Just when we thought it was safe to go outside and replace the roof panels from the last storm, in comes Storm Doris and whips off another one! My partner had thought that when he had replaced the panel lost from Storm Angus he had tightens down the hatches on the rest of the roof. Unfortunately we weren’t expecting such strong winds, and once again it ripped off one of the roof panels from the chicken enclosure. Instead of taking the whole panel clean off, this time it snapped at an angle so it will take a bit more time to take off and repair.
After the wind died down the next day, I thought it would be a nice treat for the chooks to have the run of the garden. They loved scratching through the wood chip and grass to find all the tasty bugs bought to the surface by the rain. This meant that Smudge dog had to stay in but she was desperate to be out and playing with her friends.
Despite the storm, the weather has been improving and getting warmer. With the girls being over their moult as well, egg production has started back up. I tried using them up in last weeks recipe for Chocolate Mousse but I can’t stay on top of how many we’re getting in. Going to have to start selling them again!
Speaking of moulting, a certain Smudge dog has started shedding her winter fur. We popped into the pet shop today to grab her a brush to help with the loose fur (and where she got fussed over by everyone). She also got a bone or two to distract her whilst I brushed her as I wasn’t sure how she would react to brushing but she seemed to be pretty chilled about it. Good thing as it looks like she really needed it from the amount I got off of her.
It’s been another busy, blustery week. Hopefully that’s the last of the bad weather for the year and we can get on with being happy, content chickens 🙂
One of my favourite puddings of all time is Chocolate Mousse and being able to make a fresh batch in my own kitchen is everything. With it mostly being whipped up egg whites, having my own supply of fresh eggs to go in this yummy dessert is fabulous. Here’s my recipe to make a family friendly mousse that’s a winner every time and do those fresh eggs proud!
170g Dark Chocolate (at least 70% coco)
7 Egg whites
40g Caster suger
Juice squeezed from half a lemon
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water (or if you’re in the same boat as me and the bowl is too small for the pan, place it in a metal colander over the pan so the heat can still melt the chocolate).
Separate the egg whites into a large bowl and add the lemon juice which will help keep the volume in the eggs and reduce the risk of over whipping. Then whip those egg whites and add the sugar to make thick, stiff peaks with lots of volume.
Once the chocolate is melted, add a third of the egg whites to the melted chocolate and whip it together. Then add the rest of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in gently to reduce the risk of loosing all that lovely volume.
Dish up into glasses and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. It should make a family load!
This week I’ve been trying to use up the eggs that we’ve been getting from the girls. It seems that we’re getting about 4-5 eggs per day now so the fridge fills up faster than you think. So to get through them, for the first time in my life I’ve been cooking with eggs!
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be putting up the recipes on how to make these scrummy yummy eggy so you can make these too and whatever else I get to making with the eggs.
Here’s a sample of what I’ve been making:
Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce
Bacon Egg Cups
But because I still had loads of eggs left I’ve started to sell them at £1 for 6 eggs! Already had some good feedback about them so I’m looking forward to more satisfied customers!
Don’t forget to get all the up-to-date news on the hen’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. To follow just click the links in the right hand menu. Happy clucking!
The chucks have been here for four days now and already we have eggs! I’m genuinely surprised because I thought it would take them longer to settle in and de-stress enough to produce eggs. It seems though that they’re getting to know where home is quicker than I thought.
About Wednesday lunchtime after their first night with us, I heard a lot of clucking from the coop. As this was the most noise I’d heard them make I thought I’d go and check out what was up and, lo and behold, I found our first egg in the nest box! I did a bit of Googling and I think that it came from one of the Black Rocks as they are the oldest and produce darker eggs with a few speckles on them.
This morning when we let them out we found another egg! This time it was a plain white one and considering the next oldest are the Mottled Leghorns we reckon it was one of them (and after another Google search I’m pretty confident it was one of them).
Egg number 3 arrived shortly after at lunchtime (another Black Rock dark speckled egg) and just before popping the chucks to bed we found egg number 4! This again was a plain white one but it was a bit misshapen and not formed very well. This is probably the first egg that one of the Mottled Leghorns had lain as, even though they are second oldest, they are only 24 weeks old and have only just started laying so she has probably not quite got the hang of it yet. In a week or so though they should be perfectly formed though. They’ll still taste wonderful though!
Three eggs now….
Number 4, a first laying attempt
Speaking of getting the hang of things, we had to teach them when and where to go to bed. On the first night they needed a little persuading to go into the coop. In fact we had to herd them up and pop some of the younger ladies, our Warrens, in by hand because they didn’t like the ladder.
We did that Wednesday and Thursday night too but tonight we made progress! We didn’t have to pick up any stragglers or even herd them into the corner by the coop. As soon as they saw us come into the enclosure, they knew it was bedtime and all went up one by one (despite the hold up at the entrance because they all wanted to sleep at that end but a bit of pushing past sorted that out!).
Breakfast on the other hand is an easier affair, where all you have to do is open the coop door and everyone is out and ready for breakfast! Here’s some of them making their way out:
So all is well in our little chicken haven, they’re settling in really well and seem really happy. The next steps are to get them used us and to being held so it makes health checks easier and most importantly, finalising names for our lovely ladies! Happy clucking all!!
With hens will come eggs and whilst I’m not the biggest fan on eggs, I know someone who is looking forward to them. For his Birthday I got my boyfriend a brilliant way to make sure that the eggs get used. I made him a hamper with lots of different bits to cook the eggs with.
I got a ceramic egg holder so that the oldest eggs get used first (with a few cheeky creme eggs in there just for fun!). There were also some bucket shaped egg cups for holding soft boiled eggs. When it comes to cooking the eggs, there were some fun shaped moulds for fried eggs and hard boiled eggs (pictured below, both available from Amazon). I also added an egg slicer for the hard boiled eggs so that they can be added to salads and sandwiches.
Finally I added a few personal bits, just to make it egg-tra special. Wrapped up in a basket hamper, it looked very rustic and farmy!
What started off as a jokey present actually turned into something practical because now we can have eggs lots of different ways. It’s a nice idea for anyone about to get chickens or is just a fan of eating eggs and is so easy to do!