Friday, 14 January 2011

Spaghetti Frenzy

I enjoyed writing yesterday's blog entry. It brought back a lot of nice memories and , of course, one or two bad ones. I seldom re read some of my older posts, but I know they are there, waiting in the wings so to speak, to be dug up and experienced when needed.....little snapshots of memories.
My blog about Finlay's death still hurt a little when I re read it last night, but that's the down side of owning dogs, they are never with you for very long.....and  Kipling  got it right when he wrote in his poem Power of the Dog.......that "you give your heart to a dog to tear!"

Chris was working away last night and is away until late tonight...I am working tonight, so today feels like a bit of a non day.
Egg production has now picked up after the cold snap. The ten St Trinians are all laying quite nicely which is a testament to the power of layers pellets and a bit of TLC. And all of the young hens that arrived late last year are producing small baby sized eggs.
A good tip to help with egg production , especially in the winter months, is to give hens pasta. Cheap spaghetti is their favourite, and they and the runner ducks go absolutely bonkers when they see the old enamel pan of pasta , tucked underneath my arm.
Yesterday I bought six packets of spaghetti from one of the "common" bargain shops in town and the cashier "quipped" "I bet you love your spaghetti bolognese don't you?"
"Not really" I replied " but my hens go hysterical over it"
She laughed weakly


  1. Each week I buy 10 bags of frozen broccoli and 14 bags of green beans and the cashiers always seem a bit speechless when I mention to them that they aren't for me but for our dogs.

    Glad all 'the girls' are all doing well!

  2. Pretty chickens and I love the header picture on your blog. We just got our first chicken. She was a rescue sort of, I don't think she even lays eggs anymore but she is friendly and loves seedless grapes. Haven't tried giving her any spagetti but I bet she would like it.

  3. I love the new header! Farmer jokes..hehe..regular folks just don't get them!

  4. Agreed, extra snacks do help with egg production! We always toss out whatever scraps we have that the dogs won`t eat to the chickens.

  5. Ah, using chicken humor to terrorize the innocent -- great fun!

  6. John educate me on farm eggs. I know everyone raves about them being tasting the way eggs should versus the supermarket egg, but is there a danger for salmonella? Would it be rude of me to ask the farmer if I could see the chickens to find out what kind of conditions they were living in?
    I have a farm quite close which has just started putting out a sign that they have fresh eggs, would love to support the local economy, but don't want to get it all wrong! Help me out here please?

  7. >the "common" bargain shops

    I will treat you to Waitrose, when you next come. Oh, to be rubbing shoulders with the middle classes! It would be such a pleasure.


  8. I love your posts, and I also love the comments too - so funny. xxxx

  9. My Parrot, Buddy, was crazy for spaghetti. I wonder if the little birdies outside would be able to eat it?

  10. The Turkey Ladies don't come around too much this time of year since they're too dumb to figure out that they could fly over to the feeders when the snow is too deep for them to walk through.

    But, in the Spring, when they are reliably coming again, I'm going to try the spaghetti out on them.

  11. jac
    here in the uk, you only have to check for salmonela if you have over 50 hens ( and sell the eggs for a living)
    I have 49 hens and only sell to neighbours so I dont have to worry!
    I dont know what the rules are in Canada.....

    I leave the muck on my eggs and never have had a problem with salmonella!

    Anytime!!! waitrose here we come!

  12. i will try that with my hens! thanks. i just love to come to your page just to get the laugh when that big chicken face is starting at me on the screen. ha ha! best pic.

  13. John, you DO have the biggest heart ever!!!I am just so pleased that I have the priviledge of reading your blog and getting a little glimpse of how kind and generous you are with your animals..

  14. That's a stunning header!

    I'm going to try the spaghetti thing tomorrow.

    Incidently I've been meaning to ask you, what do you use on the floor of your coops? I've bneen using wood shavings but they take bloody ages to rot down and I'm suspicious they will be acidic in compost (as most will be pine I imagine)

  15. dan
    just used newspaper for a small coop (especially uncer the perches)
    shavings are useful for bottom sitters and ducks but like you said it takes ages to rot!!

  16. Love that new banner photo!

    Our chickens go NUTS for pasta. But salmon skin puts them right over the edge.

  17. Well looks like it's time for some sphag then cos my girls are not laying at the mo! My sis gives her hens shredded wheat!
    Have a good shift tonight- just got rid of the on call phone so chill time tonight ..........

  18. I love your ST Trinians girls ! My girls like pasta too...and are off porridge. Roxy looks dreadful - normally the prettiest, she's lost a lot of feathers. They love the veggie scraps in the compost heap too.

  19. Loved your last post - its so interesting to see how people get to where they are.

    Bet your chickens are loving their pasta. My girls, only the ducks now, have a real thing for peas at the moment .. and don't seem to be so fussed about pasta now the hens aren't there to compete for it.

    Hope your shift goes well tonight.

    I'm enjoying your posts, stories and animals.

  20. Ah, cool.

    I've been using cheap compost from the garden center for the chickens in the base of their coop - but that's a metal try. If I tried the same with the ducks it would start to rot down the wooden base I suspect.

