Friday, February 28, 2014

Babies first DayYep

Bet you can't guess what came in this!
After our Predator attack the other night and the loss of two of my Hen's, I got up this morning determined  to get some new Babies! I wanted to at least get a dozen and I wanted to build a new brooder for them. So with what salvaged wood I had, I put together a 4' X 4' brooder and put it  in the storage room up stairs. It's also 4' high and I left a panel out of one side and placed a PVC panel in it's place. I use a couple spring clamps to hold it in place. That makes it easy to remove it to replace water and food for them.

When that was done, I put the heat lamp in place and I headed to the "Tractor Store". Besides the new Chicks, I got the starter feed for them and 2 bundles of wood shavings for bedding.

And here they are!
 12 Red Pullets. They put 6 per box and so I got to bring home two boxes! Not sure what breed they really are and will have to wait until they get older to tell. My hope is that they are brown egg layers.

I feel like a new "Poppa" with 12 new Babies!


See the one with it's head over the others neck? It seems to be the most aggressive,  Her favorite game is to sneak up behind the others and grab a leg and pull it out from under them. I can just see her laugh each time she does it!

Yep, That's her right there!

After a long trip home, all they wanted to do was sleep. But that didn't take to long and they all found the food when they woke up! Some of them stuck their heads in so far that their butts were in the air. LOL
I love Babies, But I hope they grow up fast and start laying! Maybe July or August?
I got 6 Eggs from my other 8 layers today and they seem to have adjusted to being cooped up in the new Hen House (No pun intended!).

Now I should have something to post about besides the weather and the cold!

I also got the seeds I ordered from "Burpee" today!

Two packs of "Tomato, Steak House" Hybrid. They are suppose to get up to 70" tall and produce fruit up to 3 pounds each. 50 seeds total and I need to get them started soon!
Also got "BEET" Dark Red, Medium Top.350 seeds. I love Beets and the greens are good too! I just got some at the store the other day and for 3 Beets it was $2.49! YIKES!
And one pack of "SWEET PEPPER", "Chocolate Belle", Hybrid. 30 seeds. I grew them years ago and use them a lot in cooking and in salads. They make the best "Stuffed Peppers". I need to get them started too!

Just went to check on the kids and saw that the lamp was to low and the temperature was at 105! So raised the lamp up some and will check it again later. But the size of the brooder lets them move away from the heat if they need to

OK, I guess that's it for now!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Down to 8

I had 10 just a week ago! Then there were 9! And now 8!
A Predator has found the Hen House and killed two of my girls. And the dam thing only takes the head and neck, Leaving the body behind to show the other Chickens what is in store for them if they were to remain in the old Hen House!
Last week I took Izzy and Holly to the Vet to be spaded and was told by the Vet to keep both dry as the stitches would dissolve when wet. So with all the snow and rain we have had, the only place I can take them outside is the driveway. No standing water there.
So I had Holly out and was near the end of the driveway and she made a lunge to the right. It was dark and what she had seen that I did not was one of the Chickens! Which ran back toward the Hen House. I took Holly back inside and got a flash light to see if I could find this Dumb A--! I went to Terri's house to get her to help me (She has a better flashlight then I do) and we found one of the "Brown Leg Horn" Hens trying to climb into a stack of pallets. I was able to get her and headed to the Chicken yard to put her away and Terri spotted another Bird sitting on top of the fence around the yard, It was Cuddles and it was easy for me to gather her in too! But I then knew that something was wrong as there were four more of the girls huddled in one corner of the fence.
I took the two I already had to the new Hen House and put them inside. Terri was looking around with the flashlight and spotted another one on the back side of the yard and it looked like it was trying to crawl out through a hole on the fence. But it was stuck and when I walked back there, I realized that it was dead! Head and neck were gone and it was stuck in the fence where our night time dinner had tried to pull her through!
We must have scared it off as I did not see it and I opened the back of the old Hen House to find another Hen sitting at the top of the roost. So the Predator must have gotten into the Hen House and grabbed one of them and scared the rest of them so badly that they made a dash for the outside! There were feathers all over the inside of the coop and some of the girls are missing tail feathers.
I got 6 birds into the new Hen House and locked inside. I have had the inside construction done for quite some time, But have not been able to get a fence put up around the new Chicken yard yet. There were still 2 girls not accounted for and we took a walk around to see if we might be able to find them.
As I walked across the front yard with Terri behind me, She spotted one of to my right and though it was also a goner! But as I got near her she turned her head to watch me and I was able to just pick her up. She was not hurt and I placed her with the others and tried to see if we could find # 8. But no luck and we though she must have been carried off.
We called it a night and went inside.
Terri called me early the next morning and told me that there was a Chicken running around out back. I could not believe that one had gotten out! And it hadn't, this was #8!  We just missed her the night before!
So all 8 are locked in the new Hen house and seem to be adjusting to the new place. I know they want outside and that makes the building a fence a must now. But it's not in the budget yet. SOON!!
Tomorrow I will be building a new brooder so I can get at least a dozen new day old chicks on Saturday from Tractor supply! I hope thy have  a decent selection to choose from?!
So, Predator 2, Hens 0!
It's my night to cook and I need to get over to Terri's and get started. Grilled Pork steaks, Oven fried potatoes, Collards and Apple Sauce! Yep, That sounds good!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

