Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First Tomato of the Season

 My great-grandfather, Carl Rollwitz, saved seeds from his Early Annie heirloom tomato plants since the 1930s.  They have been handed down to my grandfather, my mother, and now me.  These tomatoes are almost seed-free, juicy, and meaty.

So, of course, the girls get to eat the first ripe tomato!  They ate the tomato quickly, then slurped up the juice from the bowl.

What a great treat.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Building a Roost for the Heat

The girls have been suffering with the heat right along with us.  They have stopped sleeping in the coop at night, probably because of the heat.  They tried sleeping on top of the coop, but I hated cleaning up the poo.

So, I took 2 2x4s and made the simple roost.  The roost is not attached to the fence, but the 45 degree angle on the ends of the boards allowed me to wedge it in.  This way I can move the roost to clean under it.

The cinder blocks will be put down again.  We turn them over every day or so to let the ladies eat the bugs.  Just like dessert!

Notice the boots on Jakob.  My friend Kathy found them for me.  He loves playing with the hose, but never gets his feet wet.  Except when he fills his boots with water...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chickens Not Too Sure About Enclosure

Standing around wondering why they are penned.
The chickens seemed confused when we put them in last night.  Normally, they are put in the coop and the coop door locked.

However, with the new enclosure, they did not know what to do with all the new space. It seemed too different for them.

They started pacing the perimeter, talking to us, and flying up onto the wire.  We decided that too much change is not good.

We locked them into the coop.  They immediately calmed down.  This morning, we let them out of the coop, but kept them in the enclosure.  We want them to feel safe within the enclosure.

We will see how they react tonight.  

Still checking out the new space.

They don't seem to know what to do.

Girls running back and forth.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Chicken Enclosure is Finally Done!

Adam showing Patrick to use a ratcheting tool.
Patrick working on his own.

Patrick is enjoying the work!

Hot work, but I can do it!

Which tool should I use?

Adam is faster without help...

Bolting the panels together.

A two person job.

The door seems to work.

Hot work -- the mister helps!

Whew!  Getting close to done!

Clipping vines to clone.  Shade for the girls.

Girls not too sure about their new home.  They will love it when the Montana weather hits!

The finished enclosure.  The hanging water will be moved into the enclosure once the roof is on.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Omelette Muffins

I haven't tried these yet; I am waiting until I have extra eggs.

These little morsels of yumminess are full of flavour and easy to make ahead of time and then reheat for breakfast, brunch or snack! And of course you can mix it up and try different fillings if you like!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Makes: 12 Muffins

1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced ham (or sausage)
1 tablespoon margarine
1 cup diced peppers (red, green, yellow)
3/4 cup cheese, grated
9 eggs
20-25 vegetable crackers, crumbled (or Ritz crackers)

- Line muffin tin with liners.
- In saucepan, fry onion and ham with margarine. Add in peppers.
- Add a spoonful of filling into each muffin paper using about 3/4 of filling. Save some for top.
- Add 3/4 of the cheese. Save some for top.
- Beat eggs together, adding in crumbled crackers.
- Fill each muffin paper with egg mixture, then top with remaining filling and cheese.
- Bake @ 350° for 30 minutes.

 From http://www.prairiestory.com/2012/03/omelete-muffins.html

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Zip Tie Cedar Fence and Walk In Chicken Enclosure

We have the coop for our chickens inside our fenced yard.  However, our fence is a 3 1/2 foot chain link fence.  The fence needs to be taller so the girls don't want to perch on the fence.  Plus the fence needs to be a privacy fence to keep dogs, cats, and people out of the yard.

We purchased cedar planks for the fence.  Since the chain link fence is sturdy, we chose to zip tie the cedar planks to the existing fence.  Surprisingly, the planks are very solid and sturdy.  We used two zip ties at the top and one zip tie at the bottom.  Fast, too!

We are also building a walk in enclosure to keep the coop in.  The enclosure will be attached to the cedar planks.  We built panels that are 6 1/2 feet tall by 4 feet wide.  There is one brace in the center and two diagonal braces in opposite corners.  Then chicken wire.

We will share more pictures as the enclosure goes together.  Our yard looks like a construction zone right now.  Slowly, yet surely...

Fun times

Our adorable neighbor girl came over and she just loves to see our chickens. She's been watching them grow since week 1!
This time Sweety sat on my leg for 5 minutes and just let us pet her. It was a great experience for her! She took one of each color feather to her mom to see!