Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our New Chicken Coop!

Our first chickens didn't fair too well without a closed in coop. In our area there are lots of raccoon and loose dogs. My husband bought all of the materials to build the yard and we used our found pallets to make the coop part. Now after many months we have a safe coop and yard for the chickens.

The coop has some chicken wire over the top of the yard and chicken wire is all around the bottom of the yard and coop to keep predators from being able to burrow underneath.

We had some heart ache but decided to just raise a few in the house in the bath room until the new coop was finished. One lived and that was our start. Then we bought two Americans for a good bargain and a friend of ours who has been showing me how to raise the chickens has given me some and now all total we have 12 chickens. 10 hens and 2 roosters. 4 of them are bantam (banty if you are from the south) chickens and the rest are regular sized. Recently we installed some tarp material and a heating lamp for the colder temperatures and the rain. Here are some pictures of all of the goings on.

the sand/ash box
the ice tray feeder




Marigold at young pullet size

Marigold in a chicken diaper

doing the dishes and vacuuming:)



Finished covered chicken yard  (Zoi, Zeke and Lonnie my sweet builders )

This is our rooster and two of his hens the one right next to him is our former house chicken.

This is our bantam roo he stands about 6 to 7 inches high.

This is one of our bantam hens.

Bantam rooster at the pumpkin.

Our Australorp Rooster at the water feeder.

My five year old with a bantam hen.

Americana

Another Americana

My chicken keeper, Zeb with a bantam hen. 

This is our hen Iron Chick. She was injured from a chicken plucking. We separated her from the others for a while so she could start healing. She is a lot better this week and able to be back with her friends and not be bothered. Sometimes chickens start plucking their friends feathers when there is not a lot of diversity of eating materials after the hay came they settled down plus we give them more protein and green snacks now. This is a learning journey. You must always be watching them to see what they are up to because if this goes too far they will become cannibalistic. That is not w lot like what I want to wake up to. To me its a lot like drugs. I guess feathers are a real treat! Another learning opportunity for the children. Everything in moderation even feather cleaning and picking. :)

This is Flopsy drinking from the water feeder.

This is angel making up breakfast. We save our eggs up for Saturday or Sunday breakfast. Yum! They all like to lay in the same bucket.




Quick and Easy Potato Bread!

Lately I have been having the older children to make the bread for us; a different one every week. To make it more enjoyable I have made the child that did it the previous week to do one of their time consuming chores for them. This week Zach, my oldest, chose Potato Bread a big favorite with him because he likes the bread to be flexible and soft. Give it a try and let me know how yours turns out. It doesn't really taste like potatoes either. The potatoes just help with the moisture levels.

Ingredients:
1 large potato, peeled and cooked in the microwave. ( it only takes about 5 minutes if the potato has been peeled)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons of yeast (I use the yeast brick and save the yeast in a plastic container in the freezer)
6 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sweetener of your choice
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or shortening the (oil is cheaper so that's what we use)
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour (for kneading)
1/2 cup of warm water

1. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl cook your peel and cook your potato for 4 or 5 minutes in the microwave. Then chunk it up and add some warm faucet water to the 2 cup line and mash and stir until smooth.
2. Then pour 1/2 cups of that potato water into your medium to large mixing bowl and add your yeast. Stirring to mix. Next add your potato mixture and 2 cups of flour, sweetener,oil and salt. Beat that all together with your electric mixer on low speed until combined scraping the sides.
3. Sir in the remaining flour and  the half cup of warm water or more if it is fall or winter and the air is dry.
You can mix this by hand and knead at this time or mix with your dough hook for a while and then shape into loaves. Zach prefers to knead it by hand because he enjoys playing with the dough.
Spray two bread pans with cooking oil spray and flour the bottoms of your pan to make the bread release easier after its baked.
4. Turn your oven on warm and place your bread into the oven to rise for 30 minutes or until the bread has risen well above the pans.
5. Turn your oven to 375 and bake for 40 to 45 minutes placing a cookie sheet or tin pan over the top in the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking to avoid the crust burning.
6. Let your bread rest out of the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes when it comes out of the pan and slice with an electric knife or any bread knife. I really like the electric knife for this because you are able to get the slices just right with it.

I am working on posting pictures with my posts but the last code reader we bought was defective so we will have to try again. Thanks for your patience.



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