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#7 - Sunday 7 on a Monday now

So a friend posted on FB that she was looking for a home for three chicks. Okay. Her friend is giving them away for free. Okay. I ask about the birds, nothing.

On Mondays I do an egg run in Burbank so I contact the guy and I swing buy the house to collect the chicks.

They are not chicks - they are 4 month old roosters. Three of them. Terrified and looking incredibly ratty. I take them though I don’t need three roosters. Regardless, I can give them a better life here at least for awhile.

I talk to the guy and he admits he knew they were roosters. He’d killed the rest of the birds. All the chicks he’d been given on Craigslist were roosters. He didn’t know how to process the meat so they didn’t age it or brine it and ihis wife overcooked it — it was like shoe leather. The birds are tiny at 4 months so it would be like eating a leather Cornsh Game hen.

He was embarrassed, he needed to get the rooster out of his yard or to eat them, but that had not gone well and the neighbors were complaining about the crowing. Roosters are not allowed in in his city.

I put them in a pen and will hold them there for a couple of weeks before introducing them to the rest of the flock. I feel for them, they are sweet enough boys but shaking with fear. They can chill in the pen for a bit and get their bearings. They were okay with me petting them tonight, I hope they will be friendly tomorrow. I don’t know what breed they are. Pretty enough.

I’m hoping that they will get along together in the pen.

MODIFIED COQ AU VINliterally Rooster in wine
The French, man they know their way around tenderizing tough meat. This is terrific.
Organically raised roosters — no steroids, no crap food, no tiny cages, no saline injected into the meat. These bad boy lived with me so I know their life story intimately.
I had them butchered* and cleaned professionally. Rooster has to be rested and aged before eating or it will be very tough.
I cut them up first then brined them for 3 days in wine, herbs, cajun spices, olive oil and salt. Today I baked them in a modified Dutch Oven in wine, herbs, spices and olive oil. I skipped the heavy cream in the original recipe, but DAMN! Yum.
This dish? It’s something to crow about, and fall off the bone tender. Great flavor too.
I thought I would be squeamish, but instead I’m deeply grateful.
There are three roosters in this pot, anyone want to join me?
—-
*having the birds butchered was a very difficult decision to make as I raise my birds from chicks/eggs and interact with them daily. Sadly, too many roosters are hard on the hen flock. Unless the hen is willing, and sometimes they are, a rooster will grab a hen by the head and drag her down, then stand on her back grabbing onto her neck feathers with his beak and her back feathers with his claws while mating with her. When you have too many roosters - several will breed with her at the same time. The hens end up bald with featherless necks and backs. 
Roosters penned together can get along, but they can also turn on a dime and fight until they are both bloody. This happened recently here among two roosters who had lived together for 3 years in peace. 
In this case, a farmer hired me to incubate out a bunch of chicks for him last winter, he never came for them. I sold off some, but ended up keeping the rest including with a slew of roosters. I would not sell a rooster chick intentionally to an unsuspecting neighbor or local. There are people who do, but it’s a crappy thing to do.
I didn’t want the bird to go to waste.
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
400
Aperture
f/4.5
Exposure
1/60th
Focal Length
34mm

MODIFIED COQ AU VIN
literally Rooster in wine

The French, man they know their way around tenderizing tough meat. This is terrific.

Organically raised roosters — no steroids, no crap food, no tiny cages, no saline injected into the meat. These bad boy lived with me so I know their life story intimately.

I had them butchered* and cleaned professionally. Rooster has to be rested and aged before eating or it will be very tough.

I cut them up first then brined them for 3 days in wine, herbs, cajun spices, olive oil and salt. Today I baked them in a modified Dutch Oven in wine, herbs, spices and olive oil. I skipped the heavy cream in the original recipe, but DAMN! Yum.

This dish? It’s something to crow about, and fall off the bone tender. Great flavor too.

I thought I would be squeamish, but instead I’m deeply grateful.

There are three roosters in this pot, anyone want to join me?

