Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

Explore the blog, Then Check out our website
Chicken Scratch Poultry

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Young Pullets Available Now

It's that time of year when we're finally feeling a bit caught up on the chick orders and we've started growing up young pullets for the fall shipments.  In the last couple of years, fall has become just as busy as spring.  Fall is when a lot of folks begin to think about getting young pullets that are feathered out, have enough growth already to make it through the long winter months and will be laying eggs by spring.  Some of the pullets that we have ready to go now just might be in egg production by late fall.


The Chocolate Orpington is one of the breeds that we have available in 4 to 5 month old girls, they will be laying very soon.  Obviously not this little girl, she is about 9 weeks old.  We do have a few different age groups ready to go.  Our chocolates are suppose to be bantams but really by the size that we are getting they really can't be considered bantams.  We are growing out Chocolates that are measuring up quit well to our standard sized breeds and are producing medium sized eggs.



I will have Welsummer pullets later in the fall.  This little girls still has baby fluff on her chin.  The Welsummer hens sell very quickly, so it's a good idea to get your order in early on this breed, that's what happens with a bird that lays an egg this beautiful.


The powder puff of the farm...probably one of the most friendly birds that we have, the beautiful Light Sussex.  I have 4 girls just like this one, they are right at 3 months old and absolutely gorgeous!  I also have several younger pullets in the Light Sussex breed that will be ready to go very soon.
  

This little girl was hard to get a good picture of, she wanted to check the camera out.  This is a Lavender Orpington, they are very curious and super sweet.   The lavender Orpingtons lay a beautiful pastel pink egg, they are also one of the best egg producers on the farm.  Even though we had one of the coldest winters ever, our Lavenders kept right on laying.  We are having extreme heat and humidity now and the lavenders keep right on laying.  We have nine week old young hens and roosters ready to go.


The beautiful Black Orpington.  This young gal is at that crazy juvenile age when they are just funny looking, you know what I mean...baby fluff face, big feet and crazy feather growth in all directions.  This is a fast growing bird.  They are absolutely huge, even larger than the lavenders.  The Black Orpington also lay the pastel pink eggs.   I have three young pullets that are 3 months old and hefty!  If you like big butts, this breed is for you.  I  also have younger ones that will be ready to go very soon if you happen to miss out on the big girls.  They sell fast! 

   
The Black Copper Marans that I have are right around 3 months old, I also have younger ones.  With younger birds I can fit four in a box.  It depends on how big the birds are as to how many I can fit in a box. 
We are getting great coppering on our pullets and excellent egg color from our breeders.  This breed is also one of our best egg producers on the farm.  They lay great during the cold winter and hot summer.  


We have several 9 week old Splash Marans.  They will all look just a bit different, that's what I like about this breed, no two will ever look alike.  This little girl has some very nice coloring.  They also have a super sweet disposition.  Not only is this bird beautiful but it's also going to give you an impressive egg.  If your looking for pretty eggs and a pretty bird don't over look the Splash Marans.


We also have young roosters available in all of these breeds.
If you see something you like and want to place an order, head over to the website /http://www.chickenscratchpoultry.com/
I'll be glad to answer any questions that you have.  We will also be shipping the day old chicks until the end of September.
Have a great day.
Angie

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Making Homemade Soap And Memories

Last week our family got together to have our annual soap making.  We like to get together at least once a year and make homemade soap.   We had everyone from Great Grandmas and Grandpas, nieces, nephews, Aunts, Sisters, Daughter In Laws, cousins and grand kids.  It's a good time of story telling, laughing and just catching up with what's going on in everyone's busy lives.
I have a soap recipe that works well for me and I'll share that and some photos.  I got this recipe from the internet at Homemade Soap At Marsha's, she gives step by step video instructions which makes it very easy to follow. 

Items Needed:
Distilled water
Lye
6Lbs of oil
lemon juice
stearic Acid

I begin by measuring out my oils and melting them in a large pot on the stove.  I always use 2lbs of Coconut oil and 4 lbs of Vegetable shortning.  Marsha said we can use olive oil with this recipe but we tried this once and the verdict is still out on weather it works or not.  It didn't seem to harden up correctly so I'm sticking with what works.  

Once the oils are melted, we take the oil outside for the remainder of the steps, this is where the use of lye comes in and you will need plenty of ventilation. 
Next measure out 17 ounces of lye.
You now have a pot of melted oil, you will also need a stainless steel pot with 3 cups of distilled water in it.
Slowly add the lye to the pot of water.  Never add water to lye!  The water will now begin to get very hot.  Do not breath the fumes coming out of the pot or as Marsha says in her video, "you will choke!"


You'll need to wear eye protection and rubber gloves, as you can see I wasn't wearing my eye protection very well.  Don't be looking in my messy garage either.


Once the lye is dissolved in the water add your melted oils to the lye water.

( Ingredients in this photo are, lemon juice, stearic acid, Almond fragrance, oatmeal and raw bees wax.) 
After you have the oil stirred into the lye water, this is when you can mix in your essential oils, bees wax, honey, oatmeal or whatever you like.  After you get those mixed in it's time to add 2 cups of lemon juice and 2 ounces of stearic acid.  As you add those in you will see a pretty fast change in your mixture,  Your soap will begin to make trace.  Making trace means, as you stir the soap your wooden spoon will leave a trail in the soap.  Once the soap makes trace it's ready to pour into molds or just a plain ole card board box lined with wax paper.  This is the first time I've used the stearic acid, I think it helps with making better lather.  I've made this recipe before without the stearic acid and the soap turned out good.  I decided to go ahead and order some on the internet and give it a try, I'll be interested to see if it makes any difference.
The soap we made today is honey, almond, oatmeal, yum.  Smells good enough to eat!

Mixing the oatmeal in.


Pouring soap into molds.
Once the soap is poured into the molds, cover with an old towel to hold in the heat.  When the soap is cool and firm, score with a knife into the size of soap bar you like.    Let your soap cure for about 4 weeks, then it's ready to use.


While the adults made soap, the kids played.   These little girls are my grand daughters and great nieces.  They started out just looking in the ditch.


Didn't take long and they were down in the ditch dipping out snails.
Seeing them playing in the dirty water brought back memories of when my sister and I were just kids.  We asked mom if we could walk down the street and look in the big ditch.  She gave us permission to go look but don't play in the dirty water, "you could get polio" she said.  We walked down the street and peered into that mysterious dirty water, it didn't take us long until we couldn't stand it any longer.   We gave in and played in the murky water.  I remember one of  us said as we walked back home, "Polio's going to suck but that was fun."  Well mom, we didn't get Polio and eating the raw cookie dough didn't give me worms either.  Love you mom, I know you were just trying to keep us safe and afraid all at the same time.
   We had a great day, making soap and memories.
Have a Blessed day.
Angie