Monday, September 27, 2021

Good and Bad and Hope at the Coop

 What's new at the chicken coop, you ask.  Well let me fill you in.

Last week we took a mini vaca to a spot about four hours north of our home in Michigan, Charlevoix.  While gone, the jim-dandy housesitter, Jess, texted to say a huge gob of insulation had fallen from the ceiling of one side of the chicken coop.  What the heck??  

Jess did a thorough job of getting that mess away from the hens, thank goodness. When we returned, that was one of the first tasks Rick jumped on.  No idea how/why it happened.

Handyman Rick also installed a new little chicken door that can be used when the girls are out free ranging.  If they need to get back in the coop.  To lay an egg.  Sometimes those needs are urgent.  Ask the girls.

   And, if one of the girls is in a nesting box when the rest of the flock go out for free range time, they're now not stuck in the coop for the duration.  They can hop out the door and join the gang.

As I was cleaning out a long-forgotten box in the house, I came upon prayer flags.  Perfect for all of us at this point in time, including my well loved hens.

 If you're like me, you've encountered a lot of ill will/hostility/finger pointing in the last few months. I think we can all agree negativity has permeated the air.   It's been somewhat brutal.

 Prayer flags can help clear that air and replace it with the positivity we all need.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Peggy Sue and her Eggshells

 Hold onto your hats, there's a sexy topic headed your way.

Eggshells.  Oh yea.

Hopefully you all know that because today's chickens have been bred to lay "too many" eggs, this abnormal egg production has taken its toll.  One of the effects is to deplete calcium levels in hens' systems.  Most commercial feeds add oyster shell, but I like to complement that with the girls' own eggshells.

For the longest time we simply kept the shells in a designated bowl on the counter, let them air dry and then I'd smash them up.  But this summer that didn't work well at all; I'm only guessing it was the unusually extended humid weather we had.  I've now taken to baking them in the toaster oven.

15 minutes at 250F

Why the toaster oven -- use less energy is my motto.

I'm sure your next question is do the chickens actually eat the shell pieces.  Probably not all, but some of the girls actually wait for me to put the shells in.

Peggy Sue loves her eggshells.  There are three feed containers, one a small rubber bowl.  Usually in the morning I pick that bowl up, place it on the shelf and put feed followed by shells in the bowl.  Pegs can hardly contain herself waiting for the bowl to come back down to the ground and hops up onto the shelf to have the shells all to herself.  Sadly I tell her she has to share and the bowl goes back down.

*  *  *  *  *  *  Say Yes!  *  *  *  *  *  *   

Blueberry Lemon Bread

This vegan version was pretty darn deelish.  Clearly I didn't frost it, who needs more sugar, right?
One word of advice -- follow the directions for the amount of blueberries to use.  After putting the 1 cup in I said, oh that's not enough and added more.  Stirred.  Added a few more.  Too too many.  In spots the blueberries were barely held together by batter.

Follow the recipe...