A Fiber Farm Blog

Posts tagged ‘Laying Hens’

Look what we got today!!!

Our first colored egg!  I had been waiting and waiting and had almost given up.  What a nice surprise!

Colored Ege

Egg Noodles & Perfectionism

I have been thinking lately that I would like to make homemade noodles.  My Grandma Anthony used to make these all the time.  Jeff’s mom still makes them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Making homemade noodles has been on my mind ever since my hens starting laying eggs.  The only way, I think, you can make homemade noodles better, would be to use eggs that have been laid by your own spoiled hens!

Now, I have never made homemade noodles in my life.  I watched my grandmother do it many times and the recipe seemed easy enough…..there’s only a few ingredients for goodness sake.  So I opened up my old Betty Crocker cookbook and went to work.

Egg Noodles Dough

I combined the egg, milk, salt and flour and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Egg Noodles Rolled

I put it out on a floured surface and rolled it into a very thin, 12 x 18 rectangle.  You can see that my 12 x 18 rectangle isn’t really a rectangle at all, but that is how I managed to get it rolled out.

Noodles Rolled

Noodles Cut

I loosely rolled up the dough and cut it into ¼ inch wide pieces.  Now this is the point that I was starting to get worried.  I could tell that the little rolls were going to be awfully difficult to unroll.  And they were!  I don’t know if I didn’t use enough flour when I mixed them, when I rolled them out, or maybe it was the odd shape of my rectangle that did me in.  But I couldn’t get those noodles unrolled nicely for the life of me. 

Drying Noodles

Noodles Closeup

Here is what my noodles looked like when I finally set them out to dry.  This is not how my grandma’s homemade noodles looked, I can tell you that.

Now at this point, I should tell you that I almost didn’t post this.  You see, my noodles did not turn out like I had planned, certainly not like my grandmothers or mother-in-laws do, in fact they looked quite awful!  And since I am a perfectionist in many things I do (I really should get help for this) I didn’t want to post anything that wasn’t perfect.  But then I realized, this isn’t how I want my blog to be.  I want my blog to be about trying new things, learning from our mistakes and realizing that sometimes we have no idea what “perfect” really even is.

Chicken n Noodles

When all was said and done, even though my noodles looked, well a little odd, my Chicken with Homemade Noodles tasted amazing!  Perfection!

 

Afraid of the Egg?

It has been really exciting around the farm this week because our hens are laying their first eggs.  From our 5 hens, we got 14 eggs last week!  Unfortunately 6 of the eggs we ended up throwing out as we weren’t sure how long they had been sitting around before we found them.  But now that we are in an egg gathering routine (and have hopefully found all their hiding places) we will not waste any of our eggs.  So this morning I had 8 of my hen’s eggs that I was ready to scramble.

Egg 1

But, all of the sudden it occured to me that I had never had an egg like this before.  In all of my 50+ years, as far as I know, I have always had eggs bought at the grocery store.  Now I know this isn’t a good thing.  I have heard all about how bad store bought eggs can be and the deplorable conditions that laying hens are subject to, just so I can go to the grocery store and purchase eggs.  That is one of the reasons I moved to the farm, purchased my chicks and have read book after book on how to raise them so that I will know what I am eating.  But when it came time to actually use my first farm raised hen’s egg, I will admit it felt a little strange.  I don’t know what I was afraid I would see when I cracked open that first egg, but this is what I got……..

Egg 2

Beautiful looking eggs!  So I whipped them up, added some milk like my family likes and prepared them for the stove.

Egg 4

I scrambled them  up……….

Egg 5

and put them on a plate.

Egg 6

They were delicious and I can now say with confidence, I am no longer afraid of the egg!  I am proud that we are raising our hens humanely (they are actually quite spoiled I think).  They have room to grow, a safe place to nest, and have healthy food and plenty of fresh water at all times.   And now, they are producing delicious and healthy eggs!

 

Eggciting Day!

We had an unusually warm January day today, so I thought I would take advantage of it and work in the chicken coop a bit.  Nothing seemed unusual or amiss when I went out.  Larry was crowing as he so often does, just to annoy me it seems (he is supposed to be a hen afterall!).  But otherwise everything looked normal, the chickens were spending the afternoon outside, waiting to see if I had brought out any special treats for them.

Typical Day

But when I went inside the coop, I found them.  Three beautiful brown eggs! 

Eggs!

I was shocked that I have eggs this early, I was really thinking it might be several weeks away.  What a nice surprise!

Oh Happy Day!

The chicken coop is now complete and this weekend the chickens were put in their new home.  They had the best time exploring and pecking around. 

There are still things that I want to do, but for now, the chickens have plenty of room and a safe place to spend the winter.  Next spring, we will work on replacing some of the rotted boards, paint the coop, stain the wood, and work on the windows so that they are comfortable when it gets warm next summer.   I am also reading a book called Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom in hopes that by next spring I can do some landscaping in and around the coop that will add beauty to the coop but be healthy for the chickens as well. 

I couldn’t wait to get in with the chicks and take pictures since I finally had some room and plenty of good light.  But do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of a chicken when it is running around, pecking at anything and everything?  Plenty hard!  I picked out some of the best so you could enjoy seeing the chickens as they explore their new home.

 

Chicken Coop Renovation Update

Hi, thought I would do a quick coop renovation update.  We pretty much have the outdoor area framed in.  Not too bad for a couple of non-woodworking type people!  We also tried to use as much reclaimed lumber as possible.  That presented a few challenges but all in all I think we did a great job.  We still need to finish around the bottom, put in the door and put up all the screening.  We are well on our way and it’s a good thing too.  Our chickens are getting bigger and bigger and if the weather doesn’t get too cold too fast, are more than ready to get outside where they have more space.  Keep you posted.

 

Chickens Day Out (And Coop Renovation Update)

The new chicks are 3 weeks old now and just full of fluff and feathers. They are growing like weeds and already seem to have their own personalities.  It was nice enough today to have a “chicks day out”.  I put them in one of our large dog crates where they could get some fresh air and still be safe.

They had a great day, pecking at the ground, and watching the big world outside.

And, they even practiced roosting for the first time.

And best of all, they got a special treat, tomatoes, parsley and bread crumbs.

While the chicks were enjoying their day, Jeff and my nephew Myles were working on the coop renovations.  Jeff had pulled all the warped and rotting floorboards up, filled in the hole underneath and sealed up the cracks in the foundation.  He and Myles worked to lay down the new flooring in the coop.

There is much more work that I want to eventually get done, but for now we are trying to do just what is necessary.  The chicks are growing like crazy and I want to make sure that they have a good, safe home when they are ready to move out to the coop. 

And….as usual……we had our alpaca supervisors watching over the coop remodel.  Today, it was Renegade, Frisco, Weston and The Dash.

Watch for my next post on the chicks and our progress on their coop.