—-

*having the birds butchered was a very difficult decision to make as I raise my birds from chicks/eggs and interact with them daily. Sadly, too many roosters are hard on the hen flock. Unless the hen is willing, and sometimes they are, a rooster will grab a hen by the head and drag her down, then stand on her back grabbing onto her neck feathers with his beak and her back feathers with his claws while mating with her. When you have too many roosters - several will breed with her at the same time. The hens end up bald with featherless necks and backs.

Roosters penned together can get along, but they can also turn on a dime and fight until they are both bloody. This happened recently here among two roosters who had lived together for 3 years in peace.

In this case, a farmer hired me to incubate out a bunch of chicks for him last winter, he never came for them. I sold off some, but ended up keeping the rest including with a slew of roosters. I would not sell a rooster chick intentionally to an unsuspecting neighbor or local. There are people who do, but it’s a crappy thing to do.

I didn’t want the bird to go to waste.

Heartbreak on the hoof

That’s how farming was described to me. I raise poultry so I’m on the low-end of heartbreak, but still…

I woke up this morning to discover that my Barnevelder hen abandoned her chicks during the night, they died. Everything seemed fine last night, though I’d considered putting a heater in her pen just in case. I didn’t do it and now the are dead.

It’s one me.

RIP little ones.

Words I never thought I’d say…

Who Me? Oh, I’m just over here brining a few roosters…

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Roosters don’t have a lot of fat on them like commercial hens do.
  2. Reportedly they are tough if they are not aged, brined, or slow cooked (until the meat falls off the bone).
  3. Had I known this I would have aged the other birds before adding them to the deep freeze. Ahh, who am I kidding I didn’t have room in the fridge for any more birds. And I was more than a little verklempt about the whole subject
  4. These birds anyway have very tight joints

I’m probably going overboard, but I did an 8-way cut, and now I’ve got three birds in a brine of in white wine, rosemary, herbs, bay leaves, garlic, some Cajun spices, kosher salt, pepper, a little palm sugar, some coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative), and olive oil. It smells divine!

Brining overnight or for a couple of days will give me a chance to figure out how I want to cook these guys.

The only saving grace by the way, is already knowing what a chicken looks / is built like and having worked with whole birds before. It makes it easier for me to distance myself from these being my birds.

Did I mention how much more peaceful and relaxed the farm is now?!

I thought I’d be more squeamish, but the reality is, I know that these birds were raised as cleanly and organically as possible. No hormones, no steroids, no-GMO feed. They were uncaged and had a pretty stress-free life. I don’t want to let them go to waste.

BLUE COCHIN HEN & CHICKS
This Blue Cochin is one of my favorite birds. Named Bonsai in honor of my friend Al (an avid gardener), they share the same birthday. She was a tidy broody mama and did me a favor by rolling the eggs out of the nest and piling them up by the door for easy removal as she decided to let them go. So far, she’s been great with the 4 babies she hatched out — a Blue Cochin, a Delaware, a Salmon Faverolles, and a Leghorn/Brahma cross.
TOP PHOTO: The mama hen will call the chicks over and pick up food for them then drop it for the babies to eat. In the top shot you can see the grain dropping (by the white chick’s foot)
BOTTOM PHOTO: In the lower shot the hen is digging with her foot, and the orange chick now has the grain in her mouth.The two closest chicks to the ground probably have their eyes closed given the amount of dust Mama’s foot will churn up.
The gray chick facing away is another blue Cochin, I am super-excited that the Mama’s genes came through on that one, the rooster is a Buff Brahma.

//
Zoom Info
BLUE COCHIN HEN & CHICKS
This Blue Cochin is one of my favorite birds. Named Bonsai in honor of my friend Al (an avid gardener), they share the same birthday. She was a tidy broody mama and did me a favor by rolling the eggs out of the nest and piling them up by the door for easy removal as she decided to let them go. So far, she’s been great with the 4 babies she hatched out — a Blue Cochin, a Delaware, a Salmon Faverolles, and a Leghorn/Brahma cross.
TOP PHOTO: The mama hen will call the chicks over and pick up food for them then drop it for the babies to eat. In the top shot you can see the grain dropping (by the white chick’s foot)
BOTTOM PHOTO: In the lower shot the hen is digging with her foot, and the orange chick now has the grain in her mouth.The two closest chicks to the ground probably have their eyes closed given the amount of dust Mama’s foot will churn up.
The gray chick facing away is another blue Cochin, I am super-excited that the Mama’s genes came through on that one, the rooster is a Buff Brahma.

