Monday, December 30, 2013

Power Plucker Critique

We knew the inevitable day would come when we would butcher some of The Compound chickens.  In this instance, roosters.  We decided to deal with the trouble makers first, which were also the smaller roosters.

We purchased a "Power Plucker" with the hopes it would help pluck the feathers off of the birds easier and faster than by hand.  Watch the video and let me know what you think.

It really cut down on the time it took to process the birds.  From beginning to end, set up, boiling of water, and the actual processing of 6 birds, took us no more than an hour.  The others that have processed chickens before, thought it well worth the 30 bucks we paid.

I worked through the whole process, and yes it was gross, but not to the point where I could not participate.  We baked our chickens off and served them up.  They were not as tender as the store bought variety, the dark meat was darker and the breast meat was smaller/less.  Miss Izzy is a happy camper, eating the leftovers.  I don't think these smaller roosters were really meant to be eaten, as they are not considered dual purpose.  It was a learning experience for sure.

I figured there are enough videos online, showing the processing itself, that I wouldn't waste your time here.

The feathers were sure flying!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Three Little Pigs

Well, the girls are finally settling in with "little man", "stud", "studly" etc.  He didn't seem to be doing too well when he first came over, and the girls were not very happy.  They're now sleeping next to each other, and he's finally wiggling his tail.  Although his tail does not curl.  Is it true they're not healthy if their tail doesn't curl or is it an old wives tale?  He's better now that he's spent a week with us, eating well, and plenty of room to roam and tear up the yard. 

They won't be little much longer.  They are all putting on weight and looking really good.  They don't know how lucky they are, getting picked for The Compound family!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Git'er Done!

Well, the Moose and BJ, got'er done, this past weekend!  The hole for the container is totally dug out, and the gravel for the bottom has been put in place.  I'll tell you what, they worked their tail ends off!  Of course we had a heat wave, unlike the rest of the frozen U. S. of A, we were at 85 record setting degrees!  It couldn't be in the 70's when all the digging needs to be done.  Someone, somewhere has a great sense of humor.

Now, the ramp needs to be carved out to the hole, the entrance re-worked, along with the final layer of coating on the outside before it can be moved into place.   Inside structure will be completed once it's "in the hole". 

We are in count down mode at The Compound!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The Moose and I would like to wish all of our followers a very Merry, Blessed Christmas!  Thanks for tagging along.

Our canal, facing west.  Used a fish eye lense

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Drumstick Tree Update

A few months ago, I posted an article about the Drumstick tree.  Here's the link.;postID=4726194307558644526;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=21;src=postname

Just thought you might like to see how much they've grown.  I should have measured them when they went in the ground.   R started these from seed.

September 2013
December 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Container Update - More Digging!

We are in the home stretch on the hole for the container.  Since we've been busy with the hog yard, we haven't dedicated much time to the container project.  Well, that's about to change now that the hog yard is complete.

The Moose has been diligently digging the remainder of the hole.  An hour here, an hour there...  I have helped too, but lets face it girls, guys can shovel a heck of a lot more dirt that we can!  But it does add up.

We had a load of blacktop millings delivered and placed in and  near the hole this past week.  Our neighbor down the street has a dump truck, was working on a project and brought us a total of 3 loads.  One specifically for the container.  The rock will be leveled out in the hole, once it's done to create a barrier between the bottom of the container and the dirt/mud/clay (take your pick, it's all there).

Digging is no one's favorite job, and it's back breaking work.  But give us a few more weeks and we should be about ready to move the container to it's final resting place.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hog Yard

The guys at The Compound have been busy these past few weekends trying to get a hog yard built.  It had to be cleared, cleaned up and fenced in.  Throw in normal Saturday chores, and time adds up.

The two female hogs the boys caught really needed a larger area, and one that will grow with them, and hopefully the next generations.  Needless to say, this past Saturday was the day!  They were determined to finish this project and get the girls in their new space. 

The guys finished installing the electric fence wire, created a walking path around the entire yard, and set their water nipple system back up.

Now the funny part (I guess funny will depend on where you were when this happened).  Since I had to help, there are no photos, so you'll just have to imagine how it took place.

R, decided he was going to wrangle a hog by himself.  Not sure how he expected to carry it over to the new yard, but wrangle he did.  Then he passed her off to BJ, who carried her by the back leg and an ear!  I don't live in this world, but I was told it's a good way to control their wiggling.  The girls have put on a few pounds in the past few weeks and she was no light weight.  But when BJ picked her up, and another person who will remain nameless, wasn't paying attention the other girl escaped through a small opening in the gate.  It was off to the races at The Compound!

Just imagine, the only one in the room with any experience handling hogs was BJ and his hands were busy.  We tried calling to her calmly, and Patrick actually did a good job of getting her towards the new yard, but when she realized she was going to be cornered she was having no part of it. Back off to the races.  They are quick and wily!

Now, she didn't want to run off and be free. Hogs are one of the quickest animals to domesticate, and she was content to stay near her sister and near her source of food.  She just didn't want any part of what we wanted.  She wanted to rut up the yard.  She decided it was OK to play with our watchdog Hunter.  Now this is a dog that would eat your arm off, but he was OK playing with the hog.  Obviously the name Hunter is not synonymous with his duties.

I bet it took 15-20 minutes to finally get her to a point where they could grab her.  And if you must know, it's because of my quick thinking!  I used an old screen door to block off an area she kept coming into.   She tried to break through the screen, and it was just enough for BJ and Patrick to get ahold of her.

Now both girls are in their new yard, and one of the first things they did, after realizing the fence is electrified (poor girls) is head to the mud bog.  Yes, we even planned their space to have a mud bog!

It only took them an hour or so to realize that life on this side of the fence wouldn't be just too bad.

How long before this yard looks like a rutted up mess?  One final note;  hogs really like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Acres and a Dream - Book

If you get a chance, please stop by Leigh at 5 Acres and read all about her new book!  What a great milestone!  While you're there, sign up for the drawing to win a free one!