Baby Lamb…Baby Fennel…Blackberries…

I should have titled this Soft-shelled Egg Slush and Green Spinach Smoothies, but I thought I would be nice…;)

No, really, there are some wonderful things going on here, even though it seems we are surrounded by multiple sad situations and even some horrendous circumstances that are going on in the world around us. But I will talk about some of the good things…

The baby lamb…

Addie Lamb

Her mama didn’t have any milk and the other ewes rejected her, so this little lamb is being bottle fed by the shepherd son and in this pic, my little grand-daughter. 🙂

The baby fennel…

Baby Fennel

I’m so excited about this…my goal is to have a crop of fennel. I tried last year and failed. Hope I can do it this year. 🙂 My baby celery is looking good too.

Blackberries…

Yesterday we went over to a wonderful friend’s house, and she gave us about 40 blackberry plants…After we dug them up and brought them home I planted some in two different places…It’s raining today, so this looks a little bleak right now, but I’m hoping to have an incredible blackberry patch this year.

 

Blackberry

Green Spinach Smoothies…

Really, they are not that bad…Along with my lemon juice in the morning, Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil, and Bone Broth, I have been eating a Green Smoothie every day. This is for my health, and even though I am not completely healed, I’ve made a lot of improvement. Just to share a little…last November I found that my bite was off. One of my wisdom teeth was sore, but other teeth seemed sore as well. My gums were not bleeding, but I couldn’t chew because of my bite. I thought perhaps I had a bad case of TMJ, so I tried relaxing my jaw, and discovered that I clenched my teeth quite a bit. I finally went to the dentist and he gave me a shocking diagnosis. He told me that I had periodontal disease, and that I had to have 3 of my wisdom teeth pulled, and that the other one was not so bad, but we’ll pull that too, and while we’re at it 2 of my molars. That’s 6 teeth!!!  I know most people have already had their wisdom teeth pulled, so that may not have been such a big thing to him, but to me it was absolutely shocking. He told me that if I didn’t get this done right away that my face would swell up, and that I needed to get on antibiotics right away.

I went home and started taking colloidal silver instead of an antibiotic. I searched the internet and found lots of testimonies of what many different people did to heal periodontal disease and heal their teeth. I have incorporated almost everything I’ve read about into my diet and routine. But I’ll share that in another post.

For now my green smoothie recipe…

green smoothie

1 apple or 3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raw milk
1/2 cup yogurt (vanilla honey)
I scoop raw meal ( Garden of Life)
1 scoop carrot powder
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 cup spinach or kale

Blend this up really well. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of chia seed as well. I can’t always drink the whole thing at one time, so I’ll save some for later in the day. This was really great when I couldn’t chew well. But I can chew now, even though my bite isn’t perfect yet, it is so much better.

Now to the not so nice thing…

Prepare yourself…

This is yucky…

The Soft-shelled Egg…

Today I found this in the nesting box along with a runny egg yolk…

broken

I know it’s so yucky, but I’m thinking that one or both of my easter-egger hens is trying to lay again. They both look so healthy, but haven’t been laying any eggs for about 6 months now. These particular birds were bred to lay a lot of eggs. So again in searching the internet, I found that this can happen as older birds are beginning to lay again. I’m really hoping that is what it is.

My other 6 Marans hens gave me 6 healthy eggs today, so I know it wasn’t them…

eggs

So enough of the good and the bad and the ugly…

I hope you all have a great weekend! 🙂

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What Came First?

I was looking through the new Country Living magazine this morning and came across this sculpture by UK artist Kyle Bean.

093d8fd34241f3dddfb998c9f74d7024.560.0.0.0.90Sculpture made from egg shells by Kyle Bean

How clever is that?  I just had to share it with all of you chicken lovers out there…

Speaking of chickens mine are doing fine now. No more drama… I still have one Marans rooster, Darcy, and 6 Marans hens and 2 easter eggers, and I get about 3-4 Marans eggs a day.

The easter eggers have not laid an egg for 6 months. They look nice and healthy, but I wonder if they are finished laying? I don’t think they are that old.

Anyway, I need to buy some more hens…just haven’t found the right ones yet.

Darcy and His Followers

It has been so long since I posted pictures of what’s going on with my chickens, but that is a good thing, because nothing unusual is happening with them. They are not getting eaten by predators or plagued by diseases, everything right now is going well. And the rooster Darcy is a fine one…he is ever so gentle and caring …

Today I took some pictures to share. I used to let the rooster and hens all free range all the time. That’s probably why I lost so many. Now I keep them in their run until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and then let them out…

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They usually come out single file down the little overgrown path that leads to the creek and the pasture…

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Darcy is leading the way…

3

He’s always watching…

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It was a hot summer’s day today, so they were ready for a drink from the creek…

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6

 

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After coming up from the creek I turned on the hose, and let it run a little so they could get more water and cool off their feet…

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Then all of a sudden Darcy heads off toward the coop…

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And they all  follow after…

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And I chuckle to myself as he appears to be standing at attention and counting them as they pass by to make sure they are all coming with him…

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I suppose after the heat lets up in a month or two, it will be time to hatch out another batch of chicks. I hope they turn out as well as these did.

