Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Fowl Epidemic

Haven’t updated on the Noodleville residence of the feathered variety in ages so I thought they’d get their own posting today....

To start out, would anyone like some chickens???? These chickens are FABULOUS chickens. Each has lots of feathers in a wide variety of colors, 2 legs, 2 wings, a beak & 2 eyes. They make quite a bit of racket and the amounts of s---, err I mean High Quality Organic fertilizer they produce is astounding.

Hubby has developed a hobby.. Which is fabulous since he spends 99.9% of his time working and he needs something that he enjoys. He enjoys the chickens and has decided we shouldn’t buy chicks when we can hatch our own. To this end, I thought getting him an incubator as a present would be just fabulous.

Sometimes I don’t fully think through my grand ideas.

Hubby loved his new incubator. First batch we didn’t have an egg turner so turned them daily by hand. They got to the pipping stage and we waited eagerly for a hatching that never happened. The eggs were too dry, despite the water reservoir being full.

Second batch we tried a different route. We bought an egg turner to simplify things & the day we had to turn off the egg turner, we wet a few old rags and placed them in the incubator, in addition to having the water reservoir full.


This picture just cracks me up..... Little booger looks wind blown..

The first chick hatched almost a full day before the rest, but after that day, they started popping out all over the place.

I know it's the miracle of life & all that sweet stuff, but man they sure do look gross, and just a tad creepy, when they first pop out of the eggs..

And here is the crew all nice and dry .... I think we started with 22-23 eggs in the incubator and 17 hatched. Not a bad hatch rate if I do say so myself..

Hard to be too annoyed by chicken numbers when you're staring at all that cuteness..

Yea… I’m kinda a sucker for new chicks.. Are they not just the cutest lil boogers???!

Hubby has currently has 21 Buff Orpington eggs in the incubator, due to hatch October 21st.

This wouldn’t be a problem if not for this hen!

Meet our extreme broody hen who has gone broody 3 times this year… Each time we thought she was snapped up by a predator, only to come home about a month later with a fluffy brood of mutt chicks.

Here's the chicks that were with the hen in the picture above..

Just this week, about 10 weeks after hatching the brood above, that darn hen came up with 2 new chicks!! There were more in the brood, but a predator got to them before she could bring them up to the house…


We processed some of the Jersey Giant crosses from the first broody batch and have decided to give the Jersey Giant hens away. Good layers, but their chicks eat so much, and grow these HUGE skeletons with hardly any meat…  We fed up several Jersey Giant mutt roos that were absolutely worthless… Plus we can’t seem to end the broody cycle with them so I can’t say I’ll be sad to see them go.

I do have a bit of news that I am sad to share… Remember Big Red? The sweetest, most awesome Roo ever, who would share snacks with the kids? He hasn’t come home in 2 weeks now … Of all my chickens, Red & Riccardo were my favorites and it’s sad not having him follow me around during the day..

Riccardo sharing an appple core with my son, Big Red on the left..

Anywho… chickens are reproducing better than bunnies here in Noodleville....It's like a reproduction epidemic. I think there are 28ish out there… Not counting the 21 Buff eggs in the incubator.

I make eggs a lot for breakfast… Sometimes lunch… Maybe even dinner on a regular basis (we had omelets last night). I boil eggs from hidden nest stashes, run them through the food processor & feed them to the chickens & barn cats.. I give eggs away to the neighbors. Jasper gets 3 eggs a day…

Really, I’m quite honestly sick of eggs.

So, anyone want some chickens, just let me know! (Just kidding… sorta.. I may think hard about it, but I wouldn‘t really get rid of hubby‘s chickens, at least not without his consent. He does tolerate my goats afterall....)

Honestly, it’s not as bad as I make it seem… With the predators stealing a few (we caught a possum in the act and he is no longer stealing chickens) and the future culling out of all the Giants and Giant crosses, the numbers will be much more reasonable..

Until then, I’m tired of scrambled, fried & boiled eggs. I don’t need anymore mayonnaise. I don’t want another omelet and my crew isn’t crazy about egg salad..

So how about a good, quick, munchkin friendly quiche recipe??


farmerstac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carolyn Renee said...

I've had trouble keeping the humidity up in the incubators also, even with the water trays filled all the time. Will have to try the wet towel thing, thanks for the idea.

Good luck on your husband's new hobby! Have to admit it's a pretty cute one.

Jacqueline Jones said...

My hubby is slowly grown on the chickens. He loves to go scatter some kitchen scraps around and see which ones the hens snatch up first. I have 7 black jersey giants. Next spring I want to get into something else.

Quiche huh? How bout mini quiche? Roll out some pie crust. Use a biscuit cutter to make some rounds. Spray some nonstick into a muffin pan. Pie rounds on the bottoms. Beat up some eggs, cheese and whatever veg you can hide in there that the kids will eat. Bake, and eat. Sometimes I'll do that and then freeze the little buggers and then when one of the kids is hunting for a snacks, or something different for breakfast, they can pop one or two in the micro. Good luck.

Leigh said...

I have to admit, I'm getting pretty tired of eating eggs every day too. If you think they might let up this winter, freeze some! Also try popovers. And custard pies. :)

ADK Goat Club said...

My favorite egg-based dinner is just to saute up all the veggies I have on hand (onions, garlic, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, spinach, etc), throw that mess in a 8X13 dish, pile a ton of cheese on top, and then pour a mixture of 6-8 eggs and 1-2 cups of milk on it. Bake for a while (45 minutes or more) until the eggs are set and the cheese is brown. YUM!

petey said...

That's good to know about the Jersey giants. I am so spoiled by my meaties every year, but i wish i could find a more sustainable breed. My Buff and Australorpe roo's fried up pretty nicely, but it took 5 months for them to reach size. I have 3 more of those to butcher soon, to keep the numbers manageable. I just tossed 5 doz OLD eggs because we cannot keep up, and without neighbors, there is no one to give them to!

* Crystal * said...

Thanks Farmerstac :) Sadly I'm the one who picks up the feed, so the price is an "out of sight, out of mind" thing for hubby...

Carolyn, we are in such a dry climate here that even the full water trays just weren't enough..... But those wet towels put in, on the day we turn off the turner really seemed to do the trick. We have the buff eggs in now, due to hatch on the 21st, so we're going to repeat the process & hope it works :)

Thanks Jacqueline! I make something very similar to that with biscuit dough, sausage & cheese..... May try a veggie variartion :)

ADK- That sounds great!! Thanks for sharing! I have a ton of frozen broccoli & the kids love broccoli so I may just try that for dinner tonight :)

Petey.... My gosh those Jersey crosses were such a disappointment! They were more than double the other chicks size, but I kid you not, I don't think I could have got enough meat from one bird to make a bowl of chicken soup with! I should have took a pic of the bones, they were just HUGE.

I think the hens are beautiful, but we won't have anymore..... Too expensive to raise & they don't lay any better than our smaller breeds. Hubby wants to raise buffs, so I'm hoping what I've heard about them as meat birds is true so I have a good place for the extra roos :)

* Crystal * said...

Hey Farmerstac.. While running through SPAM comments on my dashboard, I somehow accidently removed your comment..

Dunno HOW I did it, and I can't figure out how to undo it!! So.. sorry about that, nothing personal, just losing a battle with technology over here!

Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick said...

Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

I hope you can make it!


Kathy Shea Mormino

The Chicken Chick

Anonymous said...

Here is an idea for using up a dozen eggs. Make lemon curd, Alton Brown's recipe is good. Double the recipe, but skip the crust and fresh fruit. Instead, use the egg whites to make an angle food cake. Serve the curd on top of the cake. Delish!