  21. I read an article about chicken eggs.. WHen chickens lay eggs there is a product that is over the egg that protects the egg.. Eggs should never be washed after gathering them because you wash whatever it is that is on the egg. (I forgot that part)...
    So I ask the neighbor where I buy my eggs not to wash my eggs when he puts them in the carton.. I wash them just before I use them.. I told him about the spagetti and he said he never heard of doing this but was going to start..
    I love your posts and I really enjoy the top picture of the chickens..
    Have a tiggeriffic day..ta ta for now, from Iowa USA

  22. Lovely post. I don't have chickens these days, but I have lovely neighbours who do and who supply me with eggs. John, you would enjoy the blog Moon over Martinborough, it's one of my favourites. A gay couple living the rural life in NZ, who love animals and seem to acquire elderly and rejected animals as you do. I'm sure you have a lot in common with them! Here is a lovely post about the death of an elderly much-loved rooster:

  23. Never tried spaghetti with my hens, but, I do know they love oatmeal. Just plain old cooked oats. It's a big hit on cold days.

    Have to give the noodles a whirl. I'm sure they'll love it. They eat most everything you let them.

    Lucky you with eggs. Mine have quit for the time being and I had to go buy eggs.

  24. Thanks so much for the tip about spaghetti. I never would have realized otherwise. I save all these tidbits I learn, for when we finally can have our own chickens. :-)

  25. When we would have cold snaps, I would boil up extra eggs, cheap oats, noodles, and brown rice. Then I'd add diced tomatoes, and cayenne pepper, a bit of molasses, and sunflower seeds. Mash it all together and head out to the coop. It usually resembled the scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds".
    (then I'd usually head inside and make a frozen pizza for the boy and I. sigh!)

  26. I guess the thing to do is to make the most of your dog while you have it. I am very tempted to take on another dog to replace the one that died last year but I fear it will take my attention away from the one I already have.

  27. I didn't realise that hens liked pasta. Your girls look happy!

  28. LOL! Looking at your header of the chickens reminded me of when I was a boy on the farm and we used to hypnotise the chooks until the fell over with their feet in the air and their wings spread-eagled. Only lasted for about a minut but it was hilarious!

  29. I'll have to give spaghetti a go with my hens (although I won't tell them what it is because my cat's called Spaghetti!)
    They're just starting to lay now - check out my blue eggs!

  30. Our girls are laying again as well! woowhoo finallllly. Its been a long spell since they molted.

    I just made them lentils and mung beans yesterday!

  31. I was so keen to talk to you about eggs John I totally ignored that great picture. Chickens and spaghetti...who knew??

  32. I'm still getting a brief, thrilling scare when I see your new header pop up! Love it. Kind of like having my cat stare in my face when she tries to get me up to feed her mornings.

    Question - do your chickens roll the pasta around their beaks first, just slurp down the strings, or cut them first? After all, everyone has a favorite way to eat spaghetti!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  33. Oh, carbs in the winter are very well loved by my girls as well. In addition to spaghetti mine love heated up leftover rice with milk or yogurt. I can only imagine what the store clerks face lookd like - it's the same I get when I mention I'm purchasing something for my chickens. I really like your header.

  34. Wait a minute are't there eggs in pasta!!!!
    Yikes... do the chickens know that?

  35. Victoria - Chickens LOVE eggs! (They also love meat, including chicken meat. They are omnivores, sometimes too much so.) The secret is to boil the eggs (I just smash the cooked egg and shells together) so that it doesn't "taste" familiar... The shells are natural calcium for the hens, and helps make the shells harder. I saved all my shells, and then would boil them and give them to my girls. You just want to discourage them from eating fresh-laid eggs, which they will do, hence the boiling. There is very little a chicken won't eat, and so they become great food recyclers. I've seen them eat snakes and mice (they used to bully my cat every time she'd catch a critter) and just about every fruit, vegetable, gourd, grain, or meat. I had a neighbor that canned everything, and he'd always bring me the "leftover stuff" - peelings, pulp, seeds, etc. My chickens would mob him every time he stepped foot in our driveway.

  36. It is heart breaking to lose a dog or a pet that we love. They sure seem to live life so fully in the short time they are here. I want to learn how to do that.

    My chickens are petitioning me for pasta... some have applied for passports in order to come to Wales.

  37. Oh John the heartbreak of losing a dog is just terrible. I know it will always hurt. The quote is so true.
    My gang love spaghetti to. It is a big favorite around here. Isn’t it funny they recognize your pasta pan? So sweet :)

  38. My chickens aren't laying yet. I always reckon they will have started again by Valentine's Day so fingers crossed. I use wood shavings for bedding and they rot down fine. In fact I think they are a great accelerator to the compost heap.
    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog.

  39. I sent this link to some friends of mine who just started a little flock of chickens last spring. 16 layers and they're getting about 9 eggs a day. Isn't that a little low?
    btw, I can't believe you went skydiving! I thought you had trouble with heights? Talk about facing a fear. Yikes! You brave, brave man.


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