Tag Archives: chicken

DIY – Murphy’s Law – Rule 5

hen house Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong and always at the most inconvenient time.

Winter and colder weather is nearing my door step. In my effort to winterize widows and doors, much to my dismay. I discovered that my 5 year old calk job using premium quality 30 year calk on windows and doors has failed!

So I have spent much of this week gouging out old calk readying windows and doors for a new DIY calking, to seal out winters cold ‘again’. That 30 year calk didn’t workout all that well. Grinning … So this time I’m using a satisfaction guaranteed 50 year calk. Hehehe like I will know what I did with my receipt in 5 years much less in 50 years!

Chicken Coop Poop With winter approaching I ran my chickens out of their hen house. During winters cold weather the birds will spend much more time inside their coop. With this in mind I removed all old litter and nest box grass hay. Scrapped and removed all that old chicken poop from the coop!
I mixed up 5 gallons of ‘strong’ bleach and blue Dawn dish soap water. Using a hand sprayer I washed both the inside and outside of my chicken coop from ceiling to floor/ground.
While I was at it I also sterilized their feeders and water containers.
After everything was dry I put down about 4 inches of blue stem grass hay and filled the nest boxes with fresh grass hay as well.

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Cornbread Dressing With Sage Flavoring

If you live in the Southwest parts of the U.S. Sage Flavored Cornbread Dressing is one of those ‘Must’ have side dishes anytime you are serving Chicken, Duck, Goose or Turkey. This dressing goes equally well with almost any pork dish.

This makes a very nice ‘basic’ cornbread dressing. It will also work well as a stuffing mix for your bird.

Basic recipe
3 – 4 Hard boiled eggs, shelled and course chopped
Giblets cooked in 1-1/2 quarts of water with 1 bay leaf until tender.
Course chop giblets, Be sure to remove bay leaf
Reserve 3-4 cups giblet water
* 3-4 cups chicken stock if you do not have the bird giblets available
1 large pan of day old cornbread
2 or 3 celery ribs, course chopped
1 white or yellow onion course chopped
2-3 tbsp. sage Start off with 2 tbsp spoons, adjust to your taste
Salt and pepper as needed
Optional:
2-4 cloves garlic fine chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup course chopped green or red sweet bell pepper

Crumble cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped eggs, celery, onions, and giblets. Add giblet water gradually until cornbread is very moist. Bake at 375 degrees until the top crust is nicely browned.

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Chicken Coop Poop – Build A Coop – A Winter Project

University building plans are an excellent source of free construction plans. However you may need to ‘scale’ down some of their building plans to fit your project. Not to worry, scaling down a building plan is easy to do.
Plans often have a complete building materials list as well as a cut-up list to help you construct your building whether it be a chicken coop or a rabbit hutch.
North Dakota State University Has an extensive list of building plans for poultry and all kinds of livestock.

The-Practical-Poultry-Keeper was first published in 1867, however information it contains is free and it’s information is still just as valid to day as it was in 1867. It is a very useful book with a lot of useful information and it contains many very nice chicken breed pictures. It is in a downloadable PDF file so you can download this book for a handy reference.

If you household is anything like mine there is little spare cash. It seems like everything has doubled in price this past year. Getting Free building plans is always a good thing.

Google-ing ‘chicken coop plans‘ I found page after page of plans For Sale but few that were really Free. Being disappointed but not to be deterred, I continued searching – Guess What I discovered… There are a ton of truly Free building plans for storage sheds that can be easily adapted for use as chicken coops.

Using plans for a storage shed of the size you need for your very own chicken coop. All one need do is to add a few nest boxes and a stick or two for your hens to roost on and you have a great chicken coop.

Free Chicken Coop Plans website You may find this site of interest. It’s a fun website and is even useful.

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Sage Flavored Cornbread Dressing

Click to Zoom In

longhorns-oct-2014

View out my front door

It’s been another dry summer in Southwest Oklahoma. It’s only the first week of October and we are having to locate affordable hay to feed our live stock. We will need to buy and feed hay for at least the next 6 months. We need to send one of the larger longhorns to the butcher as soon as we have the freezer space for her.

Butchering a 1000-1200 pound cow is not cheap. By the time you pay fuel cost to deliver and pickup your cut beef from the butcher shop, pay kill and disposal fees, cutting and wrapping fees it will cost close to $500.00 before that cow is in the freezer. However the good side of this is we will get about 725 – 750 pounds of home grown beef.

Grin .. of course we must not forget that I have 3 years of my time, feed and water invested in that 1,000 – 1,200 pound cow!

I raise longhorns for a couple of reasons. Longhorns are not as substitutable to many of the diseases or parasites that commonly infect many of the so called beef breeds like Black Angus. Longhorns can and will eat many types of grass, weeds and mesquite tree beans that the beef breeds can not or will not eat. Longhorns will survive and even gain weight on pasture land that Angus cattle will starve and loose weight on.

Two barn yard Red Roosters and Sage Flavored Cornbread Dressing is one of those ‘Must’ have side dishes anytime you are serving Chicken, Duck, Goose or Turkey.

This makes a very nice ‘basic’ cornbread dressing. It will also work well as a stuffing mix for your bird as well.
Basic recipe
3 Hard boiled eggs, shelled and course chopped
Giblets cooked in 1-1/2 quarts of water with 1 bay leaf until tender.
Course chop giblets, Be sure to remove bay leaf
Reserve 3-4 cups giblet water
1 pan of day old cornbread
2 or 3 stalks celery, fine chopped
1 onion course chopped
2-3 tbsp. sage
Salt and pepper as needed

Crumble cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped eggs, celery, onions, and giblets. Add giblet water gradually until cornbread is very moist. Bake at 375 degrees until the top crust is nicely browned.

