Friday, November 6, 2009

More New Friends

I know this is a crazy time to be getting baby chicks. We typically order our last batch of meat chicks end of September to butcher early December. This last of September I didn't have it in me to do one more thing. So I procrastinated. I thought maybe we could get away without raising anymore, hoped we could ration our frozen chicken. Once I did the math and considered the truly cold period of February and early March I decided we better raise a few more to put on the table. Our family likes to eat at least one chicken a week. I would hate to have to go two or three months without chicken, so here we are again.

The chicks were hatched out on Tuesday and arrived yesterday at 10pm. Philip went to the main Roanoke post office to pick them up. We set the "brooder" trough next to the fireplace, gave them food and water and now we watch them grow.

Our plan is to cover a large cage by the milking parlor with heavy duty plastic. We intend to convert the large space into a sort of a green house. If we seed the ground with rye and other cold weather grass seed it should be up and green by the time the chicks are ready to go out. Of course we realize that this is an untested plan and time will tell if it works or not. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, we are feeding the little fellows a mixture of non-GMO grains blended together with some bits of fresh trout trimmings and a little goat milk. We are trying to boost the protein content in their food with fresh ingredients we have on hand. Most high protein poultry food has dried fish meal. We thought it would be interesting to see if there is any difference in the chickens raised on the fresh fish. Hopefully the wind will die down tomorrow and the guys can get the greenhouse finished.

I only baked 6 loaves of bread today. Just enough to barter for some of Jimbo's fresh trout fillets. We had some for supper tonight, fried up in a pan with a little butter. We had some pan-fried potatoes on the side. Yum. Patrick informed me that next year we must plant at least as many potatoes as we did this year, or even more. He has become the master hashbrown maker with all those potatoes. Good thing we get a lot of exercise, eating all those potatoes! I could have gone to the garden to pick enough lettuce to make a salad, but decided to do that tomorrow. We have eaten so many greens this week, thanks to different gifts from different friends of chard, bok choy, collards cabbage and kale. I love them all. Quite pleased that Patrick and Maggie and Rose planted lettuce this fall. We should be enjoying if for a bit.

Kids and parents are tired here on the farm. I think we will all go to our separate corners and read. Philip and Rose just came in from hunting coyotes. Hopefully they scared off the wiley critters and we will get some peace this evening.

By the way, now that I am no longer milking at night I am missing out on night sky, the moon phases, the stars and the breezy night sounds. It is hard to make myself go outside if I don't have to.


Jeff said...

This might be new to you, but vegetables in the nightshade family (potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers) aggravate many people's arthritis. My mother had arthritis (who doesn't with age?) and she couldn't eat any pototoes. In the summer of 2008, I got on a potato salad kick and apparently ate too many potatoes - I could barely bend at the knees - they killed me until I stopped eating potatoes. I eat them now, but in moderation said...

Wow! What interesting news. Our consumption of those foods is actually quite moderate, just because we want them to last through the winter, but during the heat of summer I cooked eggplant up to three times a week and of course that would include peppers and tomatoes. Isn't that weird?

I will definitely have to do some research on those foods. And send that on to my mom who has arthritis. Thanks for the heads up! Watch out for that potato salad! And hashbrowns. And mashed potatoes. I think I will pay attention to body aches after eating those foods to see if they bother me.