Posts Tagged ‘Hens’

Any Morning French Toast

A breakfast classic!  This is by far the most requested breakfast item in our house.  The children love the flavor and mommy loves that it is a way to regularly enjoy our hen’s bounty whilst frugally reclaiming stale bread that would otherwise be thrown away.

  • 1 slice of your favorite bread (We use a whole grain for weekday breakfasts, broiche or other egg-based bread for the occasional fancy weekend brunch, and most importantly to use up whatever bread that has gone stale)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk (This depends on the size of the egg, the staleness of the bread, and your own preference)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 pat of butter
  • drizzle of local honey and/or maple syrup (Use this to serve atop the finished french toast and/or mix it into the egg mixture prior to cooking)

Scramble together the egg, milk, cinnamon and optional honey/syrup.  Add bread and allow to soak up the liquid.  In a pan heated to medium low, melt the butter and then add the toast.  Cover.  Cook until golden browned on each side, flipping once.  Serve warm.

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Will a Broody Hen Adopt Chicks? Yes!

We’ve had a broody Silkie since mid May. In The Broody Experiments, we tried our best to get her “unbroody,” but without success.  This chicken was broodily determined. Sigh and wait.

Then my chicks arrived today. They were incubated by a nice class of students at a local school. Disappointingly, we only had 3 out of 24 eggs hatch: 2 Salmon Faverolles and 1 Belgian Bearded D’Anvers. Sounds like a perfect size clutch for a broody bantam. Hmm. I conveniently happen to have an inconveniently broody bantam.

Now the question… will our broody hen adopt the chicks? Internet research showed mixed results. Fortunately, most of out conditions are right: The hen has been broody for over 21 days and she is very gentle and good-natured.

The plan: Towards dusk, I introduced them one at a time, approximately 45 minutes apart. I also included an egg shell with the first introduction that my child serendipitously broke while collecting this afternoon. Perhaps it is total nonsense, but I read that the shell helps.

The initial results: Did I say she was good natured? I poked around to take a few nosy pictures of the progress and she hissed and puffed up at me! Hurrah! That’s a first for her and great sign those mothering instincts are kicking into high gear. As of dusk tonight, the chicks seem to be doing fine under #1 adopted mum.

The next steps: Over the next few days, I’ll be watching our new family like that @#*$! red-tailed hawk circling my house. Because these are waaay over day-old (nearly two weeks!), I’m going to have to make sure they are getting enough food and water since they don’t have that yolk sac insurance.

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The Broody Experiments

Silkie is broody. The previous evidence of constant sitting and lack of eggs pointed towards this, seconded by readers’ comments (thanks!), and yesterday’s experiment confirmed it for me. If she were sick, she would be too ill to get around, right? So I locked all the chickens out of the coop and run for the afternoon. Mean mommy, but everyone else finished laying and I made sure there was water and food. And what happened? Silkie free-ranged with the others for a few minutes and the proceeded to pace the door, trying to get back to the nesting boxes. Pace, pace, pace. She must have really wanted to get back to those phantom eggs. At least it got her up and moving and off the nest just as a wire-bottom cage would, except that I have free-range and no wire-bottom cage.

This weekend’s chicken treatment is to continue intensive free-range therapy. Will the experiment yield the desired result?  Hypothesis:  Hopefully.

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Broody or Sicky?

For the past week, this is the scene confronting me each visit to the coop: Silkie sitting.

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Yes, I know that Silkies are notorious setters, so we had a few chuckles about Silkie and I simultaneously deciding it was time to brood our respective eggs. However, as the week has progressed, I’m getting concerned because other than sitting burning hot, she’s not showing other typical brooding behavior. For example,she’s not  at all miffed when I retrieve eggs from under her and unceremoniously remove her from the nesting box several times a day. Not even a hiss or peck or indignant fluffing of feathers in my general direction! Docile as a doll. When placed on the cool ground, she just sits there dazedly for a few minutes before wandering off.

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Sometimes I can get her to eat and drink. Other times, it’s just back to the coop. She’s not visibily missing any feathers and I’ve done a thorough search of the area for plucked feathers just in case. She also feels like she’s a healthy weight and I can’t detect any signs of an egg bound hen.

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What’s your guess: Is she broody or sick? Let’s hope for broody because she’s the best-natured broody hen I’ve ever encountered!

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