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Wild Turkey – Domestic Poultry And Your Holiday Table

turkey No not that kind of Wild Turkey. I’m talking about Wild and Farm raised Turkey, Not the kind of Wild Turkey you drink!

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) has a nice and very informative fact sheet as well as a useful PDF file on the safe handling, cooking, Storage and re-heating of Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey USDA’s information applies to any poultry, Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Goose and so on that you may plan on cooking and serving to your family.

For more information about food safety, call: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or
E-mail: mphotline.fsis@usda.gov Or “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ Web-based automated response system – available 24/7 at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.

Hints:
Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.

Thawing In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days
Roasting Time
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Alternate methods to cook Turkey / poultry Grilling a Turkey, Covered Gas Grill, Covered Charcoal Grill, Smoking a Turkey, Deep Fat Frying a Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Basics: Safe Cooking Turkey A PDF file. Great 1 page tip sheet on cooking Turkey / Poultry.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Turkey Roasting Chart Everything you will ever need to know about Roasting your Turkey.
Hint:
Reheating Your Turkey
In the Oven
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal Important cooking information to providing Safe food preparation information.

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s)

Stop Wasting Food And Money – A Crash Course

Wasting food and money
American families spend as much as $2,275.00 every year on food that is ‘Wasted’. Food that goes into your garbage can that is perfectly good food.

party-food-tray Start by taking a look at your current grocery shopping, meal planning, and eating habits. Save a lot of cash and eat healthier foods. First ‘Stop’ eating out or ordering in meals more than two(2) times a month. You will save a ton of money and eat healthier foods cooking and eating your homemade meals.
Eating out or ordering in meals should be a special event. Not how you feed your family 7 days a week!

Save your unused vegetable parts in freezer bags for making homemade vegetable stocks. Save Carrot tops and tips, Mushroom stems, Celery tops and tough rib bottoms, Broccoli stems, Cabbage cores, Potato peelings, tomato parts, squash ends and peelings, turnip parts and peelings and such should all be used in making homemade vegetable stocks. Add fresh herbs that you like for more flavor.

Don’t buy boneless, skinless Chicken, Turkey, Beef or Pork. Remove the skin, excess fat and bones your self. It’s really easy to do. Save skins, fat bits and bones for making meat flavored soup stock. If necessary skim off excess fat from your meat stock.

Comparison shopping can save you significantly. The best way to save money at the grocery store is to not over shop. Go to your supermarket with a full stomach and a shopping list. Stick to your shopping list. Avoid making spur of the moment, impulse purchases.
Buy store brand canned fruit and vegetables.

Hint Always store food in your freezer or pantry in see through containers. You can’t / won’t cook foods that you don’t know you have.

Have a plan. Go to the grocery store with a weekly meal plan. People tend to over shop when they go in without a weekly meal plan. Plan a weeks worth of meals ahead of time so you know what you need to buy when you are at your supermarket, rather than buying what you’re in the mood for at the moment.

Save and store leftover bread in the freezer and when needed dice, toast them for croutons, or toast and pulse into breadcrumbs.

Make your own spice mixes. Spice mixes are almost always overpriced at your local grocery store.

Invest $20 or $30 dollars in a good quality meat tenderized.It will last a lifetime and will allow you to buy and use use cheaper cuts of meat without any loss in flavor.

Reserve chips and dips for parties and special occasions.

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Chicken Sales Pitch That Have Little Or No ‘Real’ Meanings

Source confusing words on chicken labels

roasting hen Free Range
Generally the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows these words on a label when the chicken has had access to the outdoors for part of the day. Not all free-range chicken is organic, but all organic chicken is free range.

Organic
This USDA-regulated term means the chicken has been fed only certified organic feed that was grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. The chicken also has not been given antibiotics at any time, though it may have been vaccinated against common diseases.

Raised without antibiotics
This means the bird was not given medicine classified as antibiotics. Keep in mind that it may have been given other drugs and products to control parasites or other animal health risks.

Certified humane
A nonprofit organization called Humane Farm Animal Care administers the use of this label, also endorsed by the Center for Food Safety by processors that meet its standards for raising, handling, transporting, and slaughtering various animals, including chickens.

All vegetable or vegetarian diet
Most poultry feed is made from corn and soybean meal, but sometimes it also contains processed meat and poultry by-products (which include cooked, dried and ground chicken parts, such as intestines and heads). If the feed does not contain these fats and proteins, it can be classified as all vegetable or vegetarian.

Enhanced
Most enhanced birds have been injected with a saltwater solution or broth to give them a saltier flavor and moist texture. The process can increase the amount of sodium in chicken by a whopping five times or more. Check the label: if the chicken contains 300 mg of sodium per 4-ounce serving or more, it’s been enhanced. Also, enhanced chicken often costs the same as unenhanced chicken, so if you buy a 7½-lb. chicken and it has 15 percent salt water in it, you’re essentially paying for more than a pound of salt water.

Farm raised
All commercial chickens are raised on farms, so any chicken could theoretically carry this label.

No hormones added
This is meaningless, since the Food and Drug Administration prohibits all poultry in the U.S. from being given artificial or added hormones.

Antibiotic free
You may see this on marketing materials, which are not regulated by the USDA, but it shouldn’t show up on labels. Antibiotic free (not to be confused with raised without antibiotics) means no antibiotic residue is left in the meat when it’s processed, which is true for all chicken because treatment is stopped prior to slaughter.

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