Archive | August 2014

Meet Saltie’s 6 Chicks

It’s been a busy summer here with our backyard chickens.  We’ve had a slew of chicks, we’ve had a skunk come in and kill chicks, we’ve had a friend give us a hen and 2 chicks and recently Saltie hatched 6 chicks out of 7 eggs….which during the broody processed ended up to be 10 eggs, 3 of which are in a borrowed incubator.  Also, we had one of Mamma Blackie’s chicks die from an unfortunate freak accident.

So, thats the low down on everything.  And now, meet Saltie’s chicks!

Originally when we started with chickens, we started with baby chicks which we had in the house under a heat lamp, like most folks do when they first start out.  So, our original 10 were the friendliest of all our chickens because they were human raised.  Mamma Reds, Goldie & Saltie are from those original 10.  They make the best moms and being the friendliest they teach the chicks to eat out of my hands, where the others don’t.  So, with Saltie this was a first for me, I actually lucked out and got to see one of her eggs pipped and videoed it.  In the video, the beginning is a little jumpy, sorry for that I was trying to focus my  phone in the dark henhouse, but make sure you have your sound on, the first chirping you hear are the 11 chicks running around outside, then if you listen you’ll hear Saltie in a very low soft cluck, talk to the chick in the egg and the chick responds.  Then you will be able to see the chicks little beak.  I was so excited to be able to see that, close up and personal.  Enjoy!

Salties egg pipping

Here’s a picture of the 4 eggs in the incubator.  I know I said she hatched 6 out of 7 and that she ended up with 10, but I never marked the 1st 7, so I didn’t know which one didn’t belong in the incubator.  I finally candled the eggs last night, 1 looks close to hatching and 2 look like they have a week or so to go and of course 1 needs to come out.  This is the 1st time I’m using an incubator so from what I’m told the outcome might not be good.  But at least there’s a chance.  The one that should hatch soon, if it does I will take it out and put it in with Saltie, I’m sure she’ll take care of it.  I will most likely do that with the other 2 should they hatch, unless someone goes broody in the meantime.

incubating

So here is how Mamma Reds chicks sleep at night.  Luckily my broody box is a triplex, I have the lid locked open and some of the chicks are roosting there, 1 has taken it upon itself to move to higher ground is is way high up on a little perch above the nest boxes!  If you remember back to my post I do Believe I have a Crazy Flock! Mamma Black was trying to move her very young chicks up to higher ground and they we’re not ready, so she moved herself up and tried sticking the chicks in with broody Mamma Reds. Eventually after Mamma Reds 7 chicks hatched she adopted Mamma Blacks 5 and Mamma Black moved back in with the flock.

 

So our flock count goes like this: 1 Rooster (Prince Charming). 12 hens and 19 chicks!  32 Total!  Wow!  And you know as well as I do, that most of those chicks are going to be roosters!  Take a look at the 2 I named Lucy and Ethel, now I believe its going to be Ricky & Fred… 😦  Look at the photos below (if you click on them you’ll see a bigger picture)  let me know your thoughts, roosters or hens??

By the way, Goldie has not been the same since the skunk incident (Sad Day in the Chicken Yard).  My poor girl.

I hope you enjoy my posts.  Please feel free to comment and tell me your stories with your backyard chickens.

 

Raw PRETTY IN PINK Birthday Cake

Raw Pretty In Pink Birthday Cake, by Fragrant Vanilla Cake

crust

Believe it or not, I found this recipe on line and for once in my life I actually did not change anything in the recipe!  Next time, I probably will though.  …. well, I did change one thing, I doubled the recipe.  Oh, and I know, it says Pretty in Pink and its not pink, but I didn’t title it.  It’s pretty in lavender.  LOL!  Enjoy!

My birthday was a few days ago and my daughter and her hubby came and made me my birthday dinner.  I knew they both worked and even though my son-in-law told me not to do anything, I knew my daughter wouldn’t have the time to do a birthday cake let alone a raw one!  So, I made this one, had the recipe for a while now and just needed an excuse to finally make it.  They all liked it!  My hubby ate 2 slices!

Okay, so the only changes I will make next time is, I most likely will use walnuts or pecans in the crust and will switch out the raspberries for something else, possibly blueberries.  I would like a little more contrast in the colors of the layers.  I also might put the lavender layer between the 2 purple layers rather than on the bottom to break it up more.

So here’s the link to the original recipe:  Fragrant Vanilla Cake: Raw Pretty in Pink Birthday Cake and here’s the recipe doubled and some photos:

crust crust crust cake layers lavender layer 3 layers lavender layer strawberry layer raspberry layer cake frosting Raw Birthday Cake Ready to eat

Raw Pretty in Pink Birthday Cheesecake
Makes one 12″ cake, should serve at least 12

Crust:
1 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
Filling:
5 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
1 cup young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews)
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
2 tsp rosewater
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup plus 6 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1 cup fresh organic strawberries
1 cup fresh organic red raspberries
2 Tbsp organic lavender
Cream Topping:
1 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
4 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and seeds of half a vanilla bean (reserved from filling)
1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
12 fresh organic raspberries
Lightly coat a 12 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process pistachios and sea salt in a food processor until the pistachios are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.

