I've been busy during this warm spell. The temps have been hovering around 35F for the last few days so I took the van to town and picked up some wood shavings for the chicken coop. Normally we drive the truck in the winter because it has the 4-wheel drive, but as the road was clear, I felt ok taking the van. And so today I shoveled out the chicken coop and scraped down the roosts. I won't wash everything down until Spring, but I was glad to be able to put down new bedding. I tossed the old bedding just outside the coop. Some of the chickens liked scratching outside on their new "mountain", though most of the hens were downright pesky while I tried to shovel. They flew onto the roosts and watched everything I did. A couple of the more vocal ladies voiced their opinion of what I was doing. But the coop looks really nice now again. After the snow melts, I'll back the truck up to the coop and shovel the old bedding right onto the truck bed. By the time I locked the chickens up for the night my back was whimpering! Homeopathy to the rescue (Arnica)! And tomorrow it's off to see Bernie at Seed N Feed for more chicken feed since I discovered I'm down to only bag! I thought I had more than that.
I came across an interesting story today in Popular Science about the effects of organic vs. inorganic feed on gene expression in chickens that I thought I would pass on:
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-01/gut-differences-emerge-how-chickens-process-organic-vs-regular-feed I would be very interested in seeing more research in this area.
On the subject of poultry, I am still hankering for ducks. If I can get my act together and build a little shelter for them down by the marsh in back of the chicken coop, I may go ahead and get some. I would like to get some Anconas. Bernie says Muscovies have the best meat, but the only hatchery I found that sells Muscovies is out in Oklahoma. Muscovies are pretty big, too, and that sort of scares me off getting them. I guess I just feel more comfortable starting with smaller animals. Anconas are rare, but cute as can be, and a good dual purpose bird.
This morning I made muffins for everybody for breakfast: wheat bran with raisin, blueberry, and raspberry. Lara likes the raspberry muffins. I'm partial to blueberry. I like muffins because they are one of those things you can do alot with.
And this evening I'm finishing up the laundry in between writing this blog entry and catching up on my e-mails. Thought I would have one from our Sarah, but I am sure she is still settling in and getting to know the school and town. I was relieved when she e-mailed us that she made it safely to the UK.
Well, Tony Pantellaresco's radio show, The Remedy, is going to be on The Micro Effect at 7:00 p.m. so I'll talk to you later. Tony talks about various natural health issues and he is really entertaining; I try not to miss him. If you are interested in natural health issues, check him out. Here is the link to The Micro Effect: http://www.themicroeffect.com/ and here is a link to Tony's web site (check out his "Links" for neat articles) http://www.augmentinforce.50webs.com/