Friday, February 09, 2007

Chilly Chickens

The chickens are coping very well with the snow and ice. I check that their water is ice-free a few times a day, and I've added some extra dry bedding to the henhouse to help them stay cosy. You can tell they're healthy and happy. They moulted in the late autumn but now they're in full plumage again and looking very handsome. They're also back to laying a daily egg each, after the midwinter lay-off. We got out of the habit of eating them so we're now awash with eggs. The situation is made worse because I bought half a dozen duck eggs at the farm shop as a treat for my dad, who is staying with us for a few weeks. And he brought us a gift of (you've guessed it) a dozen duck eggs.

Never mind. I'll just plan plenty of eggy meals for the next week or two. Quiche, eggy bread, pancakes, hammy-eggy-cheesey-topside, clafoutis, it'll be a trial (sigh!) but we'll use them all up somehow.

14 comments:

Sal said...

I'll have to send my hubby round, he can eat duck eggs until they come out of his ears!

Your chickens look lovely!

Lesley said...

There's nothing like a couple of dippy eggs with soldiers for breakfast. I envy you your lovely chicks, but will have to make do with the local farm's ones.

Allotment Lady said...

Gorgeous chickens and lovely post - I love eggs - chicken,duck, goose you name it I love 'em.

Your pads look great, and how nice to know that you are wearing something pretty beneath - rahter than a horrid 'nappy'!

My days of such things are long since past, but I know which I would have preferred - funky and leopardskin print material every time!

kethry said...

you could try making some meringues with some of them. once made they freeze very well, or so i'm told. then make a custard with the leftover yolks, banana custard for pudding or something? that should take care of about 6 - more if you made a double helping of custard. (by the way, custard from scratch is nothing more than egg yolk, sugar, cooked together (like you'd do a roux) then milk is added a bit at a time. Delia should have a recipe somewhere.)

keth
xx

Steph in Roker said...

Ooooh, Mel, can we have 'real' custard when I visit please? I've never had real custard in my life. I hope you have a list of jobs for me for when I visit, and I'll be able to pick your brains on growing tomatos.
Glad to see that your chickens no longer look like they had leporasy. They lookedblinkin awful & scraggy last time I visited in Jan.

Lesley said...

Another great way to use up surplus eggs is a tortilla or real Spanish omlette
You can use any leftovers... onions, veges, some bacon, mushrooms...anything in fact, (even use up some of thet ubiquitous cabbage)...plus lots of cooked spuds
Season well in a frying pan, then pour over as many beaten aggs as you like
Then cook them very slowly and finish off under the grill
I love them with cheese on top
As I always overestimate our appetites, I am able to confirm that they freeze very well too!

Jo said...

My hens hate the snow and won't walk in it. I scattered a little bit of corn on the snow not far from them, to encourage them to try but they wouldn't, not even for something they love so much.

Nerd in the Country said...

I don't know how you make due with two eggs a day. Five eggs a day barely does it for us (family of five). When we get a dozen a day, we are able to give a few away and also stash some for the two weeks that it takes to make them peel easy after boiling.

That's a nice looking black australorp girl you have there. I'm more jealous about the greenery, though. We're still covered with that white stuff.

Nerd in the Country said...

It's been my experience that duck eggs are mostly yolk. Other than that, I really haven't noticed a difference. Our Pekin duck gave us an egg a day for a while last summer, and we mostly used them for cooking. Now, we have an Indan Runner duck. We really like her... what's to not like about an animated bowling pin?

I understand that Indian Runners were bred for egg production, so we may have quite a few next year.

Pekins seem to be meat birds, by the way. We haven't tried them because we got the ducks for their entertainment value, not as meat. The cornish cross chickens provide us with all the poultry we need.

Melanie Rimmer said...

I'll come clean and admit the photo is a few months old. We're short of greenery here at the moment, too.

The hens are both hybrid layers rather than pure breeds. I'll agree that one looks like she has some australorp in her. The red one looks part Rhode Island red. they're certainly good layers, and easy animals to keep. I'd be happy to get more of the same.

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