To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with coconut meat, coconut water, lemon juice, rosewater, agave nectar, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Remove the filling from the food processor, and divide evenly between 3 bowls. Place 1/3 into the food processor and add 1 cup of strawberries. Puree until smooth and scrape back in the bowl. Add another 3rd of the filling to the food processor and add 1 cup raspberries, and puree until smooth. Add the lavender to the third bowl and stir in until combined.To assemble the cheesecake, pour the vanilla lavender filling over the crust, then smooth to the sides.  Then the strawberry, then the raspberry. Place in the freezer until it is set, 4 to 6 hours, then once set store in the fridge.To make topping, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, then divide into 2 bowls.  Place one half back in the food processor and throw in about 12 raspberries, and blend (to tint pink).  Place back in the bowl and and set bowls in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency. Place the two frostings in pastry bags and pipe decoratively around the top and bottom of the cheesecake. Store leftover cake in the fridge.

I do Believe I have a Crazy Flock!

I do have a crazy flock, I’m sure of it, you’ll see as you read on but first I have exciting news!  According to my calculations they were 2 days early but they hatched anyway!  The 1st one didn’t make it 😦 I figured because it was 2 days early.  That evening chick #2 emerged followed by 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7!  Yup! 7 chicks out of 10 eggs!  Pretty good hatch if you ask me!  This is the largest hatch we’ve had so far, usually its 5.

Welcome the new little brood:

Welcome to our newest 7 chicks

Welcome to our newest 7 chicks

This is their debut photo, Mamma Reds with all 7, I know it looks like 6 but there are 7  but if you look closely at the photo, just above mamma’s head you’ll see a little blonde stripped one with a pure blonde.

So, mama and chicks are doing well, they’re a few days old now, well, actually a week today!  Wow, that week went by fast!  Total now we have 14 chicks, to recap, Goldie lost her 5 to a murdering skunk (Sad Day In the Chicken Yard, Help! This is What Killed Our Chicks, Killer Skunk), so a friend gave us a hen & 2 chicks(New Additions To Buddy’s Flock), which I named the hen, Fanny and the chicks Lucy & Ethel, though, I’m not sure if the names are going to stay that way, might end up Lucy & Ricky or Fred & Ethel… what do you think:

Lucy and Ethel

Right now I’m calling the one one the left Lucy and the one on the right Ethel,  at first I was thinking Ethel was going to be Ricky, but now I’m thinking Lucy is going to be Fred…. Any ideas??

Okay back to the count, then Mamma Black looked like her eggs we’re going to hatch(Mama Reds is Broody & Meet the New Chicks), so a friend gave me 2 freshly hatched chicks to put under her and 3 of hers did finally hatch…of course.  So she has 5, the 2 with the feathered feet are the adopted ones.

So there you have it, currently 14 chicks!  We’ve never had 14 chicks at once!  And for me, this never gets old! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE chicks!  Oh, yesterday, Saltie went broody.  I believe she’s on 6 eggs, I counted them, and I truly don’t remember!

Ms Saltie just settling in on her eggs right after I moved her down to the broody box.

Ms Saltie just settling in on her eggs right after I moved her down to the broody box.

By the way, the eggs are due to hatch on August 24th so stay tuned!

In the meantime, this is where the crazy comes in, let me know if this is normal, I don’t think it really is, but thank goodness Mamma Reds is an old pro at being a mom or I’d really be concerned.  If you remember reading my post Update’s On Buddy’s Flock, I introduced you to Mamma Black, telling you she was young and wasn’t sure how this was going to go.  Well, we know that she made it through the 21 days, pretty much without a hitch, there were a few stressful moments, but we got chicks.  Well, right before Mamma Red’s chicks hatched Mamma Black decided it was time to take her chicks up to the nesting boxes, they were only 2 weeks old, definitely not ready.  That didn’t stop Mamma Black from trying to sleep in the nest herself, she put her 5 in with Mamma Reds sitting on 10 eggs!  So every night for 3 nights I’d go in to check, MOVE her back down to her broody box and move the chicks back in with her, she finally got the point and stayed a few nights.  Then Mamma Reds chicks hatched and it started all over again!  What a mess!  Poor Mamma Reds looked like ‘REALLY’ … but took them in.  Everynight I still moved everyone back where they belonged.  The other night Mamma Black was up in the big girl roost with 2 of the chicks, looked at Mamma Reds, she seemed content with the new sleeping arrangements, so I left it go.

Nighttime

 

This morning when I went to open the coop door and let the chicks & moms into the broody yard, out comes Mamma Reds with all 14 chicks!

Mama reds with too many

Mamma Reds with more than her brood!

About an hour later went back out and Mamma Black was ready to go back with her brood.  Fanny is pretty much done with Lucy & Ethel.

So that’s the current craziness going on in Buddy’s Flock.  Is this normal??