//
Zoom Info

BLUE COCHIN HEN & CHICKS

This Blue Cochin is one of my favorite birds. Named Bonsai in honor of my friend Al (an avid gardener), they share the same birthday. She was a tidy broody mama and did me a favor by rolling the eggs out of the nest and piling them up by the door for easy removal as she decided to let them go. So far, she’s been great with the 4 babies she hatched out — a Blue Cochin, a Delaware, a Salmon Faverolles, and a Leghorn/Brahma cross.

TOP PHOTO: The mama hen will call the chicks over and pick up food for them then drop it for the babies to eat. In the top shot you can see the grain dropping (by the white chick’s foot)

BOTTOM PHOTO: In the lower shot the hen is digging with her foot, and the orange chick now has the grain in her mouth.The two closest chicks to the ground probably have their eyes closed given the amount of dust Mama’s foot will churn up.

The gray chick facing away is another blue Cochin, I am super-excited that the Mama’s genes came through on that one, the rooster is a Buff Brahma.

naimhe, Oh I was PLENTY pissed off and went the canyon FB page to let people know. Everyone jumped on board and was up in arms. It will be an issue at the next community meeting. These are many of my egg customers btw. We live in an oak forest, there is very little that grows in the shade of live oaks, and maybe a strip 6’ wide by 25’ long that could be left to grow or taken out with a weed whacker, shovel, etc. This is a sandstone canyon so removing plants is super easy. Keeping predators from digging under a fence however, nearly impossible. Even electrified.

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE FARM…
The top green egg is your basic extra large egg, the smaller is a new laying hen egg - a Salmon Faverolles hen, and the ginormous egg is a double yolker, and one of the biggest I’ve seen. All three eggs were laid in the same nest today.

//
Zoom Info
Camera
iPhone 4S
ISO
800
Aperture
f/2.4
Exposure
1/15th
Focal Length
4mm

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE FARM…

The top green egg is your basic extra large egg, the smaller is a new laying hen egg - a Salmon Faverolles hen, and the ginormous egg is a double yolker, and one of the biggest I’ve seen. All three eggs were laid in the same nest today.

DARK BRAHMA ROO
This tiny rooster realized that he could crow this morning. This was taken just after he crowed for the first time. I like that he looks a little puzzled. He’s still warming up his vocal cords, but now from the safe distance of the greenhouse. Youngest rooster to crow that I’ve ever had. And Brahmas tend to mature slowly. Yikes, lol.

//
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
100
Aperture
f/6.3
Exposure
1/100th
Focal Length
55mm

DARK BRAHMA ROO

This tiny rooster realized that he could crow this morning. This was taken just after he crowed for the first time. I like that he looks a little puzzled. He’s still warming up his vocal cords, but now from the safe distance of the greenhouse. Youngest rooster to crow that I’ve ever had. And Brahmas tend to mature slowly. Yikes, lol.

Five for Friday - Chick Edition

  1. Chicks - I’m knee deep in ‘em
    65 replacement arrives this AM
    30 hatched out for a friend
    3 broody hens on at least a dozen each (1 on 30)
    36 eggs in the incubator set to hatch this weekend (i hear cheeping!)

  2. One of the groups of chicks I brought in carried Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, it may have been from the hatchery, or from one of three farms I’m in contact with. It spread through my flock like crazy. Most likely I was the carrier from pen to pen. I’ve treated everyone large and small, and hope that’s the end of it. Birds dying, getting infected eyes, gross. Man, that’s tough!

  3. I have three broody hens - one of them has moved her nest a half dozen times, rolling into the new nest only the eggs she chooses to bring along. Currently, she is in the bathtub, a poor location but I needed to move her in case I could get her adopt chicks. Nope, she wanted nothing to do with them. She wasn’t aggressive, just distainful like I had a lot of nerve to even suggest it…shessh. Of course, it’s not as if she hasn’t been selective all along. What was I thinking?

