Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by tsgreer, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Pozees

    Pozees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2012
    Pueblo, CO

    Yep, and just read a reminder that not only can mice bring loss of feed and potential for hanta virus, they can carry all manner of undesirable parasites, like mites and fleas - although fleas are not common in CO, they are present in small numbers and I don't need problems like that. Mice can reproduce at rates that put cats and rabbits to shame. I learned my lesson 20 years ago when 1 mouse in the house turned into dozens in a matter of weeks, all due to my ignorant removal of some steel wool pads placed to block access by the previous owners of my little city house, when I lived in upstate NY. I wound up setting traps and caught numbers that took my breath away. There were droppings in places that turned my stomach, nests of babies in every crevice of the (admittedly very old) house, and once I had eradicated them I was an avowed enemy of mice being anywhere near home and hearth; that extends to the chickens' home - although having proven their prowess at hunting them, perhaps I can worry a bit less :) We have snakes here, and while we do kill those with venom which choose to take up residence right around the house in areas we frequent, the rest we leave alone. Even a red racer who visited a couple of times, which bothered Bob because he was big and fast, but knowing he would eat local rodents (especially gophers) he let him be. Those are scary the first few times you come across them, but very interesting and useful to the local ecology.

    Had to edit to change mice to mites, as in, mites and fleas. Bad proofreading, sorry LOL
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  2. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    For a yummy Chicken pot pie recipe, go to our Windy Ridge facebook page....
  3. Mommato5

    Mommato5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    One of our girls squatted today! Yay! Eggs are on the way!

    In previous experience I've found the first egg follows the squat by about 10 days. I am watching the calendar and checking the nest box more frequently! :) Can't wait!
  4. pichuris

    pichuris Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2012
    Strasburg Colorado
  5. Pozees

    Pozees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2012
    Pueblo, CO
    On Craigslist in case anyone is interested (says they're in Falcon):

    Very nice flock of Iowa Blue chickens. They are about 5 months old and there are 8 hens and 1 rooster. They are listed on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list and are a breed which needs to be preserved. $20 each. Please call or text 970-three nine seven-3702 or 719-three zero six-7122.
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  6. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    The only two type of snakes we have seen here are Prairie Rattlesnakes and Bull snakes. All rattlesnakes we find, even somewhat close to the house, we kill. The dogs have been bitten a total of 6 times, luckily they had their venom shots. The Bull snakes will drive off Rattlesnakes, but they will also eat eggs and chicks. We discourage their presence, even though they will eat mice. We don't see all of them of course, and we know they are around, so we remain vigilant.
  7. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington

    Yikes! I am very grateful I haven't seen a venomous snake in years. I know they are out there but I haven't seen any so I can pretend they don't exist.

    On a separate note, anyone want to take a guess on this? :D everyone in the family is dead set on one but I think they're just playing the odds. :lol:

    Oh, and Big Red goes to his new home tonight! We are meeting at the Costco. :). Apparently he is going to be a young ladies pet and help watch her hens.
  8. maggiemo

    maggiemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2012
    Front Range Colorado
    I have a question about processors in Colorado. Wendall; did I read somewhere that you process, or help people process chickens? If it isn't you, does any one know who does?
    We processed 25 FR yesterday and I don't want to do that again without a plucker or a scalder. I am happy do kill and eviserate. But trying to scald 25 birds with a turkey fryer and hand pluck is just sloppy.
    I have helped friends process at a USDA facility and it is too expensive for me, for just a few birds. They want $6.50 a bird. I just can't do that.
    Any info or help?
  9. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can help, though I don't have any processing permits or licenses. As a kid, we would frequently do up to 50 birds in one afternoon, at least twice a year. This year the most we did in a day was 12, but that was because of other things that had to be done on those days as well as chicken processing.

    $6.50 is way too much.

    For a scalder, we use a very large pot (I think in a past life is was a turkey fryer) over a wood fire with a digital thermometer (or one of the large turkey fryer thermometers), and a homemade plucker.

    We have found that processing should be a party of family thing. One or two people catch, one kills, one monitors the scalder and scalds, and two or three pluck. All the plucked birds go into the large cooler filled with cold water. (for some reason I usually get to be the one who kills the bird, and assists with plucking issues) The turkey we did 1 1/2 weeks ago was so large that after scalding, we had to hang him up by the feet in order to pluck him completely. The plucker does a good job, but doesn't get the wing and tail feathers very well. We finish them by hand.

    When all the birds are plucked, then we gather around the big folding table (they sell them at Sams and Costco), each with a knife and a cutting board of some sort. A large bucket with a plastic garbage bag in it sits in the middle of the table. Everybody helps. If the bird is small, the person with small hands gets to clean out the small bird. If there is someone who just can't stomach the process, that person becomes the final picking/cleaning person. The gutted birds are taken in the house and given a final picking to get all the pin feathers, etc out. The bird then gets rinssed in cold water, then rinsed in a sink full of water with about 2 TBSP bleach in it, then rinsed again in cold running water. By this time all the birds are gutted, and the gutters now become cutter-uppers. We usually keep a few birds whole, the rest get cut into pieces and bagged according to the part. All of our chicken then "rests" in the fridge for at least two days before using or freezing.

    If you need any help, etc, please contact me via PM or via facebook and we can talk.
  10. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    We will also be putting in some sort of bird carcass hanger to use while doing the finish plucking. That way two people can be actively plucking instead on of holding the carcass while the other pulls out the stubborn feathers.

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