Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicken Moving Day

The Cornish Rocks are just over 3 weeks old today, and were very crowded in their horse trough home in the hot shop and ready for a change. Randy made a chicken tractor this week from materials we had laying around the farm (how's that for frugality?) and I moved the Cornish Rocks to their new home this morning.

In case you are wondering why they are so ugly looking, it's because they are getting their adult feathers. A molting chicken isn't the prettiest thing you ever did see, is it?

Once I got the Cornish Rocks moved, I cleaned out the horse trough, put some more wood shavings in, and transferred our Delawares over to the horse trough. They seem to be happier with their new surroundings, and hopefully they won't be trying to escape from here like they were the galvanized tub!

So far, I am very impressed with the Delawares. We have not lost ONE chick in this group, and they are very friendly and inquisitive birds.

Just for kicks, here is a pic of our other 4 chickens. We plan on passing these birds on before the Delawares are ready to take over the chicken coop. (Any takers?) The two roosters are Easter Eggers(aka Americauna), one hen is a Silver Wyandott and the other is an Easter Egger mutt that lays brown eggs. We get from 0-2 eggs a day with these gals, usually 1 or 2.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Cornish Rocks...

Well, so far we are less than thrilled with our Cornish Rock chicks. This morning is the first day that I have gone in to find them all still alive. We had been finding one or two every morning that didn't make it through the night. I don't know whether it's due to having so many chicks in one space or if it is simply due to their genetic predisposition to not be nearly as hearty as a heritage breed. We've raised a few batches of chicks before these guys(at least 3, maybe 4?) and never had this bad of luck with chicks....

I believe we have 44 chicks now out of the 50 we ordered.

As per the instructions where we purchased them from, we started taking their food away at night and giving it back in the morning when they were 5 days old. Since doing that, we haven't had any more deaths(yet) so I don't know whether the other chicks were having heart attacks from eating too much or what.

That said, I think we will be leaning even moreso towards raising heritage chickens for meat in the future. Our Delaware chicks we are getting for egg production are supposed to be shipped on Monday, so we will see how they fare once we get them...hopefully better than the Cornish Rocks! And hopefully the Delaware's genetics are such that they lean towards the larger size of the breed and not the smaller side...

Just my two cents for today. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009


I made Runzas earlier today so that dinner would be ready when we got back from my Allergenix appointment this afternoon and I wouldn't have to deal with cooking then.

I got the recipe from my mom, who got it from my grandma. Mom made them quite often while we were growing up. I have no idea where Grandma got the recipe, but they are a fairly frugal meal, though time-consuming. I often double the recipe and freeze half of them for easy lunches and dinners.

4 1/2 cups flour(I used King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat today)
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg (1/4 oz each) yeast(or 5 tsp bulk yeast)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening(I used butter)
2 eggs

1 pound lean ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
4 cups (or so) chopped cabbage
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In large mixing bowl, place 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
Heat milk, water and shortening to 120*-130*. Pour over flour mixture. At this time, add the eggs. Beat mixture with electric mixer on low until blended. Beat 3 more minutes on high. Stir in remaining flour and knead until smooth and elastic(approx. 6-8 mins, less if you have a Kitchenaid mixer). Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double(1 hour).
Meanwhile, brown beef and onions in a skillet. Add cabbage, salt and pepper. Cook until cabbage is wilted.
Punch down dough: Take handfuls of it and roll out into a rough circle. Top with about 1/3 -1/2 cup of meat mix. Fold into triangles and place on greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350* for 20 mins or until golden brown.
Serve hot.

Makes about 12 Runzas, depending on how big you make them.

Notes: I had to add about 1/2 cup more flour today, probably because it's a pretty humid day. You may not have to.

I have been known to be short on time and have a hankering for Runzas and making a "Runza Pie" as well. I basically cook the meat/onion/cabbage mixture and spoon it into a pie pan and top with biscuit dough and bake. Easy and yummy! :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

We've got Chicks!

Bright and early this morning....well, it wasn't bright since the sun wasn't even up yet...*yawn*...but anyway, early this morning we got the call from the Post Office letting us know that our chicks had arrived and were ready to be picked up.

