Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013

October Soaps

Jasmine & Lavender

Cafe Mocha

Lavender with lavender buds

Coffee Crunch

Orange & Sea Salt

French Vanilla

Jasmine & Chamomile

Butterscotch

Cedarwood & Ylang Ylang with meadowsweet for exfoliation

 

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October 24, 2013

A Plethora of Apples

It’s apple processing time!

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Oh, what’s that? You’d like the recipe? This may be the recipe for you if you don’t follow recipes =).

First get your minions…I mean, children all washed up and ready to peel peel peel!

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Next, we took a lot apples and used our handy dandy corer/peeler/slicer to get them ready for the pot. I put many many pounds into my biiiiiig soup pot with a little citric acid (how much I am not sure of). Added some spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger. You could use cardamom (YUM!) or nutmeg (NOT A FAN!). And some water & sugar (you could use honey). I used a combination of Cortlands, Johnathan’s, and McIntosh apples -3 of my favs! They can be tart but they are EXCELLENT apples for everything! I let all that simmer for a while until I got the consistency I wanted. Some of it I didn’t simmer too too long and I got apple pie filling. I let some more go and got chunky apple sauce and the rest is smooth apple sauce. I put it all into clean canning jars and processed it all in my pressure canner! Didn’t have to dirty the food mill!

I would imagine you could do this in a crock pot too! Oh the smell coming off that all day, if that doesn’t remind you of fall and the holidays, I don’t know what will!

You could add butter to the mix while it simmers, I’ve seen recipes use it. You could also use apple juice as your thinning agent. I just used water. These apples are super aromatic and apple-y.

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October 23, 2013

Spraddle leg

We picked up a few chicks from the farm store around the first of September. They were all fine for the first couple of weeks and then 1 was looking off. I couldn’t quite determine exactly what was wrong so I put her in a brooder of her own with another chick for company and she seemed to get better. She ate and drank just fine but getting around was a bit of an issue. At first I thought she might have spraddle-leg but she didn’t fit the exact description. That went on for a couple of weeks until her legs were completely out from under her. It was time to get her fixed up.

I read up on a couple of sites on how to make a brace.

http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/02/spraddle-leg-in-baby-chicks-what-is-it.html

http://www.grit.com/animals/spraddle-leg.aspx#axzz2iZy1hEdl

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Irony, the chicken with leg irons.

I was without any vet wrap but small band-aids worked great! It’s not the purdiest or straightest job ever, but it worked! Five days later I took them off, put her in outside in roving coop with the rest of chicks after 3 additional days brace free in the brooder and she’s as good as new! Not only are her legs where they need to be, the sunshine has really helped her as well! She’s looking so much healthier. I can only guess that a vitamin D deficiency may have been to blame for her spraddled leg condition but whatever the cause, she’s doing great!

spraddle leg barred rock

Spraddle leg free!

October 14, 2013

Broody Hen

Several weeks ago – more specifically 3 weeks- my most favorite hen went missing. With the fox nabbings we’ve experienced, I thought for sure she was a gonner. One morning she showed up to eat but I didn’t see her again for the rest of the day. I have 3 others of the same breed and that’s how – so far- I have been able to keep track of everyone. I know I have a certain number of each kind. The next day I thought I was imagining things when I saw her the day before as she was not there to eat breakfast and gave her up for dead and figured I was crazy. Then, she reappeared to eat, then disappeared and I could never tell where she was coming from or going to. At that point I assumed she had “gone broody” (had made a nest for herself and was setting eggs).¬† The kids and I looked all over…in the barn in the hay stacks, in the chicken coop, in the outbuildings and we could not find her anywhere!

I figured one day she’d either show up with chicks or show up with nothing because of a bad hatch and she could get back to life as normal with the rest of the flock.

Last week I was picking up some tools that were left out when we were installing new water and electrical lines near the new milk barn site and there she was…hidden very carefully in a pile of old tractor tire walls (our neighbor cuts off the walls of the tractor tires and uses just the cylinder for planing in (raised beds), we took the tire walls for a project.)

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How clever she is! This morning I took her a little food and what did I hear but peep peep peep! How wonderful, she hatched chicks! Three so far and they look to be Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. She had a lot of eggs underneath her. I saw her up and about one afternoon late last week and I checked on the nest to get an estimate and she had quite a few. If I had to guess, I would say she was probably the only one contributing to this nest as I wasn’t lacking for eggs in the nesting boxes from the other girls but who knows how many of that clutch will hatch as eggs are generally only good for about 10 days in ideal conditions.¬† We had some very cold nights there a couple of weeks back when I believe she was still overnighting in the coop so the eggs were left out but we’ll see.

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I am very excited that we have a broody hen now.

 

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October 11, 2013

Zoodles

We tried “zoodles” for our first time last week and I must say, it’s something we’ll probably do again! Some things -like tortilla chips- are just “carriers” for really good dips. They really are SO simple!

I took the julienne blade and put it into my OXO brand mandoline and went to town slicing 2 unskinned¬† medium (9′) green zucchini into long spaghetti like noodles and viola, ZOODLES! There are other contraptions that will make similar noodles in pretty spirals, but my mandoline made quick and easy work of it.

I rarely use the microwave but I did nuke these zoodles in a ceramic bowl with a lid on top for about 3 minutes and they are ready to serve! Pair with your favorite marinara sauce…seriously quick, seriously healthy and seriously good!

October 10, 2013

Feather sexing chicks

Did you know some breeds of chickens can be feather sexed with good accuracy?

They say feather sexing can be done between 1-3 days old. I prefer feather sexing between 3-5 days old (day 4-5, for me, being ideal on the tinier chicks from small pullet eggs and day 2-3 for regular size chicks). I have only feather sexed layers of some breeds but have done so with pretty good accuracy.

I’ve compiled a few websites on feather sexing:

http://animalsciences.missouri.edu/reprod/ReproTech/Feathersex/

http://scratchcradle.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/chick-sexing-techniques/

http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/poultry/care-and-husbandry/chicken-sexing

http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/poultry/care-and-husbandry/chicken-sexing

And once you’ve read through those, try your hand! http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Feather_sexing_practice.html