Posts Tagged ‘chickens’

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Message in an Egg

August 11, 2015

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I had a difficult time peeling off the shell of this hardboiled egg without tearing away chucks of egg white, also called albumen. By the time I finished, the white was thin and lumpy.

Because I had already peeled a lot of eggs that day–easily and perfectly smooth ones–I nearly tossed this one into the sink. There wasn’t much left of it. Then I considered how hard my hen had worked to produce the egg. So I took hold of my knife, sliced down the longest length of the egg and opened it to remove the yolk.

Surprise! The hen had left a message of love with a heart-shaped yolk.

I like to think this had nothing to do with the boiling process or air pockets, but rather a message of appreciation for the scratch I provide, for the fresh water, food scraps, free range pasture, and a safe place to roost at night.

Now, no matter how difficult a hardboiled egg may be to peel or how badly it appears, I always look for a message in my hens’ eggs. After all, it is what’s inside that matters the most.

Check out The Food Lab’s great tips on boiling eggs.

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Girl Fight!

July 1, 2014

For days now, two hens have been brooding in the same nesting box. Their body language is different every time I go to the coop.

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Could you turn around? The view isn’t pretty!

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Boy, I try to improve the view and then you sit on me! What’s up with that?

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I’ll tell you what’s up with that! You’re taking up all the room. I need a break!

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You’re on my back again, and now my head is stuck in the egg tray.

That’s a good place for it!

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Stop trying to make up!

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Hey! Help me keep an eye on the hen next door. She might try to squeeze in.

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Hatching out a Plan

March 8, 2014

I want to fix up the chicken coop. So, I thought I would give you a tour and tell you the improvements I envision and why. Maybe you can lend some suggestions. If you like, I’ll even share your photos or sketches here, whether it’s an existing chicken coop or one you dream about.

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Vision:  Dress up the facade.

Reason:  Not necessary, I know, but I just can’t help dreaming about an attractive hen-house.

Vision:  A small running pen to the right of the coop.

Reason:  When I buy chicks, I keep them inside the coop until they are old enough to go into the existing running pen during the daytime. In the mornings I have to:  1) lock the older hens out of the running pen, 2) shoo the chicks out of the coop into the running pen, 3) secure the hatch between the two quarters so they can’t go back into the coop, 4) open the coop door so the adult chickens have access to the nesting boxes, 5) rotate the different feeders and water jugs, 6) repeat these steps in reverse before sunset.

A second running pen is also a plus for when I need to keep a chicken separate from the flock because it is ill and being attacked by other hens.

Vision:  Enclose the running pen with small-gauged galvanized wire.

Reason:  Keep birds from entering through the existing chicken wire and eating the chicken feed.

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Vision:  Okay, this is where I get a little crazy. I would like the interior coop walls and ceiling painted or covered in a smooth veneer wood or some type of smooth finish. There would also be a need for a hatch door and steps to the running pen I wish to add to the right of the coop.

Reason:  Smooth walls make for easier cleaning.

Vision:  Add a small closet between the coop and the new running pen for shovel, broom, rake, shaving bag, and a few other necessities.

Reason:  Sometimes, the hens get into the shaving bag, knock over tools, and of course there’s occasional poop that drops on something I need to handle.

This rounds up my hatching out a plan–a future project. Suggestions are welcome.

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Saying Goodbye to The Duke

January 21, 2014

Saying Goodbye to The Duke

Two-year-old Duke has passed on. I will miss his gentle spirit and morning crow.

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