  4. You have baby chicks and they are immeasurable tiny and frail. After a few days you get new baby chicks and suddenly the previously tiny chicks are huge. It’s hard to wrap your mind around how quickly these things grow and how tiny they are to start…

  5. I had a fifth nattering about birds but I just received a call that one of my co-workers was let go. Actually, the one that was the reason I accepted the job. He will land on his feet, if he hasn’t already, and do well. HUGE passion for photo shop, digital marketing and somewhat visionary in terms of the big picture. I’ll miss him. He has freelance clients already so I’m assuming that this will be a pretty easy transition for him and a plus for them.
APPENZELLER SPITZHAUBEN - or Silver Spangled Spitzhauben (©Poultrysite.com)
Among my favorite of the new chicks is the Appenzeller Spitzhauben — a breed of chicken originating in Appenzell region of Switzerland. The Appenzeller comes in two varieties. Mine are the Spitzhauben, meaning “pointed hood” (which comes from the frilly hat worn by the women in the Appenzeller region in Switzerland.
Brought to America by a doctor who successfully introduced the breed. It has a V-comb and feather crests in both hens and roosters. The bird is either white (mine) or gold and come with black spangling — so they are also called Gold / Silver Spangled Spitzhaubens. 
Today the breed is largely an ornamental one kept primarily for showing, but they also lay a respectable quantity of white eggs. This is a light chicken, with hens weighing an average of 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and roosters 4.5 lbs (2 kg). Behaviorally, it is a flighty breed that doesn’t do well in confinement, can forage well, and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. In North America, it is very rare breed and is recognized officially by neither the American Poultry Association or other breed registries. The silver spangled Spitzhauben [shown] is the most common variety found abroad.
Though there is no standard in North America, the UK does recognize the breed and accepts it as a standardized breed. There is, however, a push in the United States for the Spitzhauben to be recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Zoom Info
APPENZELLER SPITZHAUBEN - or Silver Spangled Spitzhauben (©Poultrysite.com)
Among my favorite of the new chicks is the Appenzeller Spitzhauben — a breed of chicken originating in Appenzell region of Switzerland. The Appenzeller comes in two varieties. Mine are the Spitzhauben, meaning “pointed hood” (which comes from the frilly hat worn by the women in the Appenzeller region in Switzerland.
Brought to America by a doctor who successfully introduced the breed. It has a V-comb and feather crests in both hens and roosters. The bird is either white (mine) or gold and come with black spangling — so they are also called Gold / Silver Spangled Spitzhaubens. 
Today the breed is largely an ornamental one kept primarily for showing, but they also lay a respectable quantity of white eggs. This is a light chicken, with hens weighing an average of 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and roosters 4.5 lbs (2 kg). Behaviorally, it is a flighty breed that doesn’t do well in confinement, can forage well, and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. In North America, it is very rare breed and is recognized officially by neither the American Poultry Association or other breed registries. The silver spangled Spitzhauben [shown] is the most common variety found abroad.
Though there is no standard in North America, the UK does recognize the breed and accepts it as a standardized breed. There is, however, a push in the United States for the Spitzhauben to be recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Zoom Info

APPENZELLER SPITZHAUBEN - or Silver Spangled Spitzhauben (©Poultrysite.com)

Among my favorite of the new chicks is the Appenzeller Spitzhauben — a breed of chicken originating in Appenzell region of Switzerland. The Appenzeller comes in two varieties. Mine are the Spitzhauben, meaning “pointed hood” (which comes from the frilly hat worn by the women in the Appenzeller region in Switzerland.

Brought to America by a doctor who successfully introduced the breed. It has a V-comb and feather crests in both hens and roosters. The bird is either white (mine) or gold and come with black spangling — so they are also called Gold / Silver Spangled Spitzhaubens.

Today the breed is largely an ornamental one kept primarily for showing, but they also lay a respectable quantity of white eggs. This is a light chicken, with hens weighing an average of 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and roosters 4.5 lbs (2 kg). Behaviorally, it is a flighty breed that doesn’t do well in confinement, can forage well, and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. In North America, it is very rare breed and is recognized officially by neither the American Poultry Association or other breed registries. The silver spangled Spitzhauben [shown] is the most common variety found abroad.

