Author Archives: erikamay85

Egg Sales

I got a mini fridge to sell eggs out of… But it looks pretty junky. It’s basically become a beer firdge because it’s not pretty enough for customers. But with 8 dozen eggs in my regular refrigerator I need to make some sales and mini fridge needs and up grade.

So…it came plastered in stickers. Whole thing looks dirty so I scrubbed it and took off the stickers best I could

The faux wood almost looks cute. Almost. But look not enough so I bought contact paper and stared wrapping. Contact paper is a pain to get down free of bubbles, but I did ok. Not perfect, but good enough.

Fancy! Who wouldn’t want to but their eggs from a marble mini fridge? It looks so much better sitting on my deck. That is my quick afternoon project. Oh. And this.

I put some dirt and hen and chick plants in a rusty kettle my boyfriend found deep in the woods on Mt Hood. This thing is probably from the 20’s or 30’s when they logged… But who knows. Could be even older. There’s enough rust holes in it for drainage so I turned it into a cute planter.

It’s been a great day. Lots of things got done and I’m happy and relaxed.

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Homestead Charcuterie: Prosciutto

I’ve had a leg in the freezer for quite a while I was originally going to cure as a ham, but I have so many hams already I decided to cure it a little differently: raw salt cured prosciutto.

I looked up a few recipes and somewhere, somehow I read this needs to be started in spring in warmer temperatures so I waited until April.

Apparently not. This should have been started in Fall with the cold tempatures. I’m gonna find out who led me astray and smack them. But… My leg is thawed so I’m going ahead.

This leg was originally trimmed for a traditional smoked ham, so the facing on it is not quite right. Still, I trimmed it up a bit more and began jamming salt in every crevice

Now it needs to start draining, this process will last approximately 10-15 days since this is a fairly small leg. I put it in the wood shed in a sanitized container and covered it in rock salt.

The next day I checked the temp early morning temp and it was just a little too high for my own liking so I moved it into a smaller container to keep it refrigerated.

I’ll keep flipping it and resalting every couple days. It’s already lost alot of moisture. Then when it’s done I’ll wash off the salt, encase in herbs and begin hanging it for the next year… I’ll get back to you in a while about the flavor.

First Incubating Attempt

Last spring we picked up a trio of Sebastopol Geese and a few weeks ago they began to lay. We finally decided to hatch some eggs so I borrowed an incubator from a friend. After getting the temp just right I found it might just be too humid in there, so I’ll have to gauge humidity by how much weight the eggs loose.

I weighed up my eggs and..

They don’t all weight enough. Supposedly they should weigh 5-7 oz for hatching and 60% weigh 4 1/2 oz. Hum…

Oh, they were supposed to be rotated daily while we collected them? Oops. Luckily my boyfriend gave the goose some eggs in hopes she’d sit on them. Instead she just rolled then around. Probably should have dated them when they were laid, too. Oops. Next year?

So in the end I have three different sets of eggs: clean one from the cabinet that weren’t rotated, nest eggs that the goose rotated and several under weight eggs. We’ll see if there’s any difference in hatch rates.

That is, assuming the eggs are fertile.

That egg… Doesn’t quite look fertilized… But I can’t quite tell. So I’ll hoping my gander is doing his job. I’m a few days I’ll be able to candle then for signs of development.

Earlier Than Expected

I’ve been focusing on my pigs trying to build an outbuilding the pigs can move into. It’s taking quite a while, but that means I haven’t been paying the most attention to my sheep. I had originally planned to put everyone together for march lambing and sell off a bunch of my flock. The ones I’ve been trying to sell got bred a little earlier, but not much. Right?

Wrong. I came home the other night to a little lamb standing in the archway of the barn. I found two beautiful little lambs and a very hungry Monk. Monk was one of my first lambs, Blazes sister, and she’s always been a wonderful low keep, easy keeper. She’s not a super star, but twins 3 of 4 years and never any problem. Ok, maybe she is a super star. I’m pretty proud of her for always being an great lamber.

I was debating selling her because I’m trying to focus on my dairy line, but, you know what? Shes too easy! I guess I’m going to keep her. So a toast to my most excellent Monk and her two babes. I’ve gone one more girl whos gonna pop soon then I think were good for another month.

Get it, a toast?

