Monday, June 25, 2012

Pictures of Our Coturnix Quail Chicks

We still have a few stragglers hatching out.  The are so tiny and cute.

About 53 of the 129 have hatched.
Counting them while they move around
is not very accurate.
Newly hatched Golden Coturnix Quail
Golden Coturnix Quail Chicks
Pharaoh Coturnix Quail Chick
A&M Coturnix Quail Chick

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coturnix Quail

The first Coturnix Quail to hatch
Our eggs started hatching late last night.  The first one to hatch was a Pharaoh quail.  As I have said in previous blog we are hatching Pharaoh, Golden, and A&M quail.  So far we have 26 that have hatched as of noon out of the 129 eggs incubated and they are still hatching.

The first two.
The one on the left has been out a short while
the one on the right is brand new.

In our brief experience we have found the babies do better if you do not leave them in the incubator for an extended period of time.  When we were hatching our chickens the ones that spent a few hours in the incubator after hatching seemed to be weaker and sickly.  As a result we decided to remove them and place them in the brooder shortly after hatching.  We also had a problem with a chick rolling eggs in the incubator causing one to drown in the egg in mid hatch.  Sad since it was already on it's way.

I created this little 5x7 wire mess box where we can place the newly hatched until they dry off and get some sort of bearings and for any that may seem a bit week and just need time to rest and recoup without getting trampled or pecked.  It has worked really well for us.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Expecting - Coturnix, Rabbits, Guineas, Ducks

We have had two neighbors and one friend lend us incubators and we are rocking.  We have 22 chicks that we incubated and hatched on the 10th of this month that I blogged about earlier.  Well we also have Muscovy duck eggs and 129 Coturnix quail eggs due to hatch along with now some Peking duck eggs we added to the incubator last night.  This is new and exciting territory for us.

Coturnix - Pharaoh, Golden, A&M
The Coturnix quail are a mix of Pharaoh, Golden, and A&M.  They should be hatching starting tomorrow.  It is good I finally got that quail brooder finished.  My next project will be building pens for those we will keep for eggs and grow out pens.  I don't want to mix the breeds for grow out either as I am going to take advantage of the egg laying with them too.

From everything I have read these birds fully mature in 10 weeks and start laying at 6 to 8 weeks.  I just hope we like how they taste.

Coturnix Brooder

Muscovy Duck Eggs
The Muscovy duck eggs were given to us by a guy who's hen was killed.  These were the eggs she was laying to sit.  I feel good knowing we are finishing the job for her.  It is so cute to candle them and see their feet stretch or a beak.

The guy also ended up giving us his Muscovy male as he was afraid something would get him too.  It is a good thing because it looks like someone permanently clipped his wings and he would not be able to fly to safety.  We added him to our flock and call him Jedediah.

Last night the same guy gave us some Peking duck eggs.  Well the deal is we hatch them for him and we can have half.  It's a good deal if you ask me.

We also have 3 new baby rabbits as of last night.  They are from our mini Rex Tara and our lion head mix Bugsy.  We believe "T" is laboring as we speak.  Talk about getting another project completed down to the wire.  I just came in from adding the nesting box addition to her hutch.

I like the addition of a wire nesting box on the back of the hutch instead of in the hutch as it does not limit the space of the doe.  I also like using wire since we do live in Texas and it is starting to get pretty hot.  We are off in a hour or so to get fans for both the coop and the rabbits.  Last year it got so hot our hens stopped laying.  We are going to try and be ahead of the game this year.

We have a black Australorp hen that has been broody for 4 months or so.  Bless her heart she just kept breaking every chicken egg.  So we finally gave her 10 guinea eggs.  Those are tough little boogers.  They are due to hatch the 29th.  Wish this little girl luck because she has been trying so hard.  She deserves to hatch and raise some babies.  Hopefully it will mellow out the natural instinct of those crazy guineas.

Our duckling Dyanne, from last year is now sitting on her own clutch of eggs.  She started actually sitting the 19th.  We are looking forward to our little one being a mother.

There you go.  Now you are all caught up.  See you guys next time.  Until then live hard and full.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes

I decided the premix packages/boxes are full of stuff that I don't want to eat.  Figuring homemade was easy enough for my ancestors who cooked on wood stoves I thought I would learn how to make them homemade.  I am no wimp.  For the most part that is.

My first step was to scour the internet for recipes.  They were all kinda sorta basically the same with the exception of quantities for the various ingredients.  With about a month tweaking the ingredients this is what I finally came up with that works for us.

Wet Ingredients:
2 3/4 - 3 cups Buttermilk
2 Large eggs
1/4 cup Butter (melted and cooled)

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Backing soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Sugar

Combine the wet ingredients and set to the side

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Do not over mix as it cause you pancakes to become tough.

I use an electric griddle set on 375 degrees.  If you cook them on heat that is to low it will cause them to be dry.  I have found this setting to be perfect as I don't have a doughy middle nor arid pancakes.  You might have to find what works best for you.

Why do I use an electric griddle.  I use it because I like the way it cooks pancakes as well as french toast.  They come out pretty and I like pretty as well as tasty.

Some options you might want to try:

In my last batch I included chopped walnuts and flax seeds to the dry mix.  This batch as been my tastiest.

An option I have seen on the internet; added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract as you combine the wet and dry ingredients.

I hope this helps those of you that like me want to do things the more traditional way.  I find they taste much better and they look prettier without all those preservatives.  Trust me, you will see and taste a difference.

I will have to note that unfortunately we can no longer produce the quality that our grandmothers were able to.  That is a result of changes in how our food is now produced.  I won't go into that but those who remember what tomatoes use to taste like as well as beef know that our food has lost 3/4 if not all of it's flavor.  Not to mention nutritional value.  I can use my Granny's recipe exactly to make her homemade buttermilk biscuits and it still doesn't taste like Granny's.  It is a sad fact and a sign of our times.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Babies Hatching in the Incubator

Our neighbor was nice enough to allow her broody hens to sit and hatch some of our guinea.  Then another neighbor loaned us a Styrofoam incubator.  We loaded it up with some of our price chicken eggs and the adventure began.

We have enjoyed watching the embryos grow and move.  We thought we had lost them when we had a power outage during a storm that lasted 5 hours.  Fortunately they just kept on growing.

Tonight before going off to bed we checked on our little babies and noticed one is starting to hatch.  Of course I took a picture and video.  Gosh, you have to hear the baby peeping from inside the egg.  I mean how many people really get to do something as cool as that?  Since I was blessed with the opportunity, I wanted to share it with you.