Hodge Podge of Things

It has been about a month since we got the girls.  They are doing well in their coop.  During the week I rarely get to see the girls.  They are typically in their coop when I leave work, and already in their coop for the night when I get home.  We have been getting a consistent egg a day.  Pretty sure one or both of the Golden Comets are our layers.  When we first got the hens I thought one of the Black Australorps would have been the mother hen, top of the pecking order.   I have a feeling that Snap the Golden Comet will be the Top Hen.  The other night I watched all the hens go into the coop save Salt (or Pepper).  Snap came back out to find her.  After a bit Snap came down and chased Salt around until she came in for the night.  Snap went in, came back out one more time to check on things, then went to bed for good.  After discovering my brussel sprouts were infested with bugs, I chopped it down.  I then hung it up in the coop.  The girls loved it.  They pecked at it and it twirled around and around.  Nearly every time I looked outside that weekend they were crowded around pecking.  Without further wait, here are some shots of the girls.

Here is a shot of the coop. You can see the brussel sprout stalk hanging in there.

Here is a shot of all the girls!

Oh Snap! Here is Snap the Mother Hen!

When my friends Greg and Rina came to visit we did a side by side comparison of a white eggs from Kroger and our Mini-Farm Fresh eggs.  Big difference.  The whites had a little more flavor, and the yolks were richer and brighter. Though we aren’t getting a huge amount of eggs (yet), it is still fun to find new ways to use our eggs.  For dinner tonight I made Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta (Not a creative name, I know, but I got it out of a Bon Appetit magazine).  It was delicious!  Here is how it turned out.

Nomnomnomnom

Here is my version of the recipe:

  • A few tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a 15oz can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 14.5oz can crushed tomatoes
  • pepper(to taste)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 4 large eggs
  • bread (for dipping, we used french bread, original recipe recommended warm pita bread)
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in an oven safe skillet (I use cast iron) over medium high.  Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno.  Cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes
  3. Add chickpeas, cumin, and paprika.  Cook for 2 minutes longer
  4. Add crushed tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occationally.  Simmer for about 15 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.  Season with pepper ( I didn’t add salt because the feta adds some saltiness to the dish)
  5. Turn off heat, sprinkle feta over sauce.
  6. Crack the eggs over the sauce one at a time, spacing evenly apart.
  7. Transfer skillet to oven, cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny (recipe says 5-8 minutes.  Mine took longer, but I over did the,  Still yummy with non runny yolks)

In addition to all this Daisy and Luigi are truly friends now.  Luigi comes to Daisy for snuggles.  It is adorable, and you don’t have to take my word for it, I have pictures.  Also Daisy got a new Dolphins Jersey, its awesome!

BFFs

A tiring game

Well, thanks for reading.  Stay tuned for more updates on out Mini-Farm!

-Chef Daniel

First Full Day In The Coop, They Left A Present

Well, after some work last night I got all the chickens into the coop.  The only two that didn’t go willingly were Poppy and Seed.  They were content to sleep up in the rafters of the coop run.  I had to pluck them off and put them through the pop door.  Seed flailed a little, I didn’t get good hand placements around the wings.  Poppy was not pleased at first.  She pecked my gloved hand a few times.  Not hard however.  Though once I had her, she didn’t put up any further fight.  Well I get home tonight and Lauren informs me we need to go to the coop.  They were all in the coop, perched up on the same perch warm and snug.  I look into a nesting box and we have our first egg! So exciting.  Here is a shot of the egg!

Our first egg!

Luigi carefully inspects the egg for us.

 

Come back again soon to get more updates!

-Chicken Wrangler Danny

We have chickens!!!!

Well I purchased some fine looking girls from a nice man for an awesome price.  They are all under a year old.  We are now the proud parents of 2 Barred Rocks named Salt and Pepper.  2 Golden Comets named Ginger and Snap.  As well as 2 Black Australorps named Poppy and Seed.  Poppy and Seed found a way to the roof rafters of the run.  Not sure if they plan to go into the coop at night.  Will have to figure that out.  I witnessed all of the others at least go into the coop.  Hopefully we can get them all in there tonight so we can close it up.  Here are some pics.  There will be more later.

Here are the girls hiding from us under the coop. They like it under there. They are digging holes.

Here is two of the girls in the run. The picture was taken from inside the coop.

Here is Salt. She is the first to use the perches in the coop.

Here is Pepper thinking about leaving the coop.

And this is Poppy and Seed. Roosting on the rafters in the run. Bad chickens. They are gonna be the flock's trouble makers. I already saw the other girls wondering how to get up there.

Well there are the girls.  Thanks to all that helped make this addition to Operation Mini-Farm Happen.  I will post later after we get some better pictures.

-Daniel

Got the coop, where are the Chickens?

Well, last night I finished the coop.  On Saturday Lauren and I had Aaron, Rebecca, Graham, and Savanna come over to lend a hand with the roof.  We paid them with an awesome breakfast.  They were a huge help.  Without them the coop would still not be ready.  I learned that roofing without wearing gloves is probably a bad idea.  I had taken them off because I was struggling to hold a nail and hammer wearing the gloves.  The result it lots of tiny cut on my hands that I can’t even see.  Those shingles slice you up.  Also I hit my finger once really good.  That was fun.  But all that work was worth it.  We have a finished piece of awesome! Here a pics of the finished coop.

