Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Trouble in the Hen House

After all these years with chickens, I suddenly have one who wants to eat eggs! This is new to me but, apparently it is not that uncommon. For now I seem to have solved it by adding lots of extra straw to the nest box and collecting the eggs several times each day. I am also giving the ladies extra calcium in the form of oyster shells. It may be that a craving for more calcium is driving the egg-pecker to her crime. I began to suspect something was wrong when my daily egg count began declining and I noticed a tell-tale wet and sticky spot in the nest box.

These last two days (since the new measures) my egg count is back up and I have a lovely fresh rainbow in my fridge!

I have one suspect, "Red", my only remaining Rhode Island Red. I already have one hen, Olivia, separated from the group, I really do not want to have to pull Red out as well. I did manage to make Olivia her own private condo, but I have not really had that carpentry craving lately.

Cooking and gardening are my main two pulls right now. Last night I made a rich stock with roasted vegetables and roasted oxtail. The beet tops give the stock this nice red color.

I had a feeling this would be a good meal to serve my family right now. Acacia seems a little low in iron and she needs to be on top of her game right now with the college entrance tests around the corner. Ziah, well, with the fractured jaw I figure feeding him a little oxtail might help his bone healing powers. Rowan is certainly hitting his stride with school and violin and soccer. It is just a joy to watch him in his peak of childhood days. Something about the 10 year old child is such a treasure to behold! I suppose it is made more special for me because I have the other two moving into and through adolescence and all of the new challenges that entails. Now that my youngest is about to move into this next phase of development, I truly savor these last precious days of open innocence. So I think perhaps I too need the extra boost the oxtail soup provides to help me keep up with these kids and other animals in my life!

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