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Monday 27 January 2014

Raising Baby Chicks

I brought home a dozen day-old chicks of various breeds. They are adorable and I am playing mother hen by keeping hot water bottles hot, providing as much food and water as they want, stroking their downy feathers and washing their butts.

Yes, I am washing chicken butts. Sometimes with baby chicks, their poop sticks to their butt feathers and dries, blocking the exit. This is called "pasting up" and it can kill them. So, I have been routinely picking up all the chicks and giving them some affection while checking their little chicken butts for crusties.

If needed, I try to dissolve the butt blockage with warm water first and then it must be removed - the chicks do not like this but it has to be done!

The chicks are all random breeds and it will be interesting to see what they turn out to be. There are definitely bantams, Silkies, Cochins, some Barred Rock and Red Australorp in the mix. They are also unsexed so I am anticipating about 6 hens and 6 roosters, give or take.

David is having so much fun playing with the little birds.

Stewie is also very interested and keeps a close watch on the brooder. I let him smell some chicks and he tried to lick the birds in my hand. I was a little bit worried that he was confusing them for a tasty treat.Yesterday I heard him give a little "woof!" from over by the box - one baby chick had escaped. Stewie sounded the alarm. That reassured me that Stewie is in fact standing guard and is not just waiting for a chicken-flavored snack!

I took some photos of an amazing crab dinner we had last night. These were locally caught dungeness crabs that were still alive about an hour before we ate them.

I steamed them for about 15 minutes in a pot with an inch of water in the bottom. Halfway through cooking I poured some of my homemade wine on them.

I caramelized some leeks and onions and garlic with kale and Brussels Sprouts. So nice to eat out of the garden in January! I made a dipping sauce for the legs with butter and fresh rosemary.

The crab legs were some of the best meat I have ever had in my life. Every part of the legs are full of succulent crab meat, and the juice was delicious, salt water and wine. 

Keep checking in, I have a lot going on in crafty-land!
Thanks so much for reading.

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