Old Hens and Rejected Roosters

Homesteading

Last week we took in 3 old hens that were no longer laying. Someone wanted to get rid of them..like most people..and we saw free food, so we took them in. 2 are Americanas and one is a Barred Rock. Well the plan was to put them in the freezer that day but when the person dropped them off she said she wasn’t sure if they weren’t laying anymore especially the Barred Rock. Now, we don’t want to kill hens that are laying valuable eggs so we decided to give them a week to see if we got anything.

Sure thing that first day the Barred Rock dropped an egg for us. So we waited and waited and she gives us an egg every other day or so but the others not so much. Their eggs are easy to distinguish, they lay easter eggs, or colored eggs. So we were all set to take care of them but decided they are still giving us valuable poo, and our garden area for next Spring just isn’t getting enough work done by the other members of the flock. These girls are BIG and prior to us they were completely free range…so they are now working in our garden area to scratch it up and make compost for it. The time will come…just not yet.

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^That’s me…rounding up the Barred Rock hen. ^

So yes…we will take your old hens if you are in the area. Just know…they are designated for the crock pot..or into Darci and Bill’s stomachs.

Well Sunday we found someone wanting to get rid of roosters. That’s pretty common…you can’t have more than one unless you have the flock size for it..that is even an issue sometimes and they eat valuable food but give you nothing in return. Well we already have our Rooster..but once again we saw the opportunity for free meat. So I drove into Idaho and picked them up. This particular person has a lot, like A LOT of chickens and handed 4 of her roosters over. 3 of them were grown but one is smaller than my younger hens in the flock. So I trucked them back to the homestead where we decided the little wasn’t old enough for the crock pot or the dog’s stomachs. He is young enough it will not cause and issue with our resident rooster.

We did however process the other 3. By we I mean Chris of course. He did the dirty work and I was left to remove the innards and butcher the whole chicken into pieces. Now we have some meat for ourselves, the 2 younger ones and the dogs have the giant older rooster to share.

We will be getting more roosters from her next week.

I know it seems cruel…or crazy but plenty of people have older hens or roosters and simply don’t want to process them themselves. We see that as an opportunity. They are going to end up with someone, might as well be us…at least we know it is done humanely and quickly.

Want to see a picture of my adorable hubby rounding up our 2 younger Rhode Island Reds? Of course you do..

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Those are 1 and 2. We number them…the higher the number the closer the chicken is to being processed. These girls are as you can see nowhere close to being ready.

*S

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I am the worst blogger!

Homesteading

I suck…yes I know…I do.

I neglect the blog..not purposely..just because well things are busy.

Oh before I forget…HAPPY 1ST DAY OF FALL! 

My favorite season. Everything starts turning beautiful shades of orange and red..the weather cools down..and I have an excuse to eat/drink everything pumpkin. Bring on the Paleo Pumpkin Pie.

The past 2 days I have been outside working from 8 am until 11pm. May not seem like much but I thought I’d share a rundown of my days on the new homestead. Want to hear about it? Chris works all day but is done just in time to help with the projects and outside work so that’s great. And when I say help I really mean he does all the heavy lifting. 😉

Morning:

Wake up between 7am and 8:30am ( mind you this is eastern time so it’s pretty early here on the west coast)

Open up the chicken coop

Make breakfast and coffee/check email/other health related routine things (for another post)

Feed Bill

Patrol Darci

Feed Darci (wouldn’t be such a big deal but we feed raw, and the 2 dogs have to be separated or Bill gets violent so I have to be present for the whole thing)

Round up the chickens into the tractor

Clean the chicken coop

Clean out the chicken waterers and throw the flock any scraps from the night before

We are renting goats to help with the weed disaster so I clean their waterer and give fresh water

Any housework that needs to be done which is usually laundry which we dry outside on a clothesline

Put my herbs outside to get sun

Collect yarrow, grasses and clover for the chickens and us

Make lunch

Yardwork (which lately is weed whacking and ripping out knapp weed) or whatever project we are working on like chicken tractors etc.

We are also chopping and storing firewood right now..so far we have 3 cords…it all needs to be chopped, debarked and stored..that usually takes up the evening.

This is the first 1 1/2 cords we have. We already spilt and hauled another 1/2..uphill..in the heat..:

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Then we got another cord. This is what we are working with right now. It rained today which is awesome but not so good for working on firewood:

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We still need 4 more cords. Yes 4. Whaaaahh

Then after those duties are done outside I make dinner.

Then the plants come in, the chickens are put to roost in the coop and Bill gets ear wash/medication and a brush.

Then I do other health related things before bed.

Then The Walking Dead. We are re-watching the last season so we can be fresh for the upcoming season WHICH IS 3 WEEKS AWAY! woot.

The days vary depending on what is next on the list to get done but it is always busy. Don’t get me wrong..we love every minute of it. But it is hard work. Who needs to work out when you live on a homestead? Sheeze I’m gonna be buff soon..not really..but we are both getting toned again.

We may go fishing this weekend…most likely not but we can dream right?

This post is way too long…I’m done.

I promise not to be gone so long. Promise.