Though there is no standard in North America, the UK does recognize the breed and accepts it as a standardized breed. There is, however, a push in the United States for the Spitzhauben to be recognized by the American Poultry Association.

For discodroid,  I found you the perfect Canadian chicken for your upcoming flock…
The Partridge Chantecler
Why?It’s A CANADIAN originalBred to be winter-hardyComes in two colors - white & partridge
There’s Scandel in it’s heritage: (which makes keeping the breed more fun)The “Partridge Chantecler” is actually unrelated to the original Chantecler.  “The Partridge Chantecler was developed by Dr. J. E. Wilkinson around the same time. When this bird was submitted for inclusion to the American Poultry Association in 1935, it was erroneously placed with the Chantecler chicken (thought to be a variety, not a separate breed). This, ended up causing the demise of another distinct breed of Canadian chicken. The proper name for the Partridge Chantecler should have been the “Albertan” - but it is not… (source)
So, sour grapes in Alberta…
It’s the ONLY breed of chicken in the world known to have been created [primarily] by a monkAt the dawn of the 20th century, no breeds of chicken had been established in Canada. Canadian farmers only had fowl of European and American derivation. This fact was noted by Brother Wilfred Chantelain, a Trappist monk and Doctor of Agronomy, as he toured the poultry flocks of the Oka Agricultural Institute, an agricultural school at his abbey which is affiliated with the Université de Montréal.
In 1907, the Brother set out to remedy this void. He create a practical chicken suited to Canada’s climate and production needs. He created the White variant of the Chantecler. It was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1921. To this day, the Chantecler is one of only two breeds of poultry from Canada, and the only one known to have been created primarily by a member of a monastic order.
—-
Also, handy as a dual meat/egg bird in case of society collapse, or zombie apocalypse.
I ordered the Partridge variety — because partridge markings are awesome. Given that it’s suited for extreme cold, and we don’t have that in Los Angeles, I’m going to install a chicken door in the deep freeze so they can amble in and cool down during the summertime…what, you didn’t think I was going to EAT them?!! Sheesh, it’s like you don’t know me at all. :)
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon D5000
ISO
1600
Aperture
f/5.6
Exposure
1/30th
Focal Length
55mm

For discodroid,  I found you the perfect Canadian chicken for your upcoming flock…

The Partridge Chantecler

Why?
It’s A CANADIAN original
Bred to be winter-hardy
Comes in two colors - white & partridge

There’s Scandel in it’s heritage:
(which makes keeping the breed more fun)
The “Partridge Chantecler” is actually unrelated to the original Chantecler.  “The Partridge Chantecler was developed by Dr. J. E. Wilkinson around the same time. When this bird was submitted for inclusion to the American Poultry Association in 1935, it was erroneously placed with the Chantecler chicken (thought to be a variety, not a separate breed). This, ended up causing the demise of another distinct breed of Canadian chicken. The proper name for the Partridge Chantecler should have been the “Albertan” - but it is not… (source)

So, sour grapes in Alberta…

It’s the ONLY breed of chicken in the world known to have been created [primarily] by a monk
At the dawn of the 20th century, no breeds of chicken had been established in Canada. Canadian farmers only had fowl of European and American derivation. This fact was noted by Brother Wilfred Chantelain, a Trappist monk and Doctor of Agronomy, as he toured the poultry flocks of the Oka Agricultural Institute, an agricultural school at his abbey which is affiliated with the Université de Montréal.

In 1907, the Brother set out to remedy this void. He create a practical chicken suited to Canada’s climate and production needs. He created the White variant of the Chantecler. It was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1921. To this day, the Chantecler is one of only two breeds of poultry from Canada, and the only one known to have been created primarily by a member of a monastic order.

—-

Also, handy as a dual meat/egg bird in case of society collapse, or zombie apocalypse.

I ordered the Partridge variety — because partridge markings are awesome. Given that it’s suited for extreme cold, and we don’t have that in Los Angeles, I’m going to install a chicken door in the deep freeze so they can amble in and cool down during the summertime…what, you didn’t think I was going to EAT them?!! Sheesh, it’s like you don’t know me at all. :)

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