Monday, January 14, 2013

It's a NINE Chicken Day!

I was originally going to say it was a two chicken day, but that doesn't have the flair and drama that saying it is a nine chicken day does. And, after all, I did deal with nine chickens today - only seven are still quite alive.

After finishing up that soap experiment, I now had a very clean and empty pan. Since it is still rather cold up here, soup is in order.

Now, I make soup a little oddly for some people - It's a two day or more deal here.  For example - today, I started chicken soup. That means a whole chicken came out of the freezer and went into the pot with a lot of water, to cook at medium temperature for the next couple of hours.  Later, this pot is going to go in the fridge until tomorrow, when I will cook it a few more hours, and then take the chicken out.  By that point, the chicken should be falling off the bones, making it easy to clean.  I will season the broth, add some onions and carrots and whatever other vegetable strikes me for this pot, and it will be ready for the evening meal.  Since tomorrow is supposed to be cold but not as cold, that will work just fine.

I will also have an attentive audience waiting for the skin and what meal bits I decide are unfit for the soup - very attentive.  This is them as I cleaned off the turkey carcass at Christmas:

Chicken number two went straight into the crock pot for dinner tonight - and it's a big one! I don't have a small crock pot, but this chicken filled it.  Daughter, who works as a baker at the store, said it was the smallest one available. A little Tarragon, a little Marjoram, and dinner will cook itself - my main effort is done.  Since it was noon, a pizza was sacrificed to the oven gods for all to enjoy 20 minutes later.
See what I mean? Big chicken!

My main work of the day was done.  After lunch, it was time to let the girls outside - the live seven!  It was up to a whole 13 degrees, but as I opened the coop, out they trotted to the yard to happily peck and scratch and apparently dust.

I checked the nesting boxes and found FIVE eggs today! The most at any given time since the cold of winter has set in! I think part of it was because it was so cold, their heat lamp was on at 6 am yesterday, and then on and off throughout the day until around 9 pm. The day before, we'd had it on several hours as well. It gives off a lot of light, and not as much heat as expected - but we did do it on and off so that they did not get over warm, since that is detrimental to their health as well. Proof that 12+ hours of light does increase their laying.

New feed, fresh water, cabbage, and the girls happily come in when called.  Only one was slow, so I went back to the run to get her. As I'm standing there in the sunlight, I can see the next storm front moving along to the west.  It was too far north to hit us, but there, sparkling in the sun, were teeny flakes of snow, just drifting here and there. Just a few. I get the last chicken, and note she's covered in dirt.  I have to pick her up and put her in through the chicken TV sliding window, since the door is shut with everyone else inside and I have no desire to play chase the chickens in order to get one chicken in. And she decides to flap her wings.  Lucky me, I've gotten a dust bath too.

Bring in more firewood, and settle in to write for you fine folks today.  Later will be a lovely chicken dinner, some more time crocheting, and an overall nice evening at home.

Hope you all have a wonderful evening!

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