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

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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

Bird Update

Well the two little birds are doing well.  Mommy bird can get to them to take care of them.  Evidence is all the bird poo on our patio and in the nest.  Every time I go out side I can see mommy bird off in the distance making rude noises at me.  I guess for being too close to her babies.

Its raining now, which is good for our plants.  Our cucumber seeds have started sprouting, very exciting.  Now I need to start building the trellis for the second variety of cucumbers.  I think I am going to make them from a couple of pallets I salvaged.  Just lean them together and find a way to attach them.  Then attach some netting for the vines to grip!

That’s all for now,

Daniel

Daniel – Bird Hero

I took Daisy out for her morning potty today.  Walking out I hear all the birds chirping.  Most of them happy as can be, except for one.  I was about to head inside when there on the ground against our house, a poor baby bird.  It had fallen from a nest.  That nest being under our roof above our little patio.  There is a hole that a bird uses every year.  I will patch it for next year to avoid home destruction.  But back to this bird.  I went and got a ladder and gloves.  Picking up the bird (with Lauren holding the ladder), I lifted back to the roof.  It climbed up into the corner.  One of it siblings was blocking the hole so it couldn’t get into its nest.  I am sure its mother will help it soon.  Lauren and I have checked on it to make sure its still ok.  It is better off up there than on the ground, prey for a neighborhood cat.

You can’t really see the bird or the nest.  But you can see the little hole where the nest is inside.  I hope mommy bird can help its baby.

-Daniel “The Bird Hero”

Update:  Well I went back out and found 2 birds in the bushes… So time for a new plan.  I took one of our hanging flour planters.  Put some dead grass in it for bedding.  and put the birdies up off the ground.  I think the mommy knows where they are now. Took me a while to train her 😛  We will see how this goes.  Can’t be worse than the alternative, that being them getting eaten by a dog or cat.