Friday, November 10, 2006

Holy cow!

What a difference!! Two days ago it was 81º and look at this morning!!

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Luckily we got the hens moved last night.

Here is the old place … leaking and snow on the floor, already.

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Here is the new place … lots of thick hay for a bed, new feeder that won’t get dirty and water up on a block to stay clean!

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Harley, too shy to show his face, is looking at the corner

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Rupert showing the girls the new feeder
This morning I left them in the pen until about noon so that they would know where the nest boxes were and where the roost was. The hens have all (but one) laid in the boxes – one new one is laying on the floor, so far.

I also found a nest of six green eggs. Our escape artist (before we let the gate open) evidentially chose that place because she was always getting into the main barn if I had the half door open and she’s a green egg layer. I tested them, found them good and boiled them for Norm … he had two for lunch.

“Now, how do you test eggs?” I can hear some people ask. If you are unsure of the age of the egg and you are pretty sure they have not been “set” on (clucky hen trying to make babies), you can put them in water. There is an air pocket in the tip of the egg … the fresher the egg, the smaller the air pocket, and vice versa. If the egg is very stale, nearly rotten, it will float. If the egg is just a little stale, it will start to float but the bottom will stay on the “floor” of the water container.

If, by chance, the egg is starting to grow into a chicken, it will not float, so you cannot tell a fresh egg from a started chick by floating. If you feel that you have the chance of a started egg, you must “candle” it … in a dark place, put a flashlight to the egg and you should be able to see through it. No growth, it’s safe .. any kind of blood vessels or anything else, it’s a new baby coming.

Today was the anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald … many people in Minnesota remember that day in 1975 … others just know of the song by Gordon Lightfoot – “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

It was cold today but will be nicer tomorrow. You have a beautiful day.

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