School Project

Today is another cold nasty day out. At 9:30 am it is 29 degrees out and we are to get a mix of rain and snow today. And the same for tomorrow!
So I though this would be a day to watch the Olympics, do some cooking and just veg out.
And post the promised "School Project" that I helped Terri do!

So Terri called me a couple weeks ago and told me about a school project she had to do and wanted to know if I had any ideas. She is a full time student at ECU and her major is Graphic Design . The Project was for her Photo class and was to be a story told in pictures and be 35 pictures long. And the pictures had to be taken with a real camera, 35 mm SLR (No digital pictures allowed!).
So I told her I would think about it that night at work. So I though that a story about some "Homesteading" project might work. She had to take the pictures, develop the film and print the pictures and place them in a binder in such a way that anyone could see the story.

So my idea was to make a batch of bread and take pictures of the process......
And this is what we came up with.....
(All of the pictures were taken with my digital camera for this post)

Greek Country Bread!
We got the recipe from a cook book and was something we had never tried before. And while we were at it we decided to make a big pot of Chile to have with it!

The ingredients and the "Stand mixer we used to mix the dough.
Following the recipe, we mixed the dough and got to the point of placing the dough on the island to knead.

Dough was pretty sticky at this point.

But it came together pretty nicely. I was able to work out some stress on the dough!
The dough was then placed in a bowl with a little oil to keep it from drying out. We preheated the oven to 170 degrees and then turned it off. Placed the bowl in the oven, covered with a dish towel and allowed to rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours)

The first rise! Looks pretty good!
So then I punched it down and did a second knead.

More stress gone! 
Once this second knead was complete, the dough was shaped into a log and cut into 6 equal sections and placed on a baking stone and covered with that same towel to rise again for 30 Min's.
It was then brushed with a little milk and the top sprinkled with sesame seeds and sea salt.
As a side note (a story in it's self)....

The pot of Chile simmering on the "NU Wave" convection cooker I got Terri for Christmas! It was a BOGO  deal and we really like this thing. Manly because we can set it to any temperature we want and let it cook! So this is what we a had for dinner that night. It was great along with the bread!

And right out of the oven! This is a pull a part type of bread and I have to tell you that it was very tasty! We will be making this again!
And now for the funny part of the story!....

Terri did all the photo work and I did most of the bread making. She took the required number of pictures with her SLR camera for the school project and the pictures you see in this post with my digital camera.
And the funny part you may ask!???...

So she had to do it all over again!! SILLY RABBIT!!

But I got to make a new type of bread and a pot of Chile and got to post about it!! I really like to cook and I like to bake too! And a new recipe is always fun to try. And this one was very good and will become one of the recipe's I can come back to and use again!

So that's the school project story. She got a good grade on the finished project and we got a good meal out of it to boot!

Tonight I have the night off from work and the responsibility to make dinner as Terri is in school and Mark (her husband!) can not boil water with out burning it!

So I think I will make Chicken/Broccoli Alfredo over Egg Noddles, A green Salid and of course BREAD!