Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Old Rooster

Yesterday I pulled an old rooster from the bottom of the freezer and couldn't quite decide how I should prepare it.  So I quartered it, put the wings, back and legs into the pressure cooker.  I deboned the breasts and thighs, put them through the meat grinder with a handful of salt and spices, and formed them into patties.  Then I dredged them in beaten egg and bread crumbs, and lightly fried them.  Last, I put them in a baking dish, covered them with marinara and mozzarella and baked them for 20 minutes. Chicken Parmesan!  This really was a good way to use an old rooster.  Have a lovely day.  ~A

Monday, March 31, 2014

Chicks and Buns

The spring babies are all vibrant and healthy, and growing like weeds.  A couple of the bunnies are now venturing away from the nest and out into the world, and sharing carrots with the mothers.  The baby chicks are showing some odd color variations the previous hatches never had.  Anyone know why this would be?  Same roosters and hens, so what gives?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The first batch of chicks have started hatching out yesterday and today.  With a few winter power outages and some issues controlling the temperature in the incubator, I half doubted any would hatch.  This morning it looked like about 50% were out of their shells so far.  After tonight I think I can assume what's hatched is final.  Little dog BiBi cannot be torn away from them, as it is always with a new hatch.  She's so motherly.

A little blonde Turken

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A break in the weather

No changes in any of the animals.  No babies.  No sickness. Nothing but waiting.  Waiting for warmer weather and waiting for babies, hopefully. 

This week I've started setting eggs aside to put into the incubator this coming weekend.  I'm hoping to get 40 of them in there.  But that depends on how busy the ladies are this week, and how many eggs are fit to put in there.  I'm only going to incubate the darkest of the dark eggs, with the hope of improving the Marans line in the future.  We'll just have to wait and see what hatches?

It's been a week, but there hasn't been much to talk about or anything exciting happening.  The weather gave us a break over the weekend and reached a high of 40 degrees, so I took the opportunity to clean up the barn a bit and walk over the property to see that all was well.  Chiba spent a lot of time outside inspecting the yard and looking for food. 


Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello February, Good-bye Ethel...

A lovely, quiet weekend on the farm made for a great beginning to February. Saturday was a day for butchering two of the Turken (aka "Naked Neck") hens that had approached the ripe old age of two years.  But really I was in a hurry to butcher them, because they are constantly eating everyone else's eggs, and because they are just plain mean to the other chickens.  Roosters included.

So the deed was done, and on Sunday I made a nice dinner of roasted chicken with a side of au gratin potato. The butchering chore was preceded that morning by a breakfast of French toast sprinkled with summer blackberries pulled from the freezer.  I even tossed a chunk of butter on top.

Mmmmm.... French Toast

The potatoes were easy; one potato-sliced thin, grated parmesan and heavy cream...

The dogs needed to get out and run, so I took a nice walk late afternoon to check fence lines and have a look around. The creek back in the woods was frozen, but I could still hear the little waterfall underneath the ice and snow. The dogs very much enjoyed the walk and slept well in the warm kitchen the rest of the day. Although, they seem to be confused as to which bed is in tended for which dog.

Louie on the hunt...

Checking the Fence

There's a waterfall under there somewhere...

Later in the evening when it was time to bring the horses in for the night and feed everyone else, I ended up needing Louie's assistance to help catch the turkey hen that escaped her pen.  She's done this three times now, so last night I clipped her wings. Hopefully this will put an end to that.  Her name is now "Lady Houdini..."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What (almost) a year can do...

A little flashback to some of the farm babies, showing how they've grown over the past year (or less).

June 2013 (We're focusing on the little yellow guy here)

Remember that little yellow guy?  Here he is in December of 2013

And how about this cute little man back in March of 2013...
 Here he is now in December of 2013.  (With a suspicious turkey watching from behind....)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Life on the farm feels madly stuck in a sort of "limbo" stage at the moment.  Everything is frozen. And still. And nearly lifeless.  I rode one of the horses all over the property last weekend to inspect everything and see what was new.  Not much.

