Showing posts from 2016

Flashback to Two Years Ago: Daisy's Last Brood of Chicks

As I was looking back over my blog post archives, I thought this one worth highlighting again, after making a few updates and edits. My oldest hen is "Daisy", who is a white Easter Egger who I bought from a hatchery in April 2011. She holds a special place in my heart, even though her egg laying days are over. Why? She was my first hen to go broody in 2012, and hatched 3 chicks, one of which became "Michael Jessie", who is also still living with the flock and sired chicks during the summer of 2016. Both Daisy and Michael Jessie are very inspirational in starting my interest in hatching chicks, and mark the starting point of what became the Catskill Homesteader Chickens.

Olive & Daisy's chicks - Hatched between Oct 9 - 12th, 2014
The last hatch of 2014 was definitely "survival of the fittest", even though I don't believe in evolution. But, it is true that without human intervention, in the wild, usually it's only the strongest, healthiest and …

Are Chickens Really Dumb?

You've heard that chickens are dumb, right? 

Well, over the past 8 years of raising chickens, I can attest that they are actually quite smart. Granted, they have their "moments" that they do things that make you think they're dumb. But, overall, when you take time to observe their behaviors, they display more intelligence or, at least, smarter instincts than what we've been told for so long. I have many stories that hopefully I'll be able to share with you, but today, this one features the Appenzeller Spitzhauben breed.
This past May I bought 2 Spitzhauben hens at the BYC "members-only" Chickenstock. One was broody & came with "dummy" eggs. (a whole other story)
Even though I didn't NEED any more hens, this is how chicken math works.
Plus, I did find homes for some of my chickens at Chickenstock, so in the end,
I still had less chickens!

Above - the one hen in pasture pen;  below - broody hen sitting on eggs
They are both gorgeous…

Whole30 Roasted Potato & Wilted Kale Salad

For the month of October, I'm doing the Whole30 Program, and one of the first things I made this past Saturday was for a picnic where I knew there would be non-Whole30 potato salads. I underestimated how fast it'd go, as there were several other people who were also embarking on their Whole30 journey the same day. As a result, I got many requests for the recipe, which "didn't exist". :D That's because I took 3 similar recipes & made them Whole30 compliant.

Whole30 Roasted Potato & Wilted Kale Salad
Ingredients (no amounts, as I didn't measure :D )
Cubed Potatoes Cubed Sweet Potatoes Onions Kale Chopped Celery Whole30-Approved Bacon "Gobs of Garlic" (no salt/sugar variety) ** BalsamicVinegar Extra Virgin Olive Oil Smoked Paprika Spicy Brown Mustard
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine oil, vinegar, mustard & seasonings, then pour over the cubed potatoes.

Mix until thoroughly coated. Spread on baking sheet (we use parchment p…

Mr. Tom Turkey

Turkeys are totally different than chickens - I've learned that in - one year of raising them. Nearly all winter, spring & summer, the tom turkey would "display", as in the classic fanning his tail, strutting & gobbling. But alon with that came what I thought as aggressive behavior, so naturally, I became afraid of this bird that was quite large & could inflict serious damage. Yet, like most animals, he sensed I was afraid & "proved" my fears & "challenged" me several times. I was at the point where I was seriously considering what I should do with him.
Then, one day at least a month ago, when I was carrying a bucket of fermented feed for chicks, I have him a scoop. He loved it & was distracted from following me. I continued to give him the fermented feed like he'd gotten when he was just a young poult. Soon I began to realize that his behavior wasn't aggression, he was doing what most people who raise turkeys discover:…

Random Ramblings

Another "draft post" I found that I'd not published, even though I'd written it several months ago.
So, thought I'd share it anyways!

Still got quit a few CL/EE cuties from who I have gave to 2 broodies who'd hatched chicks, but I'd given them to another hen.
They decided to leave their nests the day I was planning on giving them the incubator chicks! But, they were still acting broody, like they were
going around & clucking to "invisible" chicks. When I came out with two chicks to see how they'd react, they came right over.
Separated them out from the rest of the flock, gave them a few more chicks - in the daylight, no less! And they accepted them & they're doing so well outside with the broodies.

I had two scares last night - we were coming home late last night & there was a huge black bear running down the road. My brother thinks the bear was about 300lbs, and it was less than 1/2 a mile away,
just up the ro…

Chickenstock & Update

Spring & summer is always a busy time of year, so blog posts are more infrequent. That's why I like doing quick updates or photos via our hobby farm's Facebook page. And still I usually only post about 1/3 to 1/4 of what goes on here. Not that I don't want to, but I'm trying to make sure household & hobby farm priorities take precedence over social media.
Anyway, this past Saturday my dad & I plus a car load of chickens, hatching eggs & some seeds headed over to Harpursville for what's called Chickenstock. Members of the BYC forum have local threads of which most have an annual Chickenstock. So, many of the members from the NY Chicken Lover's thread gathered together to swap/sell chicks, hens, roosters, ducks, rabbits & hatching eggs. Several of us brought  pop up tents & chairs where we could gather round & talk with those who've chatted with online. We all contributed food, drink, etc & shared a picnic lunch. It was pretty …

It's Spring Again!

As those living in NY state know, April greeted us with cold temperatures and the most snow we had all winter.
But, 10 days later, and spring came back. It was wonderful to not be bundled up in layers, and the chickens enjoyed the sunshine. The grass has been growing beautifully, so while I spring-cleaned the "Brooder Barn", I let the young chicks, broody hens & "Mini Flower" breeding group out into the fresh spring grass.

 Lydia & the Feb 2016 Hatch chicks
 "Mini Flower" Group

 Dec 2015 Hatch Pullet - "Dos"

 Jan 2016 Hatch Pullet  New SFH chick - new bloodlines, not sure if this is a rooster or pullet yet. Supposed to be a rooter.  Elly May is broody again & should be getting chicks next week.
The Swedish Flower Hen group also enjoyed the sunshine and fresh grass.

After adding new bedding, I moved the younger chicks out of the brooder, so they'd have more room & could start adjusting the other chickens in the "Brooder…