Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hatching season 2011

Just hatched out 4 baby chicks--- their sire is a rumpless Araucana-type chicken. They are available for sale at $3 each.

We also will be having a few Brahma and perhaps one or two Black Copper Maran chicks hatching out in the next few days, same price.

There will also be ducklings hatching at about the same time: Khaki Campbell and rare Ancona ducks. The ducklings will be $3.50 each. My Ancona stock came from Cackle Hatchery. My Khaki Campbells were purchased at a fur and feather swap. I hatched out a lot of ducklings of both breeds and have kept for breeding the nicer ones--- Khaki Campbells without white spots on their neck, and well-marked Anconas. I did retain one Ancona duck that has too much color instead of the ideal marking, because she seems to be a lavender color. But I had her separated at the start of the season and so her eggs won't be among those hatching anytime soon.

I will have eggs hatching for about 1 month to produce poultry for sale. I'm hoping to sell all the young ones as day-olds or thereabouts in order to avoid having to buy lots of feed.

Duckling/Chick buying tip:
Day-old ducklings or chicks need to be brooded--- kept in a warm, sheltered area. It's best to set this up in advance.

Baby chicks and ducklings don't make ideal pets for young children. Young children must be closely supervised around the chicks/ducklings or they may accidentally kill one.

It's often best, if you only want one or two ducks/chickens, to buy three or four ducklings/chicks. They keep each other warm when it's too cool, and there is always the possibility, when raising baby poultry, of having unexpected death losses. If you end the season with more than you need, you can use the spares for meat (or sell them to a neighbor for that purpose) or sell them at a fall fur and feather swap.

Next Year: My Ancona breeders will, I hope, have been replenished with some stock from a breeder who obtained her first stock from Holderreads, since I bought some hatching eggs from this breeder and most of said eggs proved to be fertile. I haven't been able to add new Campbell stock--- we're on an ultra-tight budget--- but will save some nicely marked ducklings to add to the flock, and hope to obtain some quality stock/hatching eggs in the course of next year.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stir-Fried Asparagus and Weeds

I had this for breakfast yesterday morning.

Take some asparagus and cut it up into 1/2 inch pieces. Add a bit of shredded cabbage if you have it. To this, add some fresh dandelion greens or some stinging nettle greens.

Heat up your wok or fry pan a bit. Put in some cooking oil, such as peanut oil. I use extra-virgin olive oil.

Stir-fry the lot until the dandelion greens or nettles look more like cooked spinach and less like weeds. If desired, season with a little soy sauce--- I like Kikkoman's low sodium soy sauce.

For a variation, you can add whatever meat you've been able to buy or hunt down for yourself. If you are a Vegan (welcome to Earth) maybe you can shoot you some tofu to throw in.

How do the weeds taste? When I made it with dandelion greens, I added a bunch of the cabbage to tone down the bitterness. I was suprised at how edible it tasted. The stinging nettle is a bit of a tamer taste but I added cabbage to it as well.

NOTE: when picking your stinging nettle, be warned: it stings! Also of course be sure you can tell dandelions/nettles from things like Instant Death Weed or whatever.

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