In the garden, the garlic had poked their little heads through the soil at some point during this winter and the little green tips were frozen solid.  But I'm not concerned, the same thing happened last year and everything was fine come July. The only thing that appeared to show tiny signs of life were the blackberry bushes. They seem to be growing a little, like the buds on the trees.  But it could be my imagination.  Or just my lust to see something green and growing!

The goat is still waddling around looking like a small pregnant cow. The woodpile continues to shrink.  I'm worried about the goat because if she is actually pregnant and does go into labor please, please, please, don't let it be in the next ten days when the temperatures are in the low "teens" and dipping below zero during the nights.  Otherwise, I will have to bring her and any babies into the house.  No question there!

January 13, 2014

The sun sets today at 5:29 p.m. here in Northeast Ohio.  How I long for the month of May when things really start to green up and the sun sets at a more respectable time!

On another dismal note, I've discovered lately that one of my racehorses has come to despise chickens. He's bashed a few around now, but this latest outburst was downright savage! Not only did he crush this hen, but then proceeded to tear into her, toss her around a bit, and then finish her off by stomping her to death. Maybe the horse is suffering from cabin fever as well...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Poultry Plans

Okay so I was dreaming about hot chicks the other day.  For those of you with dirty minds, I was thinking about the kind with feathers - as in poultry. I do hope I didn't crush anyone's fantasies...

Anyhoo, I decided its time to start the flock planning for the new year.  Last weekend I did a head count and came in at 29 hens, 4 roosters, 1 Blue Slate Tom Turkey, 1 Bourbon Red Tom Turkey, and 1 Bourbon Red Turkey Hen.  And last, not lonely female Pekin Duck.  Hey, she lays an egg nearly every day, so she gets to stay. Most of the others will be headed toward the freezer over the next several months.  Hence, the "plan" to add to the flock.

It looks something like this...

Two scheduled hatch dates - March 1st and April 5th.  All eggs are going into the incubator because my hens suck at doing the job themselves (I won't go into details unless someone asks). I currently own and use the Farm Innovators Model 4200 Pro Series Incubator and have excellent results with it.  It's great for hatching forty or less chicks. So that is the way I do it.  Oh, and I schedule the hatch dates on the weekends because I like to be home to watch. I can't help myself.  I'm like a kid at Christmas! Now for the goal...

Hatch #1 (March)                 Hatch #2 (April)
25-30 chicks                         25-30 chicks
1-10 turkeys                         1-10 turkeys

Why so many??? Some for the fox, some for the hawk, a few for the weasel.... and the rest for me!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Better weather on the horizon

It's still well below freezing this morning.  When I left for work the temperature had only reached 10 degrees.  But we're supposedly heading for a high of 20, and on Saturday they are predicting a high of 46 degrees, so it will feel like spring.  Sort of... The animals will be happy to get out and about.

Still no signs of the goat giving birth.  Though I'm glad that no babies were born during this week's freezing weather.

In going along with my "eat like a European" plan, last night's dinner was left-over roasted rooster tossed onto a salad with balsamic dressing and a few homemade croutons.  It was enough.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cornish Crash

A friend knew a lady who had ten Cornish Cross chickens she was looking to give away.  The birds were raised to compete in the county fair, and were no longer needed by the person who raised them.  My friend cannot bear to kill a chicken.  And of course I could not turn down free young chicken!  In exchange for thinking of us, I am also going to provide said friend with a couple of these chickens dressed out nicely. 

I don't raise this breed on my farm.  I prefer heritage breeds.  I raise Black Australorps, a couple of Turkens, and a French Black Copper Marans rooster has been the "Top Roo" to the hens, which has resulted in Marans /Australorp cross offspring as well.  I also have heritage turkeys. 

The Cornish Cross is the majority of what is for sale in the supermarkets in America.  The genetics of the breed have been altered by cross breeding into what becomes a non-sustainable line, meaning the birds will not reproduce by themselves into the same "thing" they are when you get them. 

