the dogs and Helen in mixed company.

By the way, I put an old wooden ladder in the run yesterday to try to provide some entertainment for the clucks.  They all scattered into the coop, absolutely sure that monster was going to eat them.  Today they weren't as skiddish so I put some seed on the bottom two rungs.  No one hopped up to snack off the upper rung.  I'm debating whether to put a hen on it and see what happens.

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Say Yes

I've tried all manner of vegetarian and vegan hots dogs and sausages.  In my humble opinion, these are most like a conventional hotdog.  No spices or flavor enhancements.  I'm not saying spicy, flavored versions aren't good (I particularly enjoy Field Roast), but if you're trying to emulate the meat version, I'd suggest these.