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Poultry Maternity Ward

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This weekend will be 21 days of sitting for the broody hen in the flower pot. If all has gone well for her that means baby chicks hatching this weekend!! Due to the kerfuffle of her sitting in the favorite spot and other hens squeezing in to lay some eggs, too, she is sitting on 2 dozen eggs. Obviously they will not all hatch. And I’m a bit worried that anything that does hatch will be squished by the extra eggs.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  I’ll be surprised if nothing hatches because she has been diligent about incubating and also because our roosters are so active with the ladies that I’d bet every egg is fertilized. Here she is when she was sharing:

Double Broody

Our hens are always surprising us with where they lay their eggs. We have 3 nesting boxes in the coop, plus a box in the garage, and the flower pot. And still some of the little ones look for strange little hideaways-a bucket, a bike trailer, the feed barrel.
The most depressing nesting box ever
A couple of days ago we discovered a clutch of eggs in a coiled hose.
Minerva Louise
If you’ve ever read the picture book Minerva Louise, you’ll know why we immediately started calling these hens Minerva Louise (also, “Hose Hen”) Turns out it wasn’t just a laying place, but the little hen is broody and now sitting on them. This coiled hose was underneath our log storage. The logs are gone, now and so she has no roof. We’re going to put something up, or maybe just a row of logs, so that when it rains she doesn’t get soaked.
Minerva Louise
So, we might be having a little baby boom! (or not, you just never know.) Also, although the mothers are the grownups of the special breeds we got last year, any chicks born here will be mutts.

I haven’t written about food for a while, so thought I’d share a couple of good dinners recently. Since we have an overabundance of eggs I made a quiche the other night, with mushrooms and zucchini. I like to think quiche is healthy, but really I make a nice flaky pie crust that is in no way healthy. But it makes a delicious dinner!
Quiche

Earlier in the week I used some special garden fresh ingredients. From the garden this year? No! From the summer when I put up, preserved, and froze lots of things. I had a freezer bag filled with cherry tomatoes roasted with garlic and rosemary. I defrosted it and put chicken thighs in it, baked it, and added feta. Delicious and just as fresh tasting as in the summer.
Garden Grub the next year
I have a little of the tomato stuff left which I’m going to serve over polenta.
I was able to serve something from this year’s garden already-asparagus! Just a few spears. I roasted them and added them to a salad with feta. Wonderful! I also like to snap them off in the garden and eat them standing right there. When they are so new and fresh they are very tender and tasty raw.
Salad with Roasted Asparagus--from the garden!
The garden is going beautifully. The mailbox garden Paul built and I filled with bulbs in the fall has turned out just as I’d hoped-filled with beautiful flowers.
Blooming

Blooming

The tulips everywhere are looking great! I haven’t been doing great preparing my vegetable garden, but we have been working on planting grass seed and removing sticks from the yard (yes, belated hurricane cleanup-considering raking it into a bonfire and burning it all?)
tulips 2013

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

5 responses »

  1. homeisherewithyou

    We’re looking to get some chickens next spring and we’re prepping our yard for them this summer – getting a coup, fencing off a run for them, etc. We’re looking to get mostly hens, but I’d never thought of keeping any chicks if we got a rooster. That’s a pretty great way to grow your flock 🙂 Also, the dishes you made look absolutely delicious!

    Reply
    • I don’t mind the roosters too much, and we are fortunate to live someplace where they are not regulated (I know a lot of towns are passing “no roosters” ordinances.) We only have them through hand me downs, getting straight run chicks (some turned out to be roosters), and chicks of are own. We did start out with just hens-after all, you don’t need the rooster for eggs!
      And, thank you!

      Reply
  2. I love the chickens sharing a “nest”. Finding the eggs must be like Easter everyday! Your chicken with tomatoes and feta made my mouth water. I’m really going to have to go outside the box with preserving this year because I never thought of doing that with my tomatoes! Your flowers are very pretty too and I would definitely do the bonfire. I’ve been doing the same thing every chance I get this year…no hurricane, just annual cleanup in my yard! 🙂

    Reply
    • Gardengirl, that’s my favorite way to preserve tomatoes, particularly cherry ones which I seemed to have a lot of last summer. Just put them on a rimmed baking sheet with some olive oil and garlic and whatever herbs and roast them, then cool them and put them in ziploc bags in the freezer. Great in the winter to toss with pasta or do other things with.
      I feel inspired to take the plunge with the bonfire. I felt nervous about it, but on the other hand I’ve safely made many campfires in my life and not burned down any campsites. I’ll let you know how it goes!

      Reply
      • Thanks for the instructions. I can’t wait to try it! For the fire, keep it relatively small and controlled and make sure it isn’t windy day. My pile was still smoldering after I hosed it down and it rained. Just use common sense and it’ll be fine.

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