Almost Here!

Tracking says my incubator is in the nearest big city.
All I need is for it to make it to where we can pick it up.

And, I’ve contacted the lady I bought Lemon Chicken’s batch of chicks from…

Lemon Chicken is in this box somewhere!

She’s selling hatching eggs from the same crosses that Lemon Chicken came from.
Hopefully I’ll be getting 2 dozen from her at the end of the month.
Looking forward to firing up the incubators!

Hoping to hatch out a few more like her! 😉

Hay Math

I was doing some hay math the other day.
Y’know, figuring out what we have left for hay to last until the pasture grows…
I figure with some extra supplementing with hay cubes and beet pulp (which they get anyways) we’ll be okay.
I *might* have a bale or two left over.
I hope.

Plus, The Merry Mares got their 2nd large oat straw round bale.
This they get whole, so they can tear it apart, dig through it for grain bits to eat, chew the straw itself and then sleep in it.
It’s not just food, it’s entertainment.
And that comes in handy when you’ve got 3 very large bored toddlers.

Here’s what the bale looked like when Hubby gave it to them…

Before the bale exploded…

Don’t mind Ruby…she was just finishing a pee. And was rather proud of herself for whizzing in the bale first.

And then today…

Peek a boo!

They’ve destroyed the bale and built it into a nest.
That way they can lay in it and eat too.
Some people’s horses.


I got the email yesterday that my new incubator had been shipped.
Here’s hoping it arrives easily and swiftly.

Today I sat down and figured out how many hatches I can run before it gets too late in the season.
5 batches of 80 eggs.
That’s a lot of chicks!

To say I’m a little excited to be able to grow that many chicks into food for our family (and others) would be a tremendous understatement!
C’mon Spring!


Salt Cured Egg Yolks…The Results

Y’know how things sometimes get really busy and you forget you have a project on the go, and it gets ignored for a little while before you get back to it?
That’s what happened here.
The yolks were supposed to be in the salt for 7 days.
Mine went 14.
Just because life got busy.

This Sunday, I used a fork and dug them out of the salt…

Ooooo, so pretty looking!

They definitely were very pretty looking…

All that salt got rinsed off…

With a quick rinse, I got all that salt off, and sat them on a paper towel to soak up any moisture from the rinse.

Huh. Looks just like a regular yolk here.

And then, because I didn’t have cheese cloth, or the patience to wrap ’em up and hang ’em to dry longer, I popped them on a cookie sheet and fired them into the oven. 200* for 45ish minutes.
While it might be cheating, it is an approved method of finishing the yolks.

Last night I tested them out on some homemade pasta and sauce.

Here’s what I think of them:

They were easy to do.
I mean, put ’em in salt, put ’em in the fridge and forget them for a while.
Rinse, dry, grate, eat.
Easy stuff.

They grate just like parmasan cheese.
I used my micro plane grater and grated one in seconds.
1 yolk was perfect for the amount of parma I would normally use.

Taste wise?
Not in a bad way. In a mmmmm rich and salty sorta way.
I did find though, a bit of an aftertaste that I didn’t care for.
Not sure what it was, or if it was a normal thing, or even how to describe it….but yeah.

Would I make them again?
Yeah, probably.
But I’d rather have parmasan cheese.
I *like* parmasan cheese.
But if you’re someone who loves it and can’t have it, this would be a very good substitute!
Especially if you have a whole lot of eggs, or access to farm fresh eggs.

Next to try…

Egg yolk sauce.
Because the best part of a fried egg is a runny, rich egg yolk.

If you’re curious how I started this project, you can read about it in the post Salt Cured Egg Yolks

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Approve.


I’m adding to the duck flock this spring.
We still have our 4 muscovy hens.
Donald went to Freezer Camp.

So today I was looking at the local hatchery’s website, planning…dreaming…plotting what I need financially and in supplies for what birds I plan to order.
In May there’s going to be a local small animal auction that we want to go to, so I’m hoping to pick up a new drake for the muscovy girls.

I don’t think they much cared for Donald, because of all the eggs they gave us, not a one was fertile.
So I’ll see if we can find them a better suitor.
And then, hopefully, we’ll be overrun with muscovy babies!
I’m told they breed like crazy…I haven’t see it yet.

Back to the hatchery…
My plan is to order pekins.
They’re a simple white meat duck.
Which is what we want ducks for…meat.
And then I noticed they had cayugas this year.

Cayugas are a black duck with an iridescent sheen to them..
You can see examples here:
Metzer Farms

So now I’m thinking I’m going to order 9 pekins and 1 cayuga.
And we’ll see what happens from there.
I’m hoping to get at least a pair of drake and hen so I can keep 2 for breeding, and the rest will go to Freezer Camp at the end of the summer.
Again, we’ll see what happens.
But I’m focusing on poultry this year, while researching sheep still, because we’re not planning on pigs this year.
This is my break year from raising pigs.
That’s okay, because we still have a bunch in the freezer…and I still have to smoke the bacon.
I’m getting there.

53 Days…

53 days until Spring.
Another month before we fire up the incubator. Still just the one…haven’t managed to get the $$$ together to order the 2nd yet.
I keep spending the egg money on things that come up…
Like new blankets for all before Yule.
Groceries when Hubby found a spanky deal on some veggies/fruits.
Feed, now that the layers are gearing up and laying more…they need more than just the barley chop and wheat so we’re mixing in layer feed now too…

But, I can still run batches of 24 eggs at a time.
And I’m waiting for some money to come in at the end of the month, so the next incubator should be ordered and arrive in time for hatching season’s start.

I’m looking out the window at our unseasonably, but oh so appreciated, -8*c.
Normally we’d be at least 10 degrees colder.
Of course, I’m also dreaming wistfully of the garden.
Unseasonably warm weather will do that to a Farm gal. 😉
We’ll start seeds soon though…right around the time we fire up the incubator.
So much life to start in just a few months!!

One of the best parts of this weather is how much less The Merry Mares are eating.
Hay consumption has slowed down, and for that I’m grateful.
They did decide to dig out the last bit of the first oat straw bale and have a bit more fun with it…

Astrid buried her head way down in there, looking for left over grain bits.

She was awful peeved that I called her ’til she lifted her head out…Sable dove into the spot she had been and probably found the tasty bits she was digging around for.

And Ruby wore her straw beard whilst trying to have a nap…apparently I was annoying her again by taking pictures.
Too bad for her.

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Wistful
Oak Hill Homestead for the Simple Homestead blog hop.


Capture52 week4 ~ Green

Test pot of green beans growing in the kitchen window.

Weekly themes guide photographers to create new images.
I’m finding it a fantastic way to force myself to keep shooting, even when the urge to hibernate is strong.

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Guide
Comedy Plus, Image-in-ing and bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday
Create with Joy for Inspire Me Monday.