Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Good Eats Chicken Treats


We have just begun "harvest time" here on the Shawhan farm! The Chicken Lady has been busy canning green beans, freezing corn and making green bean and carrot baby food. Plus I have made several loaves of zucchini bread. I still have tomatoes and peppers to look forward to, plus 3 loaded down apple trees to make things out of and winter squash to make into baby food. I try to do these things in the couple of hour breaks I get while a certain someone is napping, all the while trying to stay awake myself!

Anyhoo, as I and my sometime helpers toil away in the hot kitchen, the chickens are out celebrating because they know I love them (though I don't get to spend as much time out in the barn anymore) and will bring them all the yummy throw-aways...for lack of a better term.

For example, Dan and I tossed countless bowls over into Kennel Bar of green bean ends. I'm not 100% sure if chickens like green beans, but the next time we dumped over our snapping scraps the tips and other throw-aways were gone. (I figure even if they don't like what I throw them they will enjoy pecking and scratching through them.) One day mom and dad brought up a melon and after cutting off the rhine I tossed that over the fence and the cluckies enjoyed what melon was left. According to all the reading I've done, chickens LOVE melons! However, I think potato skins are poisonous.

Last week we showed the love by sharing with them their ultimate favorite...sweet corn!

Dan and I planted 8 rows of a bi-colored sweet corn called Ambrosia (what we get free from the Pioneer sales rep!) Mom and I froze 30-something bags of corn and on Sunday I went out and pulled a few dozen more...I hate anything I grow to go to waste. I got 12 more bags out that. Dan and I will soon turn into ears of corn since I've been trying to incorporate corn into a meal almost everyday.

Anyway, of course one must shuck all this corn in order to use it, so of course the chickens get to peck and scratch through the shucks and if they are lucky, they will find a random ear of corn that didn't look too good to me.

(Please don't report birds are STILL molting and look terrible! The fact that we have 4 roosters doesn't help either...more on that later. We are working to fix that problem!)

Not to be forgotten, the steers and Jimmy and Charlie enjoy the spoils as well...

Chickens are cool to have because you can throw them many a table scrap. I even save cut off strawberry stems, old bread and corn I've cooked that we don't eat out to them. (I'm a sick person, I know!)

This must be what it's like to have pigs and throw them slop!

Though I will know for sure because I will never own offense to those who do.

If anyone needs me in the coming weeks, I will be in the kitchen or spending time with my favorite person in the world!

                                                                                                        ...cluck... cluck... cluck...

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