Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chicken Question +


  We've been trying to catch up on all those things that we couldn't get to this summer.  It's funny, this spring and summer I was so busy with the garden and putting up all those wonderful goodies that I was actually happy that it was over.  It was all worth it though.  We have been enjoying all kinds of beans and peas and assorted goodies that I put up this summer.  It really makes you feel good when you can sit back and enjoy the fruits (or beans) of your labor.  And now that I've had a bit of time to rest up, I can hardly wait to start it all over again in the spring!

Interior Barn Wall and Door Going up
Mars has been working on the barn again. He's had the material to finish putting up the interior walls and the door for awhile but hasn't had time to get to it until now. This is one of those winter time jobs. Things to do in the "man cave" on a rainy day I suppose.   He's got all sorts of things he wants to do around here. It seems the list of things to do never really gets any shorter.

Sunset on the Hillside
We got the last of the fence up for the goats and now Mars just needs to build the gates and the goat shed and install some barb wire along the top. Without a truck to be able to haul lumber and supplies much has had to be put on hold this year. I guess I never really thought about it before as we have always had a truck. It is frustrating not having one. And of course there is the guilt I still feel about wrecking the dang thing. There is always something coming up that would be a breeze to do except you can't haul it in the car. One day we want to replace the upper part of the cab and the windshield. Of course first we'll have to find another truck. It shouldn't be hard to find another cab since the cabs are all the same from about 89-93. Coming up with the money to do it is quite another thing.The truck still runs like a champ though and the Cummins Diesel motor still has a half a million miles to go. We use it around the homestead but it's not road ready yet for sure All in good time I suppose. 

Heating water for Rooster Dunking!
Of course life has to jump in and take over sometimes. Like the washing machine going out. I'm blessed to have a man that can take on most any task and get it done. Sometimes it just takes on a life of its own though. The other morning I went out to start a load of clothes. Things were going fine until I started smelling burning rubber. It seems that one of the belts on the old Maytag needed to be replaced. I won't go into all the gory details but lets just say that I've been to the parts place three times to exchange the belt. It's still not right. I'll have to go
into town and try it again now that Mars has figured out what is going on under there. I'll have to spend a couple of days catching up on the laundry if he can get the old girl working again. It sure beats the alternative though.  If I never have to step into another laundry mat it would suit me just fine!

I bred the new doe (or thought I did) last month and waited... and waited.... Nope. No babies. I'm starting to get discouraged but rabbits are such a big part of what we want to do. I refuse to give up until I get this thing right! It's been over a year and all I've done is feed rabbits every day. Sure they are cute and all that but cute's not cutting it! LOL 

Notice the excess eggs?
I'll be danged if one of my hens has gone broody. All the other hens go into her nesting box every day and leave more eggs. She's trying so hard to cover them all up but it doesn't look like she can spread out much farther. I saw another hen in there with her today that seemed to want to stay with her.

 I checked them later and sure enough the little white(ish) hen was in the box and the broody mama was stretching her legs and grabbing a bite to eat. ETA of baby chickens..... Dec 28. Her timing SUCKS. 
"Thanks for helping"

I think the little white(ish) might be going broody too. Maybe between the two of them they can come up with some baby chicks. Heaven knows there's plenty of eggs to sit on. I need to go get a light fixture and a timer for the chickens and Mars will hook it all up for me. There's just enough wire left to reach over there. It's going to have to wait until payday though.

 We "dispatched" the last of the roosters today. They are now in their new home. It's got great air conditioning!! LOL

 I've got a question for you chicken people out there. Do you think these chickens will have to be stewed or pressure cooked? They are/were 8 months old and lived in the chicken pen/coop. What do you think? Will they be tough?


  1. Wow - always something to do! The to-do list never ends but you have to problems with tackling what needs to be done. :) As for your chicken question, I've not had issues with chickens being tough under one year old but I'd wait for other answers since I've only been doing this for a few years. :) Good luck with everything!

    1. You are so right about always something to do! Thanks for the chicken guidance. Shoot you have more experience than me!!

  2. I think a lot of it has to do with how mobile they were. But honestly, I think I've only stewed one rooster and it was chewy. Was it that rooster, or my cooking? Don't know. I usually go the pressure cooking route though. I pressure cook until the meat comes off, pick the meat, then continue pressure cooking the carcass for soup stock. At that point, the bones are nice & soft so I put them in the blender with some liquid and zip it up & feed it to the birds for a calcium laden treat.

    1. I've heard that about the "roving" chickens, that they are tougher. The last ones we "offed" were a couple of years old. I pressure cooked them and they came out pretty good.

      I love the idea about liquifying the chicken bones. I might have to give it a "whirl". :)

  3. Your chickens will not be tough. We just butchered 4 cockerels at 6 1/2 mo. of age, the the one we had last Sunday was delish! I made coq au vin, and everyone just loved the chicken and the veggies.

    We did butcher "Diablo" which you can read about here:(

    He was older and tougher, so required longer cooking. I think he was maybe 3 years old. You will enjoy the flavor of the meat of your young roosters. Enjoy!

    1. Rose, I remember the Tail of Diablo. Talk about a tough old bird! LOL Thanks for stopping by.

  4. My washer went out a couple days ago, too. No belt. Transmission went out.
    We were fortunate (I hope) to find a used one for $200. If it lasts as long as the $125 one did, I'll be happy.

    Our work has slowed a lot, too, since hubby has been having health problems; but it will happen when it's supposed to, I believe.

    Merry Christmas! *hugs* ♥

    1. Dang, I hate that your washer bit the proverbial dust. Here's to hoping for a long run with your "new" to you washer.

      As usual you make a great point. Things happen when they are supposed to.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine!!

  5. I have found that even our young roosters are tough cooked any way other than pressure cooking. They roam at will and we dispatch them well before a year old. Even at 6 months they tend to be tough. I have taken to just pressure canning them and then having that delicious meat for soups and such later.