Hen Pecked

It wasn’t until I became a “farmer” that I learned where all the sayings that we have in our society come from. Things like: “Birds of a feather flock together”, “Hen pecked”, “She’s just like a Mother hen”. I’ve seen all of these in living color.

I told you about my little Abigail Adams who is a runt that my sis gave me. She also seems to have been attacked at some point in her young life and has a twisted back. Well, I didn’t know that you shouldn’t try to introduce a runt with a deformity, into an established flock. My girls didn’t take to kindly to little Abigail. In fact yesterday morning I found her bloody and cowering in the corner of the coop. Her flesh had been pecked off the back of her neck, larger than the size of a quarter. It seems as if she’d been hen pecked pretty badly. Her entire neck was pecked open to the bone. While crying, I took little Abigail to the house in a little cage.

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I put Abigail in the basement with straw in the cage, then I researched how to naturally heal a deep open wound and found that raw honey would not only heal it but pull any debris out. So I put raw honey on a gauze pad and wrapped gauze around her neck and taped it. I changed it at dinner time and her wound had stopped bleeding. That was good. She slept a lot. I gave her some kefir to drink and grain to eat.

This morning, she was alert and had drank a good amount of kefir. I changed her bandage and the wound actually looked good. It was already starting to close around the edges. She was very sleepy. And it was obvious that she had been through a great deal of stress.

This evening I went to change her bandage and noticed that she drank a lot of kefir throughout the day. I gave her some raw milk and she began drinking like she’d been starved. That’s always a good sign! Her wound looks very good so I left it uncovered for a while to allow it to air. The bandage doesn’t have a foul smell (no pun), and that too is a good sign.

I think Abigail Adams is going to make it. We’ll have to keep her separated from the other hens and give her extra TLC! It’s amazing how hens imitate human life. We can be very cruel to one another, especially those who are deformed and are afraid.  My hens tried to kill Abigail because she was different……let’s not imitate hens!

All the creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all.

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Sunny Side Up Please!

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My friend Tammy and I both had our minds on eggs the other day. Maybe it’s our wish to see the sun and our need for Vitamin D. Tammy found some great info from Mother Earth News that says, eggs from pastured chickens (meaning-chickens who roam free eating bugs, grass, lettuce and the sort) have 4-6 times as much Vit D compared to a regular supermarket egg. That’s fanominal!!!!

Here are some other good nutritional facts:

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

You can read the entire article at Mother Earth News

The eggs in the picture show the back egg from pastured chickens eating bugs, grass and old produce. The egg in front is from uncaged chickens on organic feed but no greens. Your goal is bright orange yolks.

Rockie Sings!!!

Yesterday it snowed and we got around 2 inches. THEN the freezing rain started on top of the snow. Which makes for a very interesting adventure. Our yard was transformed into a skating rink overnight.

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I was wishing for a saucer sled to go down the hill this morning on my way to let the chickens out. I walked side ways and crushed my boots into the frozen tundra very carefully. That’s all I needed was a 50 yr old woman and a 10 yr old dog falling down with no one to help them get up. Lady, our little Cocker mix just slid down. Boomer, our Lab attempted it very carefully. He’d start sliding and then try to stop. His feet were going every which way. But he only went down twice, very gently. And I managed to stay vertical the entire time!!!

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I was glad to be wearing my steel toed cowgirl boots. They did a good job at crushing the ice so I could open the gate to the chicken yard. Too bad it opened in.

dscn2406The long journey down. The kids used to love sledding down our little hill.

Now the fun. I let the chickens out and they slid every which way. I broke open the compost pile with all the greens and tossed them a few.

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dscn2420Little Abigail Adams. You can see that the feathers that flew look like Annies.

THEN to my utmost surprise Rockie found his voice…..he crowed for the first time!!!!!!!!!! It was a glorious sound. He was so proud of himself that he kept doing it. I hope Honey doesn’t hear him, or else it’s the chopping block.

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Rockie The Rooster in the back. Annie in the front.

Now for the long ascent up the hill. Lady slid backwards. Boomer and I held on to each other and pressed on.

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Chicken Dance

dscn2397My two new hens. Abigail Adams is on the left. She has a crooked butt. Henrietta is on the right.

I visited my sis the other day and she gave me two of her Rhode Island Reds. For some reason I got the runt of her group. She must really have a complex, because, seriously her butt is crooked!!!! I’m not kidding. She looks like the hunch back. The hen that is…..NOT my sister!!!!!!

My hens didn’t take to these new girls very easily. They shunned them for three days. Poor little Abigail Adams was picked on mercilessly. Those hens went at it in the coop. Feathers were flying.

Yesterday morning, I noticed that they were now trying to make up. I’m guessing that Annie, my Coo Coo Moran is the top hen. She allowed Henrietta to eat with them and roost with them. But poor Abigail Adams was still too afraid to go near Annie. Last night I had to put her up in the roost with the others. But I don’t think she stayed there. She was huddled in the corner of the coop again this morning.

