Egg (and finger) dying

Our eggs are so beautiful on their own that I never attempted to dye them before today. But today we missed our egg dying event due to illness, so we used the eggs we had – Ours! (with the exception of a few white ones we bought a week ago to dye)

I think they turned out nicely despite a few changes – using food coloring gel, not liquid; not letting them sit in vinegar for a full 20 minutes; not letting the shaving cream fully dry before rinsing.

If we try this again we will use gloves, set aside time to let them soak in vinegar, let them fully dry even if it takes a couple of hours, use liquid food coloring and try cool whip so the eggs would be edible after dying.

 

 

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Forecast – Eggs and Rain

The time of year we have been waiting for has arrived – the hens are laying more and more eggs. Now I just find myself longing for drier days. It has been so wet and the forecast calls for weeks of more wet weather. The hens don’t seem to dislike it as much as I do. I think they have had enough rain to finally start sleeping in their coop instead of out under the stars, in a tree or on a railing.

I honestly don’t know exactly how many hens we have but it is somewhere around 18-20. I stopped keeping the exact total last year sometime when our neighbor’s dog started killing our chickens and being set free more and more to terrorizing the whole neighborhood. This issue is finally resolved though it came about due to the death of our neighbor, which is sad, but at the same time the whole neighborhood seems more peaceful as a result.

We currently have 2 roosters and I really should get rid of one but it is tough choosing who stays, esp. after so much loss this year (chickens, family, etc.). Online articles can tell you that you may only need 8 hens to 1 rooster. But in reality you may need alot more to prevent injury due to over mating. And even if you do have 20 to 1 a rooster may still pick a favorite. Last year our favorite blue layer was the chosen favorite. All year she had to wear a chicken saddle due to severe feather loss. She is all better now and that rooster is no longer tormenting her 😉

So why do we keep a rooster around at all? Well, roosters can help keep hens safe and out of trouble. Some even protect the hens from predators (others run, lol). Although, roosters aren’t needed in order to have eggs, they are mandatory if you are to raise your own chickens. So those are just some reasons why we keep 1-2 around.

In the end this means – we end up with alot more eggs at times than we really need!! With spring just around the corner it will become even harder to keep walking past the baby chicks at the feed store or to pull the broody hen off her nest or to tell a loved one that we have enough hens. But with that said, a hen only lays well for 2-3 years so every year we do get more chickens. We get more than we need as you never know who will lay or who will be a rooster, who will make it or who might not.

Recently, I have lost much of my anger and resentment over the dog killing so many hens (and being a terror in other ways). We lost some really good ones; some breeds we may never be able to get locally. But in other many ways I am relieved. I am glad I didn’t have to choose which hen stays and who goes. I had enough of that when we ended up with half a dozen roosters. I am thankful for the ones we do have…. even if that means I am left with another problem – what to do with all the eggs?!?

Nothing left after making quiches, custards, breads, etc. except to sell them!

Eggs For Sale

Bronze Egg

Our first “Bronze Egg”

Welsummer and Bronze
Eggs from 9/27 ordered by size. Larger ones on left, smaller on the right. The speckled one is a Welsummer egg and the one beside it looks bronze. It’s the first one we have had!

I don’t know if they call this an olive egg in the chicken world or not. I know many folks try to breed olive eggers. I don’t even know who laid it but hope we continue to get more of these unique eggs!Welsummer and Bronze

Persimmons

It’s the end of summer, which means Persimmons!

We love fresh persimmons but this year we have found a new love – Persimmon Bread. YUM!

Mini Persimmon Bread Loaves
Mini Persimmon Bread Loaves

This bread is amazing! It’s dense and spicy and could even be frosted (cream cheese or vanilla) for cupcakes.

Persimmon Muffins
Persimmon Muffins or Cupcakes

Persimmon Bread Recipe –

1 ½ cup All Purpose Flour or Bob’s Mill Gluten Free 1to1 Flour Blend

½ tsp Salt

1 tsp. Baking Soda

½ tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Ground Ginger

1 tsp. Cinnamon

Just under 1 cup Sugar

1 drop (about ¼ tsp.) Blackstrap Molasses

1 ¼ cup Persimmon Pulp (can be made from previously frozen persimmons too)

¼ cup Oil

2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I like to throw the dry stuff together and mix, then add the wet stuff and mix everything together.

Batter is thick. Spoon batter into greased pans. Cook until toothpick comes clean. Can be around 20 minutes for muffins and up to an hour for a full loaf.

Persimmon Pulp/Puree
Persimmon Pulp/Puree

Persimmon pulp can be made using a food mill, or picking the seeds out by hand then blending.

 

 

Baby Bunnies

Hello Bunnies!

We have been so busy caring for all the babies and soon-to-be-babies we forgot to post photos of mama bunny and her babies! The babies are around 6 weeks old now.

This mama is a keeper! She nursed her 8 babies and 1 “foster” from another mama that didn’t make it (childbirth is hard on moms!).

It is hard to tell the runt apart from the other babies is but he is more grey than the other babies and has a white streak on his head. He is so sweet too!

Here are the girls with mama and the boys playing in the neighboring ‘room’ behind the girls. Mama, the girls and boys - in hutch

We have 5 baby girls and 4 baby boys –

The girls are waving – buh bye for now!

Teeny Eggs!

Our hens that were hatched in March are starting to lay! Everyone is so excited!!

The eggs are so teeny tiny (and cute) but they will get bigger over time. Only time will tell if the hen will lay small, medium, or large eggs.

Most of the eggs were hidden under the roost in the poopy mulch. New layers don’t always know where they should lay and try to make their own nests, lol. Thankfully the Buff Orpington laid her egg in the nestbox this morning. Hopefully the others will follow after her and learn sooner, rather than later.

21 Days

20 days flew by!

Today is the 21st day of the hen sitting on her eggs. Which means – the babies are on their way!

This morning we already have 2 baby chicks! Several other eggs have peeped (meaning you can hear them chirping inside) and others have pipped (meaning they poked a hole through the shell). We are am just waiting for them to unzip – cut a line all the way around their shell.  This is where things get tricky sometimes and they need help. But you must not help too soon or too late. So today and tomorrow we are all on egg duty.