Lil’ Wet Hen

I was out feeding the animals when I heard a strange cooing. I looked around for who could be making that sound and I didn’t see anyone, so I lifted a lid on a barrel and found two chickens standing 6 inches deep in rain water. The rooster tried to jump out but couldn’t quite make it so I grabbed him and tossed him out, he flapped, landed on his feet and ran off. I grabbed the other chicken and did the same thing and she…pancaked on the ground langidly flapping. Uhoh  
So I grabbed the wet chicken, picked her up and rivulets of water came pouring off her. Her comb was pale indicating her body temp had dropped. I ran her inside and called to my boyfriend to grab a towel…I couldn’t wait for him so I threw off my much Boots and ran through the house with a dripping wet chicken and put her in the shower. Boyfriend had a towel and was looking rather confused. I told him to give her a warm bath to increase her body temp, then dry her off while I go finish chores. 

I did my work outside quickly and came back to him in the couch drinking coffee with the hen in a towel on his lap. He needed help blow drying her…

It takes a while to blow dry a chicken. Each feathers needs to be pulled apart. I got her mostly dry then wrapped hey up in a fresh towel. Her comb was turning red again, but her energy was still low. I offered her water and she didn’t want any, I offered good and no interest.. Not good considering this was the hen who ran off to the neighbors abandoned chicken coop and has not been getting fed (obviously she came over to my house for breakfast, tried to escape a rooster, jumped on a barrel and fell in, and he followed).  Shes no body fat, and fat is needed to overcome hypothermia. I got my work cut out for me. I was going to set up a new pen not and retrive her but haven’t yet, well, guess she’s home now.
I mixed up warm electrolytes and sugar water and syringe fed her a little bit. Never underestimate the importance of blood sugar! I’ve saved so many animals just by feeding something sugary to whet their appetite. Within minutes she perked up and started chowing down on the special feed I made for her. I took the regular food of grains, peas, wheat, sunflowers, millet, ect and added lard to make suet and ground home grown corn for warmth and energy with a bit of chili pepper to warm her up. Girl is going to town!

I blow dried her a little more and now she’s happily sitting on the towel purring to herself. Asking to be petted… something she’s never enjoyed before. She’ll stay inside for a few days to heal, then she’ll go into a coop she can’t escape. I’ll put the rooster I want to breed with in with her. Hopefully this lil’ girl makes it. 

She finally gets a name: Ariel Because she things she’s a mermaid. This is why I drink. Coffee. Lots of coffee.

Hussy Hens

​I’m sure all remember the saga of Rocco. My neighbors and I have unfenced adjoining property. They let their chickens run free ruining everyone’s yard. It is what it is. I got chickens and later a lovely rooster. My pullets were still a little thing his attention it seemed. I remember when the neighbors hens got their first glimpse of that rooster: they all came over to my front yard and got his, um, attention. He was running back and forth nailing a good 15 hens. From then on he would visit those girls for a morning screw. My neighbor was so upset my rooster was “raping” their hens she finally shot him one day.

Years later they still don’t have roosters, but mine have learned to stay on my property and their girls sneak over to visit. Cracks me up. It seems their hens are now coming over and raping my roosters 🙄 or just having rough chicken sex.

I’ve seen a few hens try to lure the roosters over, but I suppose the ghost of Rocco warns them to stay away.

Turkey Trial

I try one new animal a year. This year we are trying out raising turkeys. 

I have only known one turkey from my ex’s farm. It used come up to me and we would talk. He would many turkey sounds and I would copy him. He was a very pleasant bird who used to sleep with Rosie. Shawn’s brother was kind of nutty and didn’t like HIS turkey sleeping with his brother’s pig so he put the turkey in with his demonic weaner pigs who proceeded to eat the poor turkeys ass off alive. I went into the barn to discover the poor guy walking around leaving a trail of blood everywhere. He butchered later that day, but I’ll always think fondly of that strange creature. So i got turkeys of my own whos asses will hopefully not get eaten off alive but cooked up on a festive table. So much better.

Supposedly turkeys are dumb, but how dumb are they REALLY? 

Maybe dumb enough to fall in a toilet and not get out dumb? Yes. Yes they are. I left the toilet cover open in the bathroom they were brooding in not thinking it was a problem.. However, my turkeys were jumping out of their brooder tub two days after in took them home. Why wouldn’t they be jumping on the toilet? So I came home and checked on my turkeys only to find one standing tall, but wet and cold, in the bottom of the toilet bowl.  I grabbed it and put it below the heat lamp, but it was chilled so it has a hard time standing and is feet were turning blue. The heat lamp wasn’t enough so I stuck it in the sink for a warm shower

It promptly feel asleep and smacked it’s face on the sink. After a few minutes in the sink and I felt it’s body temp was normal I dried the little guy off with a towel then electric blanket. 

Which was apparently very comfortable, too. Lots of snoozin’ like goober is doing just fine, now. Today the turkeys for moved to the tractor outside.

I decided to try without the brooder set up I normally do. It does take up lots of room and I’m trying to get friendlier birds. We’ll see. 
Anyway. Turkeys!