20 August 2015

Note eggs set

Just a note to myself because we'll be turning the calendar before the eggs hatch:  Monday maria found her "missing" hen setting a clutch of eight eggs.  Maria told me to bring some eggs to exchange for the ones the little hen was setting, so I grabbed the carton that had mostly eggs from Tiny and the Flashy Girls, along with an egg each from both Eileens and Bossy, all three who were in with Rock Star.  The hen was unhappy enough at being found, and was really upset by the egg switch, but I went over and looked this morning and she is happily on the eggs in the bucket they got orange trees in, on its side and filled with dried grass and leaves (and the eggs).  So, figure she settled in seriously on Tuesday the 18th, which puts the eggs hatching September 7-9th.

19 August 2015


This video is a few weeks old now. 
For those that don't know a Keet is a 'baby" Guinea.
The order was for 25 and we've lost two. 
They will be getting a tractor of some kind very soon.

Thanks for reading!

18 August 2015

Cappy's grand finale

This post is a tribute to Cappy the Gold Laced Wyandotte, hatched 20 January 2015.  For a cockerel who had absolutely no future in the breeding pen, he has had quite the good life!  I attempted to caponize him back in April ... in fact, I truly thought he was my first capon.  As a believed-capon, he was nanny to two batches of cockerels.  It was only last month that his hormones returned in full force, and it was obvious he was a slip.  So, Friday morning we slaughtered him.  We let his carcass rest in the back refrigerator, then brined him all day and night Sunday.  Hubby lit the smoker firebox yesterday afternoon while I seasoned: a light sprinkle of salt, black pepper, a very light sprinkle of cayenne pepper, then slices of a zested orange.

By 5:30 PM the smoking was rudely interrupted when the sky opened up into what Lynn described as "a monsoon" when she stopped by to pick up Maria's eggs to sell.  We put Cappy in the oven at 350F, but all we had last night were the wings, as the wonderful aroma was just about driving us crazy.  Great, most excellent flavor, but the meat had not cooked quite long enough.

Today I snapped a pic before covering Cappy up with some foil and putting him back into the oven, this time at 250F for a couple hours.
Cappy the capon slip,
smoked and seasoned and ready for the final roast
The breast meat was a tad dry, but that was probably because we didn't baste him.  Hubby thinks we should use the drippings for either a gravy or a sauce.  The flavor is fantastic!  We have more slips, so we can experiment to see if it's a matter of the smoking, the seasoning, the bird being older, or a combination of those things.  We'll also vary cooking factors like basting or wrapping in foil longer.

We are really hoping Uno is a full capon, because we both want to roast a fine capon for one of the winter holidays!

17 August 2015

Meet Spikey the meat brick

First of all, these pics represent my usual lack of skillz with the digicam ... coupled with Spikey's natural tendency to turn away from the camera.  Perhaps I should have named him after my dad, given the shared aversion to cameras, but this might give an impression of just how solid this cockerel is.
Spikey the single comb Wyandotte

Spikey and a couple of the red broiler pullets
As the Wyandotte cockerels were growing out, I lamented the single comb on Spikey because he has such substantial beach ball shaped body.  He's at least half brother to Tiny and Azar, but while he's noticeably shorter than those two, he is also wider and rounder.  He'll make a nice Meaties sire, starting with the five red broiler pullets I kept (who lay quite well for a meat breed/cross too).  I decided that I'd like most of my Meaties that I breed to be single combed, as that will make it a little easier to tell at a glance in a few generations which birds are supposed to be Meaties and which are the official Wyandottes.

When I picked him up a few weeks back to move him in with the broiler pullets, I was happily impressed with how solid he feels.  Hubby thinks it amusing I described him as a little "meat brick," but he really does feel that solid.