Randy did the honor of driving into town and picking them up, leaving me to wake up a bit and find the light, chick feeder and waterer and other accoutrements to accommodate the wee fellows.

We had ordered 50 male Cornish Crosses. What we got were 52 total, with 3 of them not making the trip alive. This is to be expected, I suppose. So, 49 chicks in all.

They are out in the shop in an old horse trough. Can I say I find it hilarious to watch them huddle together, their eyes in one collective droop, and then the whole group falls asleep and sways off to one side and then all their eyes pop open as they wake up, startled, and start the whole process again? So funny! They are eating and drinking well already--I am going to have to refill the feeder in a few hours, I think. I only filled it about half full to begin with, but guess they are hungrier than I thought!

So...we need to get on the ball with building the Chicken Tractor....and within the next 7-8 weeks or so, we are going to have to find a chest freezer to put half of these guys in (our friends are getting the other half). Then we get to eat Real Pastured Chicken for at least awhile(half the year at one chicken/week), provided things go well and good.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Allergenix-What it's like

In my best understanding, the Allergenix system has four protocols, or large groups of allergens, for which you are tested. These are: General foods, Whole Foods, Inhalants and Medications(which I believe have two parts).

When I went in to my first Allergenix testing, I had to turn off my cell phone and take off all jewelry. I also had to be well hydrated, and drink a water solution with some sort of additive added to it(sorry, don't remember the name).

The woman put some KY-jelly stuff on each of my middle fingers and hooked these metal clamps (for lack of a better term) on them. The metal clamps were attached with plastic coated wire to the Bax3000 Allergenix box, which is connected to the computer. She then pulled up my profile and ran the scan of I believe 350 foods. The lights were turned off to help me relax and have an accurate reading. I sat there with my hands up and fingers not touching while it did the scan.

The 350 foods are broken down into I believe 12 or 13 groups and if you come up allergic to more than one food in a group, don't despair, as you can be treated for the whole group in one treatment.

Allergenix follows the guidelines of NAET more than AAT in that they want to treat eggs and dairy before they treat anything else, even if you don't prove to be allergic to these top two food allergens.

So, the first day I had egg treated. The second visit I had milk treated. When I have something treated, I have to avoid it in all forms(food, on skin, breathing) until the next morning(one sleep cycle). I also have to avoid going shopping or out to eat for that amount of time, due to risk of exposure to what I was treated for.

I was told I may react to the treatment for the next day after the treatment, but the reaction should be mild and after that the allergy should be gone.

You can have up to 2 treatments done in one day, as long as they are 4 hours apart. I was going to make 2 appointments a day for the next two weeks, but the secretary suggested we take it on a once a day basis and see if I am able to avoid the things when they are doubled up or not. For instance, my next two things to be treated are vitamin C and then B-vitamins. If I were to have these both done on the same day, I would probably have to fast for the rest of the day, and I'm not sure I want to do that. My blood sugar tends to run low without fasting!

So, there's my little synopsis of Allergenix. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From AAT to Allergenix

It has been awhile since I have posted about my allergy treatments. My apologies! I have been busy finishing reading The Unhealthy Truth, planting the garden, and taking care of the kids full-time now that they are out of school. :)

My last allergy I had treated was Cat Dander. I was warned that this one very often has trouble holding. I'm not sure whether it held or not, but the cats aren't driving me nuts so maybe...

As I have mentioned earlier in my blogging, my AAT doc was getting the Allergenix system and I have started on that. It is a flat fee for the year to do the Allergenix, and I think I would have spent that flat fee on doing the rest of my allergens through AAT, especially if I had to have some treated more than once. So, last week I had the first Allergenix testing done, along with one treatment, and I went in on Tuesday this week and had the next treatment done.

So, just letting my readers know that I have switched over to Allergenix. If I am having some difficulty still, and we can't find it on the Allergenix system, I can hop over to the AAT system and pull up individual allergens and do the strength testing and treat them that way. From what I understand, the Allergenix system doesn't allow the user to do that.

More about Allergenix later! :)