The Great Eggscape Too - Hatching Duck Eggs

May 31, 2012

Welcome to The Great Eggscape Too. I just put six Saxony duck eggs in our Brinsea Mini Advance incubator and in 28 days hopefully we will be able to watch six ducklings hatch from those eggs!

I hope you will follow along as we add to this post all through the incubation period.

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

May 30, 2012

Fresh eggs don't need much fussing with since they are bursting with freshness and flavor anyway, so I often find myself just lightly whisking a few with a bit of heavy cream, salt and pepper, then turning them into a sizzling skillet coated with a bit of olive oil and cooking them slowly until they are just set.  A sprinkle of fresh cut herbs - in this case some fresh dill - and there you have it...

Perfect scrambled eggs.

Remember these tips:
Scramble SLOOOOWLY over low heat
Stir or whisk the whole time - the curds will be smaller and creamier.
Move cooked eggs from the outside edges toward the inside as you whisk.
Cook only until barely set.  Just until not runny.  The eggs will continue to cook a bit after you serve them up.

Top Ten Edible Flowers Your Chickens Will Love

May 24, 2012

Anyone who free ranges their flock even some of the time knows that chickens will eat pretty much anything you have planted, so why not choose some nutritious flowers that they will enjoy when you're planning your garden in the spring ?

All About Duck Eggs

May 21, 2012

We've raised ducks alongside our chickens for years.  Ducks are a lot of fun to raise, but what we love best about them is their eggs.  I had never eaten a duck egg before our ducks started laying them for us, so I didn't know what to expect.

We have Pekins, Saxonies, Magpies, Anconas and a Silver Appleyard and love them all. Our ducks outlay our chickens year after year, laying right through the winter with no added coop light. But there are some glaring benefits to duck eggs compared to chicken eggs.

Light Sussex - Pink Egg Layers

May 17, 2012

This spring I decided to forego ordering chicks from one of the large hatcheries, which has been my M.O. the last couple of years, and instead try hatching some chicks myself. 

DIY Chicken Salad Bar

May 14, 2012

I had been planning to build a covered 'salad bar' in the run for my chickens for awhile.  I wanted somewhere that I could safely grow grasses and other seeds for them to munch on when greens are scarce, but would allow the seeds to sprout and grow without being bothered by the hens' incessant scratching. Enter the Chicken Salad Bar!

Speaking Duck

May 13, 2012

Like any good chicken or duck 'mother', I pride myself in thinking I understand for the most part what our chickens and ducks are trying to tell me by the different clucks, growls, shrieks and quacks they use.  If you spend enough time around them, you will come to recognize a low throaty cluck of a broody hen, the sort of growling sound when they spy a hawk, the high-pitched chirp-chirp of a lost chick, and the Morse code-like chatter of the ducks when they're excited.

While I would never claim to be able to communicate with them on every level, their body language also helps convey their message and between the sounds they make and their expression, we seem to be able to get our messages across to each other at least most of the time.

So when Gregory, our Pekin drake, came over this morning while I was filling the ducks' pool and started chattering away, I assumed he was just excited about having a clean pool, so we 'chatted' about it for awhile with him getting more and more worked up by the minute....well, imagine my surprise when I glanced over my shoulder to see the run gate had swung partway open and all the chickens were escaping ! 

As I ran to get them back into the run, I swear Gregory waddled away, completely disgusted by my failure to communicate with him.  And yet again, I was humbled and reminded how much I still have to learn about our backyard flock.

Cupcakes with Edible Rose Mint Garnish

May 10, 2012

I am all for cooking and baking from scratch.  The finished product is always better tasting, more satisfying and more healthy than using a box or package. But sometimes I just don't have the time, or the energy, or the ingredients to start from scratch (ever wonder where that saying came from BTW? starting from scratch....hmmm) so I cheat a little bit.  This time I used a boxed cake mix and prepared frosting to bake the cupcakes.  It's okay to cheat sometimes...besides this time it's ALL in the presentation !

Framed Egg Shadowbox for Mother's Day

May 7, 2012

This Mother's Day why not use some blown eggs and an old frame to make a pretty 3-D shadowbox ?    This is an easy craft project for kids that highlights some of your pretty eggs and flowers from the garden- two of ANY Mom's favorite things !

Cinnamon Pepper Pickled Eggs

May 4, 2012

~adapted from Pickled Eggs from The Fresh Egg Cookbook~

I admit that I have never made pickled eggs before.  I have seen lots of recipes using beet juice, but honestly the neon pink eggs that emerge from the pickling juice really just didn't appeal to me.  So I have been avoiding blogging about pickling eggs, despite numerous requests for a recipe. That is, until today.

Late Nate and Cornflake - Our Little Welsummers

May 1, 2012

~Cornflake (left) and Late Nate (right)~

The Welsummer breed is fairly new to the United States, only having been admitted to the American Poultry Association in 1991, so it is ironic that they are what that average person thinks of when they picture the typical 'barnyard chicken'.  Even more ironic is that a Welsummer rooster, Cornelius, is the guy who graces the Kellogg's cornflake box, instead of an American breed like a Buckeye or a Rhode Island Red.  But no matter where they originated or when, there's no denying they are a gorgeous breed of chicken.   
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