Tag Archives: Chickens

What I’ve Learned About Free-Range Eggs

by Tammy Taylor

RancherMan & I are slowly learning what veteran chicken-raisers have known all along about raising chickens and about fresh free-range eggs. Last year we raised our very first batch of chickens from day-old chicks.  It was lots of fun seeing them turn from fuzzy peepers to a full grown egg-producing chicken.  I learned that it took them 21 weeks to grow enough to produce their first egg and I also learned that chickens don’t just lay eggs in the morning.  In fact their egg-laying time isn’t even a balanced 24-hour time span.  (or maybe they just like to sleep in from time to time – who knows?? LOL)  But I learned even more about the eggs themselves. For instance I didn’t know:

What I've Learned About Free-Range Eggs. Fascinating! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Once Again, We Have Chickens!

by Tammy Taylor

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Last year we dipped our toe into the raising-chickens waters.  We bought day-old chicks and raised them until fall when we sold them (we didn’t want to attempt to overwinter last year)  Oh how much fun they were to raise!  We free-ranged them and they made quite a dent in the grasshopper population and an incredible impact on the fly reduction on our cows in the barn pens.  Oh yeah, and they gave us FRESH EGGS!  We knew that as spring drew closer we’d consider again if we wanted to raise chickens.  The verdict is in: Um, YES PLEASE!

We Have Chickens! Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Delawares, and Bantams.  See How We Put Them To Work - They LOVE Their Job.  #TaylorMadeRanch

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Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing?

by Tammy Taylor

I’ve often thought about other people’s perspectives on why I try so hard to provide for myself.  (Although I’m focusing today on food production, homesteading encompasses providing many items for yourself, not just food.)  I love to garden and it brings me joy knowing I’m providing healthier food than can be purchased at any price – veggies are often fresh out of my garden and on the supper table in an hour or less!  I also like to grow herbs & spices such as rosemary, thyme and oregano.

But from another person’s perspective – why buy the seeds and plant them, water the plant until it grows then weed the beds constantly under that Texas summer heat and several weeks later harvest it, dry it and put it in a jar when you can just BUY a bottle of oregano for a couple of bucks?  I suppose it’s true that it doesn’t take much money to supply my family with oregano, so why do I even bother with this homesteading thing?

Some people may wonder "With all the work involved why bother with this homesteading thing? See what the homesteading life means to us. #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Egg Salad – Use Those Fresh Eggs!

by Tammy Taylor

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I’m really getting some chicken raising 101 education.  This year is our very first chicken-raising endeavor & I must say that I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.  When our chickens were about 21 weeks old they began laying eggs.  I was so excited!  Especially since I learned how much healthier free-range chicken’s eggs are compared to store-bought eggs! We have a very small flock but still, that’s a lot of fresh eggs for one family to consume.  I’ve written before about different ways to preserve the eggs for those leaner egg-laying times.  There’s batch-making & freezing breakfast burritos and even instructions for easily Freezing Raw Eggs for later.  But today I wanted to use several of those fresh eggs to make egg salad sandwich spread for RancherMan.

Fresh Egg Salad - In an effort to use the eggs from our free-range flock, today I'm making egg salad. The verdict? Delicious! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Peeling Very Fresh Eggs Easier

by Tammy Taylor

I’m preserving or using up my fresh eggs from our pastured flock as quickly as I can.  I’ve made breakfast burritos using eggs and cooked sausage wrapped in a tortilla & frozen for quick grab-n-go convenience, but I still want to make sure none of our fresh eggs go to waste.  I recently made egg salad with several of them but as many of you know, boiling & peeling very fresh eggs is a challenge indeed.  I was surprised that I had no trouble at all with them – here’s how I did it:

Wanna know the secret of peeling VERY fresh hard-boiled eggs easier?? No more mangled mess! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

by Tammy Taylor

Now that we have our own chickens, eggs are certainly not in short supply.  And we also always have bread in the house since you can buy a day-old loaf of french bread very inexpensively and use it for many recipes.  Today I’m making french toast… with a twist!  I decided to try to make french toast stuffed with cream cheese & blueberries.

I Topped My Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast With Hot Homemade Apple Pie Filling. Delicious! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Preserving The Bounty: Freezing Fresh Eggs

by Tammy Taylor

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Most people know that chickens slow down their egg production in the winter months, so I’m trying to preserve the more-than-we-can-use quantity of eggs I’m blessed with now for those leaner times.  I’ve written before about preserving the eggs from our pastured flock by making a large batch of breakfast burritos and freezing them.  They make a quick grab-n-eat meal before church so your stomach isn’t rumbling so loudly the sermon can’t be heard!  But you can only eat so many breakfast burritos so I began looking for other ways to preserve those precious eggs so that none would go to waste.

Freezing Fresh Eggs - If you have more eggs than you can eat fresh or find an amazing sale on eggs, save a few bucks by freezing them for later. It's EASY! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Preserving The Bounty: Freezer Breakfast Burritos

by Tammy Taylor

After waiting 21 weeks we are finally collecting eggs each day from our small flock of free-range chickens.   Studies by Mother Earth News show that pastured poultry lay more nutritious eggs than the supermarket counterparts, including 1/3 less cholesterol and 1/4 less saturated fat, and also 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega 3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene and 4-6 times more vitamin D!  Wow, that’s a powerful nutritional punch!  You GO girls!  I want to make sure none of these precious eggs goes to waste so I’m coming up with ways to use them while they’re fresh, nutritious and delicious.

Preserving The Bounty - Making Freezer Breakfast Burritos From Fresh Pastured Eggs. #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Ideal 236 Chickens – What Color Eggs Will They Lay?

by Tammy Taylor

We decided this would be the year we got our feet wet raising chickens.  We’d never raised chickens before so we bought our Ideal 236 chickens as day-old chicks back in April.  One was a banded female but the other two we were just hoping were female.  Another chicken-shopper at the feed store told us that although not 100% accurate, you could hold the chick upside down and if they struggled their legs to upright themselves they had a higher probability of being a rooster, but if they were relatively still they had a higher probability of being a hen.  Using their advice, whether or not an old wives tale, we picked up three of the cute fuzzy yellow chicks.

Ideal 236 chicks #TaylorMadeRanch Continue reading