We have over 7 inches of snow here at Holly Berry Husbandry this morning so I thought I would try a recipe I found online a week or so ago for crispy eggs. They turned out delicious! Even our son, Eli, who hates eggs asked for seconds...so good!
First, poach a few eggs for 3 or 4 minutes in salt water with a touch of vinegar. Remove them from the water and place them on a dish towel to drain and cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, dip them in flour, then egg wash and then bread crumbs. Repeat this one more time. Let them rest for 5 minutes so breading and egg wash have the opportunity to absorb each other. Fry in canola oil until golden brown. Put your fork in 'em. They're done! I added a dot of Sriracha for a little kick.
Incubating Eggs for the Beginner
Incubating eggs at home is fun, easy and basically no expense with the exception of a little electricity and some inexpensive brooder materials.
Hatching chicks could not be easier using the Brinsea incubator. Any room in your house will do as long as its an average room temp and is free of drafts. Here are the steps:
Just like a baby getting into position in it’s mother’s womb, a baby chick needs to get into position inside it’s egg. It can’t do that if its constantly being turned from side to side. On day 18 (the day after the eggs are placed in the incubator is counted as day one) here is what you do:
Day 19 or 20
If you shine a light inside the incubator, you will start to see little holes being cracked in the shells. The chicks inside are ready to come out and are making those holes with the “egg tooth” on the end of their beaks. As time progresses, the chicks will start spinning around slowly inside the egg and pecking all around the shell in a circle to eventually pop off the end of the shell as they make their way into the world. From the time you begin to see a hole in the shell to the time they are completely out can take 24 to 36 hours. It’s hard but be patient.
If your incubator temp was a constant 99.5 degrees, by day 21 they should be hatched. However, it is not uncommon for chicks to still be coming out as far along as day 23. Half of one degree can make a big difference and will speed up or slow down the process.
***Important note: Do not open the incubator as chicks need a high level of humidity to come out of their shells. Humidity will be created from the heat of the incubator combined with the water you placed in the trays on day 18 plus the moisture released from inside the shells. If you must open the incubator (to remove chicks that hatched 24 hours ago for example), do it quickly and add a little more warm water poured though the egg tray down into the water trays.
After they hatch
Chicks can stay in the incubator for up to 24 hours after they hatch. They should stay in the incubator until they are fully dry. Once it is time to remove them, here is what you do:
Feed and Water
Chicks hatch with a little bit of the egg cell still attached and can go for about 24 hours after they hatch without food or water. However, it is better to place some chick feed and water in the brooder whenever the chicks go in so it is available when they need it. Feed can just be sprinkled on the floor but water should be placed in a small, low dish that they can easily drink from but also get out of should they step into it. Chick waterers can be purchased online for about $3.00 and are the best way to give chicks water. Make sure they always have access to clean food and water.
What could go wrong…
This section is not meant to scare you out of hatching but there are some real risks that could happen that everyone should be aware of if they decide to try hatching.
We hope this hatching information is helpful. Please visit our website for information on our breeds: www.hollyberryhusbandry.com.
Thanksgiving is in just two weeks and most of the leaves have fallen from the trees. We've begun sizing up the turkey pen and trying to do determine which one will be joining us at the table for Thanksgiving....as our special guest...
Our egg production has dropped way down so we've added a small light and automatic timer to our egg laying house when the time changed. It's set to come on at 5 PM and go off around 9 PM. This little bit of added light is already having a positive effect on the girls. They are slowly beginning to lay more eggs. If your ladies have stopped laying we highly recommend you try this little trick to see if it will help your flock. Since there are so few eggs this time of year, this is also when we give our flock a dewormer, usually Safeguard.
While I know it can be extremely tempting and seems intuitive to add a heat source to the coop, especially during the coldest winter days, it can actually be very harmful and cause respiratory issues. Instead, we make sure to feed a bit of cracked corn before bedtime and use the deep layer method used by ol' timers for many hears to provide a little extra heat to the coop that won't be harmful. Digestion of the cracked corn during the night will also help to keep birds warmer at night plus I think it helps give them a little extra fat as protection. We also monitor the windows in our coops during the evening lock up and morning release. If we see any sign of condensation, its a clear signal that there isn't enough ventilation and we need to increase air flow. A damp environment in winter can also cause respiratory issues.
Once the temps drop below freezing, we will also start monitoring the combs on our breeds that have larger ones. Big combs and cold temps is a recipe for frostbite. A little Vaseline rubbed on their combs before bed will usually do the trick.
Well, the sun is beginning to rise so it's time to put on the muck boots and start letting the birds out from their coops to greet the day. Sleep is for the weak...
In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until fluffy. Add milk and stir. Gradually whisk in flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Coat inside of skillet or cake pan with butter. Pour all the batter in the skillet and place in oven. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Preheat broiler. Whisk eggs and cream in large bowl to blend. Stir in feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, basil, salt, and pepper. Melt butter in large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture; do not stir. Cook until eggs start to firm and sides and bottom begin to brown, lifting sides occasionally to let uncooked egg run underneath, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with olives and Parmesan cheese. Transfer skillet to broiler and cook until eggs start to puff and brown, about 2 minutes. Using flexible spatula, loosen edges and bottom of frittata. Slide out onto plate. Slice frittata into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year, and hoping you will all continue your quest in hatching and raising chickens in 2015!
We moved to Fredericksburg, VA in the fall of 2013 from the more urban city of Arlington, VA to pursue a dream of establishing a small homestead where we can raise animals, grow a little of our own food and learn about homesteading. The stories posted on this blog document these adventures and we hope provides information to others wanting to do the same. Enjoy!
Matt was raised in the Amish country of Central Pennsylvania and was always surrounded by animals. He was member of 4-H and was ranked nationally as an equestrian but also raised chickens, turkeys, sheep and rabbits.
Raised just outside of Chicago, Jim never thought he'd be raising chickens! One too many documentaries about commercial chicken farms has forever changed his mind about grocery store eggs.