Here is a shot of Daisy in the coop run. She is not sure about this whole being a chicken thing.

Here is a shot of the coop door all painted and hardwared up!

Here is the coop run. Ladder leading to the pop door and there feeder and watering bucket.

This is inside the coop. the white boxes will be there nesting boxes, the board above them is the poop board, and the poles above that are the roosts for them to perch on. Just have to add the shavings.

Here is the finished roof!

Well that is all until we get the chickens (hopefully this week!!!).  Again thank you to all my friends who have helped during this project!  Can’t say thank you enough!

-Daniel

Nearly Chicken Ready

Well after months of on and off work, the time is nearly here for chickens.  Things I have left to do are: attach roost, install poop board under roost (you saw that right, poop board, for them to poop on), hang our feeder and water canister.  That is all before chickens arrive.  The roof still needs shingled, but that can be done after we get chickens.  Although Lauren and I will be trying to work on that Friday evening Saturday morning, then getting the chickens Saturday!!!  Now here are some pictures for you to be envious of, enjoy.

Here is the coop after I painted, framed some walls, and added hardware cloth.

This is the entrance to the coop's run for the chickens to play in. The door was recycled from an old closet door I found in the garage. It was crooked, so I had to do some interesting frame work.

Here you can see the wall containg the windows is up!

This is the door to the coop. The whole wall hinges for easy acess!

And here is the door slightly ajar.

Painted!

This is the coop all painted! The theme for the colors is an egg. Yolk for the walls, everything else white! Lauren's idea.

And now for something to make you say awwwww... Daisy and Bea at the Dog Paddle. Don't worry Daisy isn't sad, just exhusted.

Well other than what I have shown you, I have installed a rope and pulley for the pop door.  That way we can open it and let the chickens out from outside their coop.  Also inside there is linoleum flooring installed for easier cleanup.  We hope to have chickens in there before next week is done!  Visit again soon.

-Coop-Master Daniel

Garden Update

Well I promised another post, and here it is. The fist shot is some of our harvest.  In the following picture you will see :  Tomatoes (Roma, cavern, purple Russian, Mexican midgets, and Arkansas travelers), Onions, Ground Cherries, Hot Peppers (Georgia Flame and Black Hungarian), and a Tomatillio.

Harvest (forgive the misspelling of tomato)

Here are some shots of the garden as well.  It has gotten pretty big.

Here is our crazy basil plants

These are out Ground Cherry bushes that have gotten out of control. Underneath are some pepper plants.

And here are our rows of Tomatoes

Here is a close up shot of the cavern tomatoes

Some of our tomatoe plants got hit with disease hard, but they are still producing some tomatoes.

Well that is all for garden news!

-Daniel

Long Time No Write

Alright, after weeks of fan mail, you all have been begging me to update.  Well here it is!  After what feels like forever I have begun work on the coop again.  Since the roof and tarpaper I have done the following:

Framed the windows

Framed the wall for the nest box and the "pop" door

Here is the pop door closed (the pop door is where the chickens enter and exit the coop)

And here it is open

That’s all for the coop, check back soon for shots of this years harvest and our growing garden.

-Daniel

We have a roof!

Well after a long day of work we got the roof up.  Graham, Rebecca, and Jenni made it over and helped.  We  worked hard and got the tar paper up (making the roof waterproof) just as it started raining.  We made good time.  So here is the coop as of now, I must say it is coming along nicely!

Here is a view underneath, looking at the trusses and roof!

Also We have tomatoes and we have ground cherries growing!!

Tomatoes! NOMNOMNOM

Ground Cherry, I am really excited bout these!

Well that is all that is new on the farm.  Hope you visit again soon!

-Daniel

I get by with a little help from my friends

A big shout out to Graham, Rebecca, Savanna, and Aaron.  Without these people this coop would be much more difficult.  Aaron helped a lot in the design aspect of the project.  Graham, Rebecca, and Savanna helped with some of the grunt work.  Rebecca even went above and beyond and cleaned our drive way and under the some of the rose bushes! Here is the progress we made!

Well I spent all day today working on the trusses for the roof.  Unfortunatly the four we had built weren’t gonna work.  So I had to take those apart, and make a few new cuts, and rebuid them.  I finished the day with all nine Trusses complete.  Here they are!

The garden is doing well as well.   I got the cucumbers to start climbing their trellis.  Also our ground cherries are starting to flower!


Thats it for today!  Next step on the coop is to put the trusses up and get the roof complete!

-Daniel

Coop of awesomeness

Well I have broken ground on our chicken coop.  And I literally broke ground.  My fist step was to level the ground for my 2×4 frame of treated lumber.  Then I constructed the frame and laid it on my newly leveled ground.  From there I started building up!  Here I my photos of my progress.  I will keep you all up to date.

 

Here is the progress after day 2

 

Here is what I have currently

Check back later for more,

Master Carpenter Dan

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