These birds are not normal.  They mature at about 37 days, whereas a normal chicken matures at around 126 or more.  They have short, stubby and weak legs, weaker immune systems, heart problems, and ZERO flavor.  They are voracious pigs at feeding time, filling their gullet in seconds to the point they can barely move.  Because of their bad legs and aching joints, they lay around a lot, only adding to the problem. And because they lay around a lot, they're always dirty and they stink. 

The heritage breeds, on the other hand, move like stealth torpedos through the dewy pastures of the morning, catching bugs and eating a variety of vegetation.  They're clean and they are healthy.  And the flavor of these birds cannot be touched.

Enjoy your Cornish Cross if you prefer big breasts, lack of dark meat and most definitely lack of flavor.  I prefer to stick with my heritage breeds.  Though I won't turn down a free chicken dinner!  After all, are people starving in China - didn't your mother tell you so?  
Does this Chicken above look happy? 

Now does it look happy?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Birthday Buddies

Yesterday was my Birthday.  I turned 41!

I had to spend my big day without any human company for the evening becuase, well,  humans have to work and travel and do all that other human stuff.  So I seized the moment!  The day was perfect when I got home from work around 6:30 pm.  The sun was shining and it was 76 degrees outside.  I poured myself a little (okay, HUGE!) glass of cold Pinot Grigio, grabbed my camera, and headed outside to spend some quality time with the "gang".  They were loving the weather as much as I was.  And I'm sure I heard them whisper "Happy Birthday" to me in their own little ways...

This is "Nigel." He's a five year old Thoroughbred.  I hope he can run fast. Really fast.

 Next we have "Maggot," a 14year old Thoroughbred, and retired racehorse. (a.k.a. "Widow Maker")

And here's "Dottie."  She's a five year old Snowflake Appaloosa mare. She likes to buck.

"Louie" is a 3 year old Pitbull mix who I rescued from the city streets. He now has the responsibility of being the livestock gaurdian dog.  And stinking beyond belief. I wouldn't mess with him, woud you?

"BiBi" is my little girl.  She's a Toy Fox Terror.  I mean, "terrier."  She's three years old also.

Next in line is "Ezra," a ten week old Boer-Nubian cross.  I just got him a few weeks ago.  He has great lawn-mowing skills...

Here is one of the new chicks that hatched on March 3rd.  I think it's a hen, but I'm not really sure yet.  I'm pretty sure the Naked neck rooster was the daddy though!

"Mr. Fugly" is the Naked Neck Rooster.  He's odd. And he does innapropriate things to the two ducks. That's all I can say.

Fugly out...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Weekend

The week started off a little weird. Sometimes I think getting up before the sun has its drawbacks. When I came back into the house on Saturday morning from doing barn chores, and the sun was finally up and shining, I removed my boots and discovered my mistake.  Don't judge.  Its really dark that early in the morning.

Things improved from there, thankfully.  I headed off to the feed mill and ordered some hay and grain, which was to be delivered on Tuesday. Later on that afternoon the weather was good enough to hop on two of the horses for a little training and exercise. 

Both horses behaved well, and of course goat and dog joined in the fun.

On Sunday, my brother, sister-in-law, niece and Dad came over for Easter.  I kept it simple.  We had ham and potatoes au-gratin.  For dessert we had the Coconut / Egg Pie I mentioned in a previous post.  Dad and Brother both brought their dogs, so there were a total of four happy chaotic dogs (including mine) in the house. 

Out in the barn, my little niece discovered the month old chicks, and had a good time inspecting all of them.  Later, we went for a walk and my brother demonstrated how his Lab was learning to flush out pheasant. 

Oh, and I discovered we have bats in the barn loft! Bats are good to have around the farm. They control insects.  I highly reccomend putting up a bat house or two if you'd like to acctract some where you live.  I don't reccomend handling them, however.  They're wild animals and they bite.  I'm stupid, don't be stupid.

That was pretty much it for Easter weekend.  Nice and relaxing, the way it should be. I hope yours was too.

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