I’m so glad I kept this rooster…  To Keep or Not to Keep

To Keep or Not to Keep

The chicks  are no longer chicks, but full-fledged roos and pullets and the roos are headed for the butcher block.

5

I ended up with 6 roos and 4 pullets and I sold one of these handsome Black Copper Marans roosters, so I have 5 left. When I finally separated them and put the roos into a coop by themselves, one of them got out. He’s a nice rooster…and I’m wondering if I should keep him…

roo 1

He’s been hanging out with the older hens and is already watching out for them…

roo2

roo 3

One hen is broody. Let me say these Marans get broody often, but she is not laying on any eggs. Just biding her time in the nesting box…

broody

Then I have 4 new Black Copper Marans pullets that will start laying any time now… This one looks like the most mature one…

pullet1

And this one appears to be the least mature…

pullet 2

And here are the butcher block buddies…I hate this part of it all…

buddies

So, to keep or not to keep…that is the question…

pullet 3

The Run…

My wonderful husband built a run of sorts for our growing flock of chickens. Did I say growing?  It seems that the number count gets less, but the chicks are growing bigger every day.  And do you see a Mr. Knightly Jr. here?

Junior

I’m afraid so…going to be hard to let him go…

Anyway back to the run…

run

It is totally covered to keep hawks out during the day. It runs  between the little chick coop on the right and the Tack Room coop on the left where the hens live. You can see the new  little door that opens out into the run on the left. So that’s it.

I put a branch in today to see if they would like something to sit on… Roo and pullet, can you tell how much they have grown?

branch

This still makes me sad. I know the chickens are much better off getting all that good food in the wild when they free range, but for now they have to be enclosed.

I noticed that I now have 99 followers. I’m doing another painting giveaway when it hits 100, so stay tuned…

No More Free Range

My neighbor called me the other day and asked me if I had seen the little yapper dog again, because two more of his chickens were missing…just gone…no feathers…no sign. I told him it could be hawks…

933265-chromolithograph-of-hawk-attacking-chickens-in-farmyard-circa-1880-by-artist-giacomelli

Last night before dark I went down as usual to close up the chickens and Mara was missing. She is an old hen and wasn’t laying anymore, but she always was in the coop at night. I looked around and saw these strange markings in the snow…

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I had no idea what this could be, so I looked it up and sure enough they are the wing tips of a bird of prey.   This morning when I went down to the coops I found more evidence…

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These tracks went on for about 20 feet…

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Really amazing when you think about it.  I can picture the hawk flying close to the ground chasing the chicken and then finally capturing it and carrying it off… no sign of the chicken…

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You can see my boot track in the last picture compared to the wing span. Needless to say I have decided very reluctantly to stop free ranging. My last four laying hens are going to be cooped up until I can get a very good run built.  I have 6 roosters and 4 pullets in the other coop that I was beginning to let out for an hour a day. No more…it’s just not worth it.

That’s my take on it anyway after really desiring to have chickens free range. I’m so thankful that the last hen that was taken was the one that was old and not laying.

So, I think these are hawk wings, anyone have any experience in this? Could they be an owl?  I’m thinking hawk because it probably happened in the day time.

Joy Comes in the Morning

I am so glad I have chickens!!!  My morning is just overflowing with joy…It is 19 degrees outside with an inch of snow covering the landscape. Who would venture out into this??? Me…little old me…because I have to take care of the chickens. And I got to see the sun coming up over the horizon lighting up the snow in millions of  glistening diamonds. And then I saw it…diamonds falling from the sky, brilliant tiny crystals swept by the wind and lit up by the rising sun. Absolutely glorious and all I could think of was a resounding Hallelujah…

Joy … my almost 3 year old grandson spent the night with us a week ago. He slept upstairs in my daughter’s room, and of course they were the first ones up in the morning. She brought him downstairs and stoked up the fire in the woodstove and cuddled with him on the couch watching the fire, and he said with childlike joy, ” It’s a beautiful day! Look at the blue sky! I am your friend!”

Then I wandered sleepily out of  my room ready for my morning coffee, and he ran up to me arms outstretched, so excited, “Moka*, come see the fire!!!” Joy in the morning…we need more joy in the morning. We need more joy all the time! Childlike joy!

*He calls me Moka… a great name for me Mom/Karin  and it doesn’t confuse me with the other grandmas. 🙂

So, who doesn’t love seed catalogs?  I received one in the mail the other day I had never seen before, and they are doing a unique thing that I thought I would share…

The Natural Gardening Company

cover_2014

They are doing a test of one of their tomatoes, the Oxheart tomato, to discover which part of the country has the best tomato growing climate. Whoever has the first ripe Oxheart tomato will receive a $100 gift certificate. I might just try this… You’ll love the catalog and you can get one online here.

 

I also want to share, in case anyone is not following her, Down To Earth Digs is featured in Country Garden magazine this month, and her beautiful garden is on the cover! I’m so excited for Stacey!!!