Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our Suburban Homestead.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First turkey egg

Of course because I really, really so badly wanted to have a photo for this post there is something up with the camera battery.It's either the charger or the battery its self,no juice is flowing so I am out of luck.


But never the less! This morning when I went to pick up the eggs from the coop there was our very first turkey egg!

 Ours looks just like these in the photo.I knew it was not a chicken egg quickly because A.turkey eggs are larger (about the size of a small lemon.) & heavier in the hand than a chicken egg.B.none of hens have ever laid a speckled egg before.

I had been wondering if we kept the turkey hen around long enough if she would lay.The turkey hen I had when I was 5 used to lay me an egg everyday or every other day.I just wasn't sure as to when the event would happen.

I did some reading up on turkey's and their laying habits.It looks like if we keep her we should count on an egg every other day , although some will lay daily.We can use the turkey eggs just like a large sized chicken egg.Some people think they are richer in flavor much like a mild duck egg and others say there is no flavor difference from a chicken egg.The last time I had a turkey egg I was 5,my memory has failed me on what I thought of the taste and I am sure my tastes have grown up with me.I will let you know what I think soon.

 We are still thinking over the pro's and con's of keep the turkey hen.She is loud and big.But she is laying eggs,loves to follow us around and will sit at your feet.Oh my,how pet like that bird has become.Maybe somewhere in her pea sized brain she really is smart and figured out that if she is cute,sweet and useful we will be tenderhearted suckers and keep her.She does not know us all that well does she? We have raised her for the meat and it may just be what she ends up being,dinner.

Tomorrow I am trying my hand at my own variation of this Coconut Swirl Bread. I am going to use my own sweet dough that is nice and egg-y partly because for some recipes making a sponge is an extra step I don't always get the why of and partly because I know the recipe I use for this kind of dough never fails me.Maybe a bit arrogant of me but honestly life is busy and short,I want fool proof food happening on the days I have lots to do.I am planning on using coconut milk for the liquid in my dough because like the other blogger says,it adds to the coconut flavor of the bread.


We can now say we have two kinds of eggs here at Hrafinstaad chicken and turkey.What other kinds of eggs have any of you tried? Duck? Goose? Quail? Do you like those? I do.

Rois


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snow,peas,chicks and not much else.

My goodness I really thought I would be back here sooner with news about gardening ,chickens,some awesome project - just anything but things have been done so sporadically that I have been saving it all up..

 Things have been done so off and on because, Mother nature has not been a very nice lady lately.We've had dusting's of snow off and on here; something I have never seen in my life.Snow in March?

 It has also been very wet in general which keeps us indoors unable to be out preparing the garden beds or other prep work done.Kind of tough to dig a garden bed when the soil is like thick mud.Perfect for mud pies and not much else.

It seems like over the past month or so every time I am at work the sun comes out to tease me and then vanishes once I am home or have a day off.(Rois shakes her fists at the skies.!!Grrr!)

This morning there was a break in the weather but as soon as we got out a mix of snow and rain started to fall.Then 20 minutes later the sun came bursting out for a few minutes,then back to rain.So we decided to bounce back and forth between doing things inside when it was raining and rushing out as soon as the sun popped out.This bouncing about may be the way to get things done this year if the weather continues this way.Not very productive but slow and steady wins the race.

Chance did get two kinds of peas in the ground on time  in a bed that didn't need any prepping.He planted a shelling pea and some snow peas.I also planted some sweet peas along the fence with the hopes of cut flowers come late spring early summer.Today all of the peas showed themselves as bright green little curls.I was worried because they were a bit late.I thought maybe the crazy weather had gotten to them.It's always funny how those first sprouts of things in the garden are such a pleasure that motivates and inspires you.

We have also had a sunny day a couple of weeks back which we spent the day working on re-vamping the back yard.We are starting by reworking the chicken run and the roof/lid for the covered part of the run.

 The old run was hard to take care of and clean out so we shortened it and rebuilt the fencing for it.It's much easier now to get in to get work done.There was complaining from the hens for a day and those silly turkey's still can't figure out what happened.

The old roof for the run worked like a hinged lid that was way to heavy for me to lift while trying to fill the hanging feed bin.This meant Chance was doing all of the feeding of the chickens a fact he was not happy with.We ended up using some of that wavy plastic type roofing for it's light weight.Chance built a frame work for it to keep it rigid and to keep it from flying off in the wind.I can now just slide the one side over while I fill the feed bin,much better.We really do like having things set up so everyone can share in the work,we don't need anyone grumpy around here.

Both projects were done by re-using what we had taken apart and the new roofing was given to us when our neighbors moved.
I love the coloring's of this Ameraucana.

I have placed a standing order for chicks! I can pick them up when we are ready for them with a weeks notice.I am getting 4 Ameraucana's,2 Black Australorps and 2 Buff Orpington's. I picked the first 4 because they have always been my favorite layers and we love their colored egg shells.The other 2 breeds are ones I have thought a lot about.Both are larger heavy breeds that lay all year round,are known for their good personalities and I think they look like some beautiful birds to have around. Since all three breeds are known to be great layers I am hoping the mix of breeds will gives us eggs farther into the colder months.

One of the things I like about the Black Australorps is how iridescent their feathers are.










Buff Orpington's always look like a storybook chicken to me.
 The only other news I can think of we had some mating skunks come through our neighborhood a while back.They scared our neighbor badly one night with their racket and left her back patio smelling horrid for awhile.We have seen deer, raccoon's and coyotes several times in the 12 years we have been in this house but the skunks are new.I wonder where they have been this whole time? I hope that something has not happened to the place they had been living.

Did you know skunk will give you warnings before he sprays you? First he will shake his head at you saying "no,no." Then he will shake his head and stamp his feet to make sure you understand him.Once he is turning his back on you watch out! He's not running away,he is getting ready to spray you.


Ok enough rambling,we have a dinner guest coming and I have food to make.I will try my best to be better at writing. My fingers are all crossed that the weather will turn and there will be too much to write about.

Rois