Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Posted by Axman at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I created a chicken cone out of a gallon milk jug, by cutting out the entire bottom and making a larger opening on the top, and hung it upside down from my wood shed. Chicken cones are used so that a chicken itself doesn't damage it's meat during slaughter. Everything else was pretty simple, a garbage can, a bucket, a sharp knife, a rag and I hung some string over the garbage can so I could hang the carcass for skinning and gutting. There are plenty of instructional videos and web sites online that take you through what it takes to slaughter a chicken as you see fit. There is no one way to do it, there are great tricks to make your slaughter go smoothly and humanely. Just do some research and see if you are up to the task, and pick a method that works for you.
After performing the slaughter, I decided I wanted to skin my chickens, as I really don't want to go through the hassles of plucking the bird. Pinky was roasted in the oven with lemon pepper and garlic salt. The meat was very tasty, but was a bit tough, but it did not stop us from eating our young bird. At eight weeks old, it was more like an appetizer, but it made for a great late night BBQ sandwich. I think our next meat bird will go into the crock pot for a slower cooking time. This should make the meat more tender. I will be sure to post something about it as soon as the rooster crows. Until next time.
Posted by Axman at 11:20 AM
Posted by Axman at 11:19 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
|9 - Two Day Old Chicks|
I must say its very different having a mama hen around the chicks. When you mail order them they are pretty attached to us humans. We provide the food and the entertainment when no mom is present. A mothered flock of chicks really don't want to hang out with humans very much, they don't eat out of our hand and really don't like being held.
Mother hen will scratch around for the chicks. If she finds a worm, or a pebble of something good to eat, she will not gobble it up. She will sort of toss it aside and the chicks will fight over it. They hover around mom's beak as she pecks and scratches and eat what she digs up for them.
|Nick named the brown chick "Chewy"|
I think its tough to get your hands on a broody hen, but if you have the means it seems a lot easier than hatching eggs in an incubator. I really didn't have to do much but make sure mama hen was safe and warm and fed...and she did and is doing the rest. The new chicks are out of the garage and living full time in my coop, and the laying hens are now in my 'summer' coop I just built, but that is a topic for another post.
Posted by Axman at 11:38 AM
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Speaking of call of nature, one thing I found interesting, is that eggs and mother hens communicate. Scientists have researched this by putting tiny microphones on each egg and observing the hens activity. A hatching egg must be rotated quite often in order for it to hatch, and the mother hen takes care of this with her feet and beak, but what is interesting is scientists have learned the mother hen can hear sounds from within the egg and determine how mature they are. She will naturally move these eggs more towards the center of the nest. Also, close to hatching the chick will peep a bit louder, and signal the hen to get ready for them to hatch.
One thing that is nice about our broody hen is her disposition. Some broody hens can get aggressive when approached and practically attack you if you come near. Our hen allows us to pet her, remove her from the nest, handle eggs and clean up her space without even getting upset. Also, some broody hens are not as vigilant when taking care of their eggs, wandering off the nest for too long and switching nests can be a common thing, but our hen is very committed to her eggs.
Posted by Axman at 11:31 AM
Friday, March 18, 2011
The nice thing about this design is that the coffee can can be easily separated from the light, with the egg still in place and there is less danger of over heating. When it comes to candling an egg, the higher watt the bulb the better, so being able to remove the can or whatever you use to block the excess light is an advantage.
I tested the candler on an unfertilized egg from our flock, and it seems to work pretty good. I may want to make the hole a bit more of a perfect circle to prevent light from leaking out from the can, but I feel as though we will be able to see what we need to when the time comes. Next step is to mount this light in the brooder box in such a way that it can easily be removed for candling purposes.
Posted by Axman at 4:25 PM
Monday, March 14, 2011
|Nicholas and our broody hen "Sesame".|
|Nicholas as we build our brooding box.|
|Nicholas and our finished brooding box.|
|Clutch of local fertilized eggs.|
|Sesame brooding her new clutch of eggs.|
The next step is to candle the eggs after 5 and 10 days under mom to determine which eggs are viable, and remove any that may burst and spread bacteria. Im finding lots of very interesting and informative info on this subject, and I will share them on my next post. For now I have to build an egg candler...Until next time.
Posted by Axman at 11:45 AM