They aren’t laying often, but those Marans eggs sure do stand out!
Archive for November 2, 2013
Lounge lazily in front of the Grizzly all morning while hubby disassembles the venison from the bones.
Disappear from the house for 3 hours while hubby first grinds the venison, then shops for spices.
Wear out all the children playing “Dog Pile of Love!” Game until all giggles are out of them. Put them all to bed.
Begin measuring spices, mixing, bagging and labeling different sausage recipes. One by one, older children creep out of bed begging to “help” with sausage making. Conversation degrades into imitations of drunken, belligerent sweat shop owner and Dr. Who, leaving all of us laughing so loudly we threaten to waken FlyingBoy.
Fall into bed exhausted, swearing to each other that we won’t leave sausage making until the last day of hunting vacation ever again, knowing full well that it is one of our favorite family traditions.
With the daylight hours waning, we have been experiencing one of the tragedies of farm life: not enough eggs to keep my family happy. My sister suggested we tag along to an auction that her family attends once in awhile. I had no intention of buying anything, but my heart raced when I saw a particular trio of hens and a handsome rooster. Easter Eggers. Americaunas. Blue Egg layers. And then I saw another cage of Black Copper Marans. Feather legged Marans. Marans lay a dark, dark brown egg.
Auctions have a reputation of being a good place to get rid of sickly, past their prime chickens. Well, one of the Marans had a runny nose and she tended to hold one of her eyes closed. And she was missing her tail feathers.
I quarantined all the new birds in rabbit cages and dog pens. The new birds then got doctored up: apple cider vinegar in their water, cayenne and garlic in their feed, each bird was dusted with diatomaceous earth and all bedding was sprinkled for good measure. I did the same for my flock as a preventative measure. Within 48 hours my sickly girl was the picture of health. The third day she presented me with a beautiful, dark chocolate colored egg.
Here is the kicker: these “auction birds” are all hand tamed! They will eat out of my hand and sometimes even let me pet them! Wherever and whoever you are, dear, previous hen owner, I want you to know that your beautiful birds are loved. I appreciate all the time and effort you poured into these animals. And my family appreciates their eggs.
A week later, the new flock got introduced to my old flock with only a few squabbles between the hens. My big Roo, Cogburn, immediately establishing dominance over the new smaller Roo, who has been dubbed Burl.
Can you guess why I named him Burl?
A friends pig gave birth last night! Aren’t they adorable?!?
These beauties came to my friends farm from a dry lot, fed grains and hay. They were underweight when she took them in. After a few weeks of good hay and being on a dry pasture, she moved them to a greener pasture. After a week of being on better pasture, they are still experiencing really liquid-y poo. What do you think she should do? More hay/less access to pasture? Give them more time to adjust? Any suggestions for her?
MyGirl and I homeschool. We didn’t take a “school picture” last year and I take full responsibility for letting that slip through the cracks. This year we began participating with a homeschooling group. One of the moms snapped this picture of us in front of their woodshed. The wind was whipping and the sun was dashing in and out of the clouds. I think she did a great job of capturing the love between momma and MyGirl!
I love how serious FlyingBoy looks when he is engrossed in a task. I asked him to help me season, mix and pound the sauerkraut this weekend. He worked very hard at doing things just right. “Is this enough salt Mama?”, he would ask. “Okay, I’m done mixing it now.”
“Ohhhh! Look how juicy it is!” I think his favorite part was mixing it and squeezing the cabbage shreds with his hands.
Maybe he enjoyed using the wooden pounder a teensy bit more though. Here it is, all tied up pretty with a weight on top of the cabbage. I covered the soon-to-be kraut with sea salt, water and whey and then sealed up with a cotton tea towel and tied with some hemp string.