Keeping the Chickens Cool This Summer

While we re not getting very high temps here in Seattle, there are quite a few places that are.  Just in case some of you are in those hot places like where I grew up, here are some tips and tricks to help you deal with your chickens in the heat.

 

Chickens are pretty good at fending off the cold, but the heat they dont have many mechanisms to cool down.  The comb and wattle serves to help cool the blood down by passing through the fleshy part.  Cooling the blood down cools the birds internal temperature (it shouldnt be 160 degrees internal unless they are in a roasting pan).

Temperatures much above 80 will likely get many chickens to start panting.  I have heard that this cools the blood through the neck but I am not sure as I havent researched that before.

Make sure they have fresh clean and cool water at all times.

Make sure there is sufficient airflow, wire floors should be clear, and deep bedding may be removed as it helps to insulate.

If temps are really high a sprinkler in the roof can help.  Double walling (2 layers of roof with an inch or two between the layers) the roof will help also.  Creating a channel for hot air to rise and pull in cooler air between the ‘airfoil’ helps keep air moving and insulates against the sun.  This doesnt work well on a flat roof but a shed roof or a roof with at least a slight angle upwards.  As heat rises it pulls in cooler air and keeps from heating up the inside of the coop quite so much.

Some like to freeze 2 liter bottle and lay them in the coop for the birds.

Feed your birds a smaller crumble instead of large pellets or whole kernel corn.  Save the whole kernel corn for the winter.  It warms thier bodies up digesting it.

Chickens that are way too hot can be taken indoors in a dog or cat crate temporarily.  Most times this isnt necessary but if they are in the sun without plenty of shade.

Let them free range and dig a depression in the cool ground.  This is one of teir favorite ways to cool down.  They will find a shady cool corner on their own the majority of times.  They scratch out a hole and lay in it.

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Zucchini instead of pasta

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Here’s a good wdy to remove the starchy calories from spaghetti. Julienne or mandolin cut a zucchini and put your sauce and cheese on it. I prefer to blanch the zucchini for just a minute to limber it up and warm it up. This isn’t a pretty picture but it’s a much lower caloric alternative to pasta.

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Kokedama Japanese Mudballs

Here’s some planting methods borrowed from Japanese kokedama. Poor mans bonsai. Plants are put in a mudball. Wabi sabi is also referred to it. A controlled chaos. See what happens like in nature.

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Homemade pizza

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Fish Cakes with Zuccini

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Drained leftover fish soup. Added Zuccini a little flour. Two eggs. A cup of breadcrumbs. Some salt and Parmesan cheese. Made into patties and pan seared with a little butter. Better as leftovers I think.

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Skillet Diner in Capitol Hill

We met friends for dinner at Skillet. It was derived from a roach coach that drove around fixing upscale truck food. Like the taco trucks but different. Fried chicken, burgers, etc with fancy ingredients like bacon jam, honey drizzle, and the likes. Living in Los Angeles for a few years I was familiar with the roach coach that served good food. Working as a collision tech for what seemed like an eternity I also had my fair share of gut truck food that made you stay near a bathroom.

We got to Skillet and the place looked very nice and clean. The staff seemed to be all wearing plaid shirts. The aforementioned friends werent with us yet and would meet up with us momentarily. Because of this they explained that they couldnt seat us until all our party is there. Everything went without a hitch and we were seated.

I ordered the fried chicken and fried corn. The others ordered peanut butter and jelly banana marshmallow sandwiches, fried, a ginourmous salad, and eggs and waffles for dinner.

The best all around was the PBJBM sandwiches. They were toasted well, Texas style toast with a nice buttery flavor and the right amounts of fillings. The fries were pretty good natural type fries with sme skins on them.

My fried chicken was lacking the expectations that I had hoped for. Growing up in the South with grandmas fried chicken double battered and deep fried in pure lard and seasoned with however her unreplicable recipe is I had high expectations of fried chicken. The herbs and honey on them were a good pairing but the chicken seemed to be overly cooked and the batter was very dark brown and brittle and hard. It ws a bit too crunchy for my liking, nearly what Id consider hard and hurt the roof of my mouth like eating dry Cap’n Crunch cereal the morning after drinking too much.

The fried corn was fair. The fried corn is an ear of corn cut into 4 pieces of mini corn and deep fried on the cob. Im not sure if it was the corn or the seasonings but it was not as palatable as Id thought.

The pork belly I tried on the breakfast waffles and scrambled egs was pretty good. I havent had pork like that in a long time since I went to the German restaurant near Lunchbox Laboratory. It ws cooked just right, seasoned just right, and had a great taste that would go super in a pile of collard greens or turnip greens.

Overall I left feeling a little like Id been let down by all the hype that I d been hearing for so long about the food there. The staff was great and the place was very clean. They definately have a niche theyve carved out with the mason jars as drinking glasses and plaid shirts. If theres 6 or more dont worry about tallying up the tips, as they add 20 percent for gratuities automatically. It was a good experince, nice dining, but the food was not as grand as Id hoped for. Next time I go Ill find something besides the chicken and corn. Perhaps cooking at home with staple single ingredients has spoiled me as we dont go out to eat very often.

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The Whole Enchilada

Fry the tortilla. Put cooked ground beef in. Put in cheese. Roll and place in baking dish. Cover with frijole sauce or store bought sauce. Cover with cheese. Bake at 400 til the cheese is golden and melted to your liking. Then eat with frijoles and or fruit as a side dish.

The organic enchilada sauce was a few dollars and made two batches. This dinner didn’t cost much to make. Prep time and cooking about 30 minutes. We made the beans in a slow cooker the day before.

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Uncle Pankaj Pizza Night

In keeping with uncle Pankaj who calls la cucaracha a big customer at the NYC breaking pizza vendors homemade pizza. For no apparently connected reason we made pizza at home. I also made a calzone, not to be confused with cojones, with leftover meatballs. Cost: about 3or 4 dollars max from bulk bought staple ingredients.

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Enchiladas with frijoles

Homemade enchiladas with ground seasoned pork. Frijoles from dried bulk black beans. Prepare time was 30 minutes with bought tortillas. Dried beans were out in the slow cooker this morning. Salad from the yarden out front.

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