*S

 

 

The Flock

Homesteading

Guys!!

I can’t believe I forgot to post about our chickens!

Yes we got a flock..10 to b exact..9 hens and a rooster. As of right now they free range in a paddock and then hang out in the coop at night. But..Chris is building them an awesome chicken tractor.

We decided on Rhode Island Reds. After reading they seem to be a good dual purpose breed ( meaning they are good layers and decent meat birds) and are pretty winter hardy and independent. We thought that would be a good choice for our first go. So far so good. We are still learning and make modifications everyday.  Such as making the nest boxes more private…did you know hens like privacy when laying? So I made them some silly little curtains, not my best work but they work for being a cut up sheet and some staples haha.

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The Flock

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Roosting away for the night

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Our 2 younger hens, they aren’t laying yet but have quite the funny personalities.

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Crappy curtains for the nesting boxes…haha so bad!

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My love Working on the chicken tractor…

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He’s so good at everything! ❤ ❤ Crush ❤ heh

So that’s what we’ve been up to…plus a million other things. Today we are going to finish the tractor and start on swales. I’ll post about that process tomorrow.

We have also been working with Darci to patrol the property’s perimeter everyday.  Each morning I put her pack filled with stuff on and walk the perimeter of the whole 17 acres..she sniffs..looks and patrols. She’s gotten really good and knows it’s working time. So far she has found turkeys on 3 mornings and a fresh set of deer tracks. So proud. After the patrol she comes with me to take care of the chickens and open the front gate. Look at her little working backpack:

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When she has her pack on she knows it’s time to work..not play.

So we are slowly giving her a job of her very own.

Time to go patrol!

*S

 

Hypothyroidism & The Paleo Diet

Paleo/Primal

At 3 days old I was diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism. What is hypothyroidism you ask? It simply means that my thyroid is underactive. This can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry, rough pale skin
  • Hair loss
  • Cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
  • Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido

And when Your thyroid is off…it feels terrible!

So 2+ times a year I go and get my blood drawn and check my levels, adjusting my medication as needed. I have taken a synthetic hormone replacement everyday since 3 days old. As far as diseases go, this really isn’t THAT terrible but it still isn’t great to have.

I have struggled most often with my weight. It fluctuates…A LOT. Thankfully, thanks to Paleo I’ve pretty much got that under control.

Well it turns out that Paleo is probably, in my opinion, THE single best thing you can do for your thyroid. After hours and hours of researching a thyroid friendly diet…everything I read basically described Paleo ( with the exception of consumption of raw dairy products, which I dabble in once in a while). Not only is it great for nourishing the rest of your body it really nourishes your thyroid. From experience….it works!!

Within the last few years especially I have become very in tune with myself. It might sound crazy but many of us are not that in tune with our bodies, heck I wasn’t for the majority of my life. I can feel when i’m not only feeling under the weather, but specifically when my thyroid levels are off. It has happened 2 times in the last 10 months and each time I went in for blood work. Both times I was expecting to hear “your thyroid is still too low we need to up the dose of your medication”, but instead the opposite happened…”your thyroid levels are too high we need to lower your medication” WHAT?!?!?  That has NEVER never NEVER happened…ever in 25 years! And 2 times?! The only thing that has really changed (besides being completely at peace in my life for once) is following a paleo diet. I have now lowered my medication dose 2 times in less than a year.

For those like me that suffer from thyroid issues this is HUGE

I honestly thought my life would consist of an ever increasing dose of synthetic thyroid hormones. I’m trying to be real and understand that the body fluctuates and I may need to up my levels again but I’m going to enjoy this moment.

If you suffer from thyroid issues I urge you to look into the Paleo Diet, it has helped a lot of other sufferers and may just help you 🙂

Along the lines of thyroid issues I have some other news.

I’m doing it..I’m switching to Armour Thyroid. If you don’t know what that is it’s a thyroid hormone replacement derived from desiccated Porcine thyroid gland. ( Dried pig thyroid gland) Since I’m crunchy you know I hate chemicals, artificial substances and conventional medication…well why should my thyroid medication be any different? I have eliminated almost all of the toxins from my daily life, why not my medication as well? I am so excited to make the switch. I’ve heard a lot of people feel so much better on it, then again..it’s natural so why wouldn’t they?

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but my conventional doctors have always been unwilling to prescribe it. I’m sure they make more off the synthetic pharmaceutical companies..grr. Anywho I decided it was time for a new doctor, one that was in line with my vision of health. There is this great thing available called The Paleo Physicians Network, an online source that allows you to search for Paleo-oriented doctors in your area! How exciting. Well I got on there and while there were none close enough in Washington, I found Dr. Willett in Idaho. So I made the 1 hour drive each way to his office and was incredibly impressed! He was fantastic…and best of all completely for switching me to Armour Thyroid. He was more thorough than any doctor I’ve been to and more alternative and natural than conventional doctors. He is helping me address my thyroid issues as well as my hormone imbalances and adrenal issues. So go on there…and find a doctor that tells you to eat a real food diet instead of grains and soy! Trust me, even if you have to drive 2 hours round trip it’s so worth it!

*S