Category Archives: Animals

Success!

Chickens Hatched! 

 

I have learned so much about chickens in the past few years, it is amazing.

There were 43 eggs placed in the incubator 21 days ago, and we have 27 healthy chicks now!  Usually only about half make it.  I’m so excited!

Last Friday, we did a process called “candling.”  This is where incubated eggs are held up to a candle to determine whether they are fertile and, if fertile, to check the growth and development of the embryo.   A small reddish area with blood vessels extending away from it will be visible in fertile eggs. This is the embryo floating around inside the egg, looking like a huge red spider.  We put question marks on the eggs that were hard to tell because the shell was so thick.

In about 8-10 weeks, we should be able to determine the sex of the chickens.  The roosters start growing these really long,…really thick…really hard…

 

 

 

NECKS.  (get your minds out of the gutter)  Seriously, roosters have long, thick hard necks.  They also start to form the comb.  By then our chicken coop should be built and I can bring home my girls!

Again–Who wants some eggs?

Chickens

We are getting Chickens!

3-5 of these incubating eggs will soon be ours!

Why are we getting chickens?

Seriously, who needs a puppy?

 

My family loves eggs.  We boil them, devil them, scramble them, sunny side up them, fry them, and make crustless quiches.  (see my Recipe section!)  Eggs are such a good source of protein.  My 6 year old son is going through a growth spurt right now.  After dinner he complains of being hungry, I tell him to eat a boiled egg!  It’s kinda like the carrot test they tell you to do if you are on a diet.  If you are really hungry, you’ll eat the carrot.  (or boiled egg)

So, besides the benefit of feeding my son during his growth spurt, and my husband getting out his power tools to build a really cool chicken coop…why are we doing this?

1) Eggs from well-tended backyard chickens are healthier:  Factory farmed chickens live their lives without ever touching the soil or being allowed to hunt and peck for bugs. They are fed an unnatural and unvaried diet. These environmental conditions are designed to produce eggs quickly and cheaply in the factory farm. But the result is an egg that is less nutritious than eggs produced by chickens allowed to exercise, peck for bugs and engage in their natural chicken-y behavior.  Eggs from backyard chickens have 25 percent more vitamin E, a third more vitamin A and 75 percent more beta carotene. They also have significantly more omega-3 fatty acids than factory farmed eggs.

2) Eggs from backyard chickens taste better:   Seroiously.  Eggs in the grocery store are anemic, and can be days—even weeks—old. As these eggs age, air seeps into the naturally porous eggshell, degrading not just the nutrition, but also the taste and affecting the consistency of the egg.  Fresh eggs from backyard chickens have firmer whites and bright orange yolks. (That’s the beta carotene). But the real difference is in the taste. Backyard chicken eggs have a rich, robust taste that is difficult to describe.

3) Chicken droppings enrich your compost: Chicken droppings are high in nitrogen. Added to the compost bin they add more nitrogen and improve your compost.  My hubby built me a really awesome herb garden.  I should start making a little compost for my basil.

4) Chickens provide natural insect control:  As they hunt and peck around the yard, chickens gobble up grubs, earwigs and other bugs, treating our garden pests as tasty, nutritious treats.  Awesome.

5) Their scratching for bugs is good for the soil: Chickens are enthusiastic foragers and will scratch around in the leaves and soil searching for the tastiest morsels. As they do, they aerate the soil and break down larger pieces of vegetation with their sharp talons, accelerating the decomposition process.

6) Chickens are a great way to meet people and start conversations:  Since I am naturally very shy, I don’t meet people very easily.  Kidding.

7) Chickens are fun and interesting. Every chicken has a personality—and lots of it. They aren’t particularly smart, but when properly socialized, chickens can be very friendly and even do tricks.

We can’t afford to get a puppy now that someone in our family has decided to up and quit their job.  I’m not saying any names, but it isn’t Daniel.  Cool

I guess I’ll teach my chickens to roll over.  Video to come this summer.

8) Backyard chickens provide lessons for children about responsibility and where food comes from.Tending chickens is pleasurable and even easier than caring for a dog. There is no walking the chickens or even giving them a bath. But chickens do require daily food and fresh water. The coop must be cleaned and the chickens inspected regularly to ensure they are healthy. Children can participate in all of these chicken-related chores.

The average laying hen will product about 300 eggs a year.  Now,  who wants to buy some eggs? 

 eggs

 See the difference in these yolks? The egg on the left is from my friend who has chickens in her yard. They are allowed to roam free and eat scraps, bugs, and feed. The yolks in these eggs are orange, rich and delicious. That sorry looking pale egg on the right is from Harris Teeter.

2013 Bucket List

Resolutions:  Do they work?

New Year’s resolutions…do they work?  Debatable.  First and foremost, you have to believe you can achieve your goals.  I also like the idea of setting SMART goals- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

I recently set the goal, (or had the goal set for me) to complete the 62 day challenge at Y2 Yoga.  November 1st-January 1st take 62 classes in 62 days.  The SMART goal was already set for me when I started this challenge.  It was just up to me to show up.  Check.

nonSMART goal:  I will lose weight.

Instead of setting a bunch of  resolutions about running a 10K, , losing 10 pounds and all that blah I always do, I decided this year I am going to enjoy some fun things instead.

Kacy’s Bucket List for 2013:

1.  Go on a hot air balloon ride.  (maybe for my birthday in May…)

2.  Get a new flat iron.  (just waiting on the Ulta sale!)

3.  Go on an awesome trip.  (Booked- Punta Cana 2/23)

4.  Ride on  a segway.  (Already bought the Groupon!)

5.  Try out FlyWheel and FlyBarre.  (I can go for free now, so there is no excuse)

7.  Get a new puppy this summer.  (list of names already written out)

8.  Get a white ink tattoo.  (design and artist already chosen)

9.  Do a revolved bird of paradise.  (yoga move)

10.  Take a yoga workshop in Asheville. 

What will you do in 2013? 

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