Fall At Cobble Hill - Molting, Dieting and Just Plain Broody!

I had to wear a jacket this morning to work.  It's getting chilly.  I had only been wearing one while doing my outside chores in the morning, but that all changed today.  We'll be starting up the pellet stove in no time.

Guess who's broody again.......Little Lizzie and Mama Claire.  Hand-in-hand (or rather wing-in-wing) they work as a team to try and fight me from stealing what they deem as their eggs.  Lizzie is usually riding high in her nesting box on top of at least 4 eggs.  I think she figures the higher the number the better chance at me leaving her with 1 or 2.  Not so sister!  We've let chicks hatch in winter and it's no fun for anyone - birds or people (cat either since they end up in the house for a while - another nuisance for Cait).

The "big girls" (plymouth barred rocks) are molting.  Lizzie and Claire have finished that part of their fall routine, and Emma and Kathy never appeared to go thru it.  The foster chicks are laying now, so we're getting eggs from them, the araucana's and Baby Sam and Baby Renee while the big girls finish their molt.  Poor Lucy Lou.  She looks so sad.  No tail feathers and hardly any on the bottom part of her body.  She was quiet when she was just starting, but now she's just plain miserable.  I don't blame her at all.

Looks like we're keeping the foster chicks.  The town our friends live in voted against letting them have a backyard flock.  They've adjusted surprisingly well and seem to be doing fine.  They will no longer be called the foster chicks as soon as I come up with their names.  They are huge - even next to the big girls.  The light brown and reddish-brown appear to be meat birds. 

I took Emerson and Oliver to Dr. Lori's office on Friday for a little "treat or treating".  That's what we call it since Emerson wanted to make it clear he wanted no tricks - only treats.  They received plenty.  I tried to keep them in their costumes, but they were both busting out of them.  Seems they've gained a little weight since I purchased them.

I weighed them while I was there.  Oliver took the scale first and weighed in at 22.6 pounds.  Perfect!

Emerson was next.  I think his pig costume must have been weighted, because he and his 5 chins weighed in at 26.2 pounds.  Whoops!  Guess who needs to lose 2 pounds?  Em said he'd like to wait until January 1 and make it an official New Year's Resolution.

I spent a few hours on Saturday baking sugar pumpkins and freezing the puree.  I'll use it for pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.  Yum! 

I've also been trying to organize myself a little better.  I work 40+ (mostly the + is correct) hours/week outside the home, but want all of our meals and snacks to be homemade, so at times it's a challenge.  I've been doing weekly meal plans, and preparing some make-ahead items, but I'm going to try a monthly meal plan with monthly grocery shopping and make-ahead items (pie crust, pizza crust, cookie dough, hot cocoa, meals, and soup bases for the freezer).

What types of things do you do to save time?  I'd love to hear your ideas!


Verde Farm said...

Your chickens are just adorable. I can see the pair working so hard to keep you out of their eggs. I have a pair like that-two hens that do everything together including sitting on one set of eggs. I so agree about chicks in the winter-no thank you!! Your doggies are so precious! I just love their attitudes. I feel so bad for them with the news of weight gain--darn it and right here at the holidays too :( In regards to what do I do to save time? Oh that is a good question. I work around 65 hours a week and many weeks on the road...I think I am a good list maker and work hard to keep us on track with our lists :)
Happy Monday, Amy

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hello Staci!
Your pups are just the cutest little critters. Our older Rhode Island Reds are starting to molt but mostly it's Henrietta. She's my favorite. She looks absolutely miserable! The rest of them have lost feathers but so far no one is showing any skin...other than the two favorites of Romeo and Mr Lucky! We had took one of our broody hens and set her on a nest with 6 eggs about a month ago. She broke two...hatched two but they didn't make it and the rest weren't fertilized so that experiment didn't work. Next spring we'll try again. We have one other hen feeling broody but I just keep taking her off the nest when ever I'm in there...she'll get over it eventually. Glad the pups vet visit was a good one other than a future diet...poor little Em. I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and hey thanks for stopping by today..it's always great to see you. Take care. Maura :)

Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much for your comments Maura and Amy. Yes, poor Em has to lose his weight right at the holidays. This is probably why he wants to wait until New Years.
Amy - I'm a list-maker too. I couldn't live without them!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Don't forget the usual to freeze: spaghetti sauce, gravies, and not just soup bases, but the complete deal(pea soup,and stews holds up well). Bake your bananna, blueberry, cranberry, pumpkin breads,etc., slice and freeze individually, or make as muffins to freeze. Cookies too. Homemade pot pies of your choice; extra pancakes/waffles. Don't forget the meatballs.

Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I never thought of slicing the quick breads prior to freezing, I thought they would dry out. I'll have to try it!