Liquid refreshment, and a stay of execution

For a few years now Big Brother has been sending me monthly care packages that usually include an envelope of green paper. These pieces of paper can be used in exchange for certain essential commodities, did you know that? I know, right? It’s silly, but there it is. And the care packages have been regular to the point where their arrival is usually followed promptly by a trip to town in which all my empty gas cans and propane bottles get filled up. And so it was this morning.

The galvanized garbage can used for chicken pellets at the Big Chickenhouse was right at empty this morning, which meant I also had to make a decision. All the hens had completely stopped laying eggs even though the days are getting longer and they’re finished molting, so one of two things was going to happen: They were either going to resume making with the cackleberries or they were all going into the freezer sans heads, feathers and viscera. The decision point was when my scoop scraped the bottom of that barrel. And that was today.

And guess what?

eggs
So it’s beginning to look like they’ve won another summer of life. Actually they’ve been ramping up production for the past few days and I’d already decided to give them more time to think it over, but hilariously today was their best day in months.

Which meant I needed to do some heavy lifting.

firewood
Brought some firewood to Landlady’s house, and #100 of pellets to Landlady’s chickens.

Keep it up, ladies, and nobody gets hurt.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Liquid refreshment, and a stay of execution

  1. Zelda says:

    We all said to wait and be patient, the days are getting longer and chickens need long days. So glad you waited. Even with a glass of Jack Daniels nearby, this is miserable weather to be spending hours working over a basin full of blood and wet feathers, surrounded by chicken innards, heads and feet. If you add some greens to their diet things will really ramp up. Alfalfa pellets are cheap and soaked in water will cheer them up and encourage production. And so will those cabbages on a string. BTW for the best chicken broth/stock ever, clean those feet well and add them to your stock pot. You do have a stock pot??

  2. Joel says:

    You know, I always wondered why they sell chickens’ feet…

  3. 2nd the motion on the chicken feet — they’re almost all collagen. Not sure how applianced up you are, but a crock pot/slow cooker is a great way to make stock. Throw everything in, turn it on, and forget it for 12 hours or so.
    A lady on a nearby farm provides my raw milk and free-range eggs (I also keep a a few beef cows there, and we do one- or two-hundred meat chickens each year. That’s how I know about the chicken feet!). For the last couple of months up through week before last, “nada” on the eggs — she keeps two dozen or more hens. All of a sudden, I was able to get 5 dozen last Friday, and she’d already hard-boiled four or five dozen.
    When they do come back on, it’s like throwing a switch.

    Cheers

  4. jabrwok says:

    I don’t recall whether I can post images, so here’s a link:

    http://www.sloarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Henrietta_the_Chicken.jpg

    Perhaps you should check the odometer on the jeep:-)

  5. Joel says:

    That’s a classic! I don’t know how old it is but I remember how I laughed the first time I saw it.

  6. Wyowanderer says:

    It sounds a bit like you’ve offered “insurance” to the hens, Joel…

To the stake with the heretic!