Tina Hillel

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since Jun 02, 2014
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Recent posts by Tina Hillel

It is a tough choice to have to make.  If you end up rehousing Runner, it's not difficult to find a replacement roo.  Having a bond for 8 years is special since your kids have grown up with Goldie.

We ended up with multiple roosters this year and I did have a young favorite.  At night we were putting him in a dog crate to avoid the early am fighting.  I kept the crate in the chicken run so he could be near the other birds because I found that a couple hens wanted to be near him and would sleep next to his crate. He was pretty calm about going in but seemed sad. During the day we let them free range and figured there were enough hiding spots if there was fighting during the day.  We did this for a few weeks before I came across someone whose roo was dying of old age.  I ended up giving him away even though I liked him.  

If you keep Runner separately I don't think it would be a big problem to reintroduce him later. At least from what I've experienced anyway.  The main problem was the old rooster kept seeing the competition and it was stressing him.

I hope whatever decision you make works out well.  
2 days ago
Also as far as the cone, we found we needed 2 sizes. One bigger one for meat birds and larger roosters and one smaller for extra cockerels.  
3 weeks ago
Jay Angler is VERY right that there is a learning curve with the plucker.  My husband bashed up a few before getting the hang of it.  Since he has gotten involved, I would happily take some birds with ripped up wings.  Those are definately the most fragile parts with the plucker.  Of course since our plucker is an investment of $12 in parts, scrap pvc and an existing drill, I can't complain!
3 weeks ago
This was the first year we did more than 8 in one day.  One at a time worked best with my husband and I working together.  Process was:
1. Catch bird
2. I held bird and got it to relax.  Husband came behind bird and shot with air rifle.  Bird never even reacted because it never saw the end coming.
3. Slit throat and put in cone (just made this year.  Huge plus)
4. Scald bird. (Definately get a turkey fryer size. We finally did 2 years ago)
5. Pluck (husband built a plucker using rubberized finger put through pvc tube and it hooks to drill to spin. Amazing)
6. Gut and get any stray feathers.
7. Package for freezer.
8. Repeated 10 times (then again on 2 other days. Will be doing again this week)

We found the best workflow to be to get the next bird in the cone to drain right after previous bird was plucked. It kept things moving pretty steady. We processed more birds this year with the least hassle ever.

As far as the blood, I added a little soap to the bucket and filled about third with water.  Kept blood from sticking to bucket so much.  I disposed of in woods because my garden is next to chicken run area and I want to keep predators further away.  Any unused bits from processing also went to woods.

Hope it turns out well!

(Edited for rotten spelling)
3 weeks ago
These sneaks peeks look great.  Terrific job with the artwork Tracy!

One general question I have about the book is what will the "language rating" be? I'm used to reading the website, but I know it would definately be a factor for ones I might want to gift a link to.
1 year ago
That is so encouraging to hear!

I have been starting to come up with parts of ideas for trying to grow more next winter.  Right now I have a container of beet greens and a small tray of baby lettuce in the one window with good sun.  Cant wait to see your set up!
1 year ago
Good sentimental or bad? 😀

I still twitch when I see phlox.  My mom was big on ornamental flowers, but didnt like the weeding part to keep up the look.  Many a punishment involved weeding and I particularly hated weeding phlox.  It looked like a weed most of the year anyway so it all seemed pointless.  Then I had the evil thought to pull part of it up "accidently" and claim I thought it was a weed. That did NOT end well.

Anyway phlox does bring back memories!
1 year ago

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:I don't know...  But I guess that could be part of how it could be a million dollar idea.  Figure out how to keep it in place and make sure it helps more than it hurts.  
I'm imagining something that you'd install from behind the rooster's head, first covering the comb.  Then it wraps around the head, waddles and upper neck and zips/velcros up the front under his beak.  So the comb part would be like a pita pocket.
If you put it on at dusk, maybe he wouldn't kick it off right away.  Then in the morning he may realize how cool he looks and try to keep it on.  Or I'm just being silly.
My rooster eats out of my hand, maybe not all roosters are that cordial.

If it is to protect the comb and the wattles, it has to cover the comb and the wattles and have some sort of elastic under the chin, which might make swallowing difficult?
I giggle thinking of trying to sneak behind my rooster in the middle of the night to slip one of those on him. I'm also a bit worried as to how the other chickens would react. They do pick at anything abnormal in their environment and they are not beyond killing and eating one of their own [!] I've seen it even in young chicks. One had a deformed leg... they ate it [the whole chick, not just the leg] ;-)

But if you could add a little elastic band to stay on and maybe cat ears or something just to be a sarcastic bird, it would be perfect! Maybe add comb and wattles  to it which could turn into quite the interesting cycle...

(Edit for unreasonably bad spelling.)
1 year ago

Dustin Rhodes wrote:My first reaction on reading the title of this thread was: "wow, that sounds REALLY gross..."  but then I realized you were talking about the headgear, and not the dessert - much better.


But if you did it with spinach and feta, skip all the sugar syrup it would be like a spanakopita.  Which would be excellent!
1 year ago
I have done this in the past and the cat food definately seems to make a difference even more than the dog food.  They steal both at any opportunity. I would be happy to see them with any feathers at this point! Been threatening to glue the hair from my always shedding german shepherd to them. Molting in February🙄
1 year ago