Tag Archive for learning

Parting chickens

One of the many things that about 99.99% of my generation has no idea how to do is joint chicken. Granted, we’re also the same generation that has no idea that you can actually grow your own food…in your own yard…in dirt. So I suppose it should be no surprise that we don’t know how to joint chicken. 

I took a stab at it today. I owe a wonderful first time experience to Gordon Ramsey’s YouTube how-to. While I had a hard time party gout the breasts, eventually giving up and just deboning the meat, I was planning on making nuggets anyway. Here’s hoping next time goes even smoother. 

Finding the New Normal….again.

LittleMister_LittleMiss_Mama_Sep2015

Anyone who comes to this site on a regular basis will notice how irregular the posting been, not to mention the most recent lull in activity. We welcomed our second farm hand, Little Miss, into our family on August 18th. Since then, life has been a bit chaotic. Hubster was able to take four weeks off from work (he goes back this Monday) and we were graced with Gi-Gi, my mother-in-law, being able to help us out during the first week of Little Miss’ life.

Cloth diapers have added another load of daily laundry, breastfeeding limits my multitasking abilities, and the crunch of fall is tiptoeing around the corner meaning the wood needs splitting, food needs storing, and the chicken coop needs winter prepping. The loss of our entire tomato crop – 40 plants of different heirloom varieties – due to blight and an entire garden killed off by groundhogs and squash bugs has caused for additional stress. Thankfully we’ve remedied some of that through the use of the local CSA and the 9 birds we were able to raise for the freezer. (The total of birds had been 10 before the fox snagged one the day before slaughter.)

Aside from what I’ve already mentioned, I’ve begun Little Mister’s preschool curriculum. Due to his birth date, he wasn’t accepted for preschool this year which has created the blessing of being able to start homeschooling a little earlier than planned. If things go well this year, we may continue on with it.

LittleMister_Preschool_Sep2015

Settling in to a New Normal is stressful on everyone – kiddos, criddos, and the parents. We’re managing and are slowly finding new ways of doing things, but are relying on our old habits and structure to provide some stability. I’ll admit, though, it’s taking some practice to get back into typing single handed while breastfeeding.

New Ladies

New Girls

So I left my house yesterday thinking that I would be picking up two month old Black Austrolops. I traveled over an hour out to another part of the state while battling cold, was surprised by chance to run into an old friend, but overall the entire trip was a bit different than what I expected.

The lady selling me the pullets as part of her children’s 4H project was very nice and seemed to know a lot, but she also seem to have a lot of misinformation at her disposal. From feather sexing to the effects of food on been to growth sizes to different types of breeds, she seemed a little too trusting of information on the Internet. (This brings to mind some different subjects that I’ll be tackling either here on this blog or in future writing projects.)

I’m a little concerned that she might be going out of her way to mislead others, but I hope that’s not the case. What she was claiming to be 2 to 3 month old Black Austrolops were barely five weeks old. They still had a lot of down, very few second growth feathers, and would in no way be ready to be outside in a week or two. She had only a few older birds, and none that she had intended to selling. After talking and explaining how long we’ve been raising chickens, she seemed to be changing her mind on letting a couple of the actual two month old birds go. (Come to find out, this was only their first year doing chicks and second year doing chickens over all. There was a lot that she seemed hesitant on, but in talking to her I think she’ll be all set as long as she gets her hands on some better information.)

While I didn’t get that specific breed, I did bring two chickens home to become Jovi’s ladies. Supposedly they are Leghorn/Aracuana mixes. They’re very beautiful. They’re predominately white with some very light speckling. Even though she was “200% sure” they’re both pullets, I have a sinking suspicion one of them might be a rooster. It’s hard to tell with mixed breeds, though. If one does end up showing to be a rooster, well, we’ll deal with it at that point. We’ll keep them as docile as possible and if someone’s looking for a beautiful, nice rooster will try to home him. If not then he might just meet the fate of other roosters and help nourish our family.

Here’s hoping that they’re both beautiful, docile hens. If they stay as calm as they are now, it shouldn’t be a problem. More specifically, here’s hoping that these two ladies and Jovi get along splendidly as it will be so much easier to blend them into the flock together. And I upset that the trip didn’t turn out as planned.

Am I upset that I didn’t get the specific chickens that I wanted? Not necessarily. Things happen for reason and as were looking to build the best flock of tame yet intelligent chickens for our family, this might be a blessing.

Bread Failure

For the first time in a long time, I’ve failed at making bread. Well, I guess I should wait and say that after it comes out of the oven to heat up and coating the loaf with oil and throwing it in, like I normally do, I spaced it and oiled it well before the oven was ready. The result? My bread went flat. Bah. Worse case scenario I can slice it thin and toast it for crackers I guess, not to mention make another batch of bread tonight.