Thursday 20 July 2023

Chickens, programming, and pork

Realizing time was getting away from me, I spend an afternoon in the garden and finished planting the corn block.(the rows on the right) The sunflower block is next.(The big area at the back) 

I've gotten back to working on my programming project. It's a record keeper for my chickens and garden that might later expand to a general external-brain type dealio. Not much to show yet as I'm working mostly on the background connections but it's slowly coming together. 

In the middle of May I put 4 of my best eggs in the basement fridge (more consistent temp) to test longevity. It's been two months so it seemed a good time to test one. I cracked it open and found it to be just as fresh and lovely as if it were yesterday. The yolk was high and the whites still had the thicker portion that usually gets watery quite a while before eggs get close to going off. This told me my original timeline of 4 eggs from May to be opened July thru October will not be enough and I picked another four to go towards science. I mean this one also went towards breakfast but, you get it. 

The girls are currently in summer production mode which means I'm pretty consistently getting 3 eggs a day.(Henrietta hasn't been laying since she got sick so that one egg may have been a fluke.) I noticed this week that Isabella's legs had started to get swollen and flakey and the others were starting to look a bit flakey too so I started treating them all for scaley leg mites. It basically involves slathering their legs in vaseline every so often for a few weeks. They don't like it and I basically have to ambush them at bed time so they're too groggy to complain too much, but their legs are starting to look better already. The extra grease it great for their feathers too but does mean that the dirt clings to them more causing the chickens to look either gorgeously silky smooth... or completely filthy, depending on where in the cycle of treatment they are. 

From the left: Jennifer in her new blue dress, Isabella, Henrietta, Romeo, and Kelly

While treating their legs I noticed how bad Jennifer's rump was getting. She seems to not be able to say no to Romeo and it's putting a strain on her feathers. I got a chicken saddle/apron for her and just put it on yesterday. Hopefully that will give him something to hold to and she won't get injured. Thankfully none of the other chickens seemed to take too much offence to it. I wouldn't want her to get picked on over protective gear.

A vertical freezer FULL of porkMy rough count of quantity and weights.

Last night we picked up our 1/2 hog from Yellow Brick Road Farm. It was a little earlier than expected but our pasture/woodlot raised pig was at size so there was really no point in waiting another two months. I'm so very grateful to be living in a community with these opportunities. We are now very "meat rich" as Jennifer says with OVER 90 LBS of roasts and chops and ground meat and sliced pork belly and more. We decided against any additional processing this time, but next time we may pay the extra for bacon, sausages, or cured hams... or maybe by then I'll be set up enough to give the curing and smoking it a go myself. :-)

That's all for now.... I think. :-)  Until next time I'll just leave you with this:

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