Everyone seemed to be on speaking terms this morning. But poor Abigail Adams is still keeping her distance. I hope they warm up to her soon.

I wanted to show you the difference between hens that get lots of greens and those that eat organic feed. Not to dis my sis.

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My egg (rear) from hens that eat greens and my sis’s egg (front) from hens fed organic feed.

Not only is the yolk oranger, but the taste is unbelievable and the nutrients are greater.

Here are some important facts about egg yolks taken from The Incredible Edible Egg Yolk

“One important set of nutrients that should not be overlooked is the long-chain essential fatty acids. Egg yolks contain the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is necessary for the brain and proper retinal function in the eye, and the long-chain omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, which is required for the healthy skin, hair, libido, reproduction, growth and response to injury. These fatty acids are primarily needed by young children, pregnant and lactating women, and people with degenerative diseases involving oxidative stress, especially those of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s. While fatty fish and cod liver oil supply DHA in larger amounts, egg yolks have an advantage over these foods because they also contain arachidonic acid and because they do not contain EPA, which interferes with arachidonic acid metabolism.”

Arachidonic Acid makes up 12% dry weight of the brain!!! It’s really an important nutrient. Every morning I eat 1-2 raw eggs in my shake. My brain thanks me.

The Real Milk Campaign

I just received a letter from Delegate Jennings of The Maryland House of Delegates. Delegate Jennings is a staunch proponent of the legalization on the sale of raw milk in Maryland.

If you live in Maryland, please drop Delegate Jennings an email or a phone call supporting the legalization on the sale of raw milk in Maryland. The email address is: jb.jennings@house.state.md.us and the phone is 410-841-3698.

This legislation is being re-introduced at this years General Session.

SUPPORT RAW MILK SALES IN MARYLAND!!!

Photo Credit linked to artist on flickr.com


Obama Halts Pending Regulations

PRAISE GOD!

The following was a press release by Fox News on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

“One of President Barack Obama’s first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by the new White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama’s White House.”

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This is good news for those of us fighting for an end to NAIS (National Animal Identification System). I urge you to write to the USDA, Congress and to also go here and write to The White House. You can point out that President Obama’s agenda for Rural America goes against every aspect of NAIS and that the Bush Administration on January 13, 2009 has tried to make NAIS mandatory nationally. Tell them that NAIS is inconceivable for small family farmers; it will bankrupt them and/or be financially burdensome. That it is an act of the argibusiness to control the food source in America and that it shouldn’t apply to our family farm animals. That it is an intrusion on our privacy rights and that according to our 1st amendment rights it goes against our freedom of religion. For some of us, the implanting of chips is seen as “the mark of the beast” and we would resist such actions. Please don’t hesitate to write today, your grandchildren will thank you one day for the freedom to farm without government intrusion. AND don’t forget that even if you don’t farm, you still have the responsibility to write on behalf of all the small family farmers in America who provide food for our communities.

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On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said it well when he declared: “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.”

Let’s unite together to fight the controlling FDA, USDA, and FTC. We must wake up America so that we can live free.

This is President Obama’s agenda for Rural America:

  • Strong Safety Net for Family Farmers: Fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. Implement a $250,000 payment limitation so we help family farmers — not large corporate agribusiness. Close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around payment limits.
  • Prevent Anticompetitive Behavior Against Family Farms: Pass a packer ban. When meatpackers own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against independent farmers. Strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and transparency in prices.
  • Regulate CAFOs: Strictly regulate pollution from large factory livestock farms, with fines for those that violate tough standards. Support meaningful local control.
  • Establish Country of Origin Labeling: Implement Country of Origin Labeling so that American producers can distinguish their products from imported ones.
  • Encourage Organic and Local Agriculture: Help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. Promote regional food systems.
  • Encourage Young People to Become Farmers: Establish a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers. Provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm.
  • Partner with Landowners to Conserve Private Lands: Increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests.


President Obama’s Agenda for Rural America

I found the official White House Blog and this is what their agenda is for the rural family farmer. I’m encouraged if this is true. I’m not if it’s more of Washington as usual. Let’s pray that change is coming to rural America.

Ensure Economic Opportunity for Family Farmers

  • Strong Safety Net for Family Farmers: Fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. Implement a $250,000 payment limitation so we help family farmers — not large corporate agribusiness. Close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around payment limits.
  • Prevent Anticompetitive Behavior Against Family Farms: Pass a packer ban. When meatpackers own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against independent farmers. Strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and transparency in prices.
  • Regulate CAFOs: Strictly regulate pollution from large factory livestock farms, with fines for those that violate tough standards. Support meaningful local control.
  • Establish Country of Origin Labeling: Implement Country of Origin Labeling so that American producers can distinguish their products from imported ones.
  • Encourage Organic and Local Agriculture: Help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. Promote regional food systems.
  • Encourage Young People to Become Farmers: Establish a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers. Provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm.
  • Partner with Landowners to Conserve Private Lands: Increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests.