Treats for chicks

Every couple of days I offer to my chicks treats – anything extra that is not they daily food (chicks crumbs).

Their favorite is the scrambled egg. I make a scrambled egg, let it cool down, mash it into small pieces and add 1 tablespoon of cornmeal or grounded rolled oats – prevent pasty butt, 1/4 teaspoon of Sea kelp – reduce the incidence of coccidiosis in baby chicks and 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder – boosts immune system.

I mix them well together and serve to the chicks

If giving them anything than chicks crumbs, you have to provide them grit, so after giving them “treats” I provide them access to a tray of grit where they also love to scratch, bath and sleep 🙂

Cheesecloth cleaning

Using a homemade cheesecloth to strain my cheese is my favorite, but when it comes to wash it, it was a real adventure.

I tried to use all sorts of soaps, but either remained a pregnant smell of soap on the cloth or the persistent milky smell. Finally I found the right soap to wash my cheesecloth. No smell, just fresh clean cloth.

This is what I use to wash clean my cheesecloth and I’m very content with it, so in case you need a soap that wash well and remove any smell but in the same time doesn’t leave any perfume on the cloth, this is the right one.

Pippin – the rescued chick

As you know I helped a chick come out of its egg. What I did not known back than was that the little one was not a Silkie. It’s egg got through the others eggs by mistake. It is a Bantam (the miniature-type of chicks).

That is why it pipped the egg on day 19, because Bantams chicks come out earlier than the other chicks. But because I did not know it was not a Silkie egg I kept turning all the eggs until day 18, so the pour little thing did not have enough time to position itself in the egg for hatching. That is way he could not brake the egg, it pipped on the wrong place.

I’m glad I could save it. It’s a happy ending story 🙂

Homemade Semi-hard Cultured Cheese

I decided I want to go a bit further with my homemade cheese-making experience and I managed to make a semi-hard cheese.

Nothing complicated in this process, just a little patience – about a week and is done. I used the same process as for making the feta cheese.

I took a small quantity of unsalted feta and put it in a mold and press it down really well until it was almost dry. Then I place the piece of cheese on a rack and let it sit there at room temperature (22-24 Celsius degrees) for about a week, covered with a piece of cheesecloth and turning it 2-3 times a day.

After this period it was done. Absolutely delicious 🙂

Nothing like shop-bought produce. Definitely a winner!

Baby chicks scratching for food

I just love them, they are so adorable 🙂

Meet the chicks

As I promised, pictures 🙂

Pippin is the one that I helped, looks really fine to me 🙂

We’ve got chicks

Like I told you in an older post, we put some new eggs in the incubator. There were 10 Silkie’s eggs and 4 of Ameraucana.

And now we have 7 Silkie and 3 Ameraucana baby chicks. I’ll promise to show you some proper pictures with them after they will fluff up a bit, as now they are a little messy 🙂

But the main thing I want to talk now is that even if I know that you should let nature take it course, is OK to help a chick come out of its egg.

I know that this might lead to problems, everybody around me told me so, every articles I read said so, but sometime you have to choose, and I decided to help a little fellow come out of its egg.

It was the end of day 19 and a little chick decided that was time to come out of its egg. I don’t really know what happened, but it didn’t make it. It just made a hole and stopped. On the second day, more than 12 ours after the first pip it was still in the same situation. Couple of hours later it managed to break a little piece of shell and kept rising it but didn’t manage to go any further. I guess it was stuck and could not make the ring in order to split the egg and come out. We hoped that the high humidity from the incubator will eventually help it but no, it didn’t. While on the day 20 and 21 others chicks were hatching without any problems it remained trapped inside its egg. Through the little hole I could see that the membrane was starting to dry out and keep it more trapped. So after almost 40 hours of trying to escape I decided to take my chances and take it out of the egg.

It was a process that made me so nervous that my whole body was shaking of emotions, but I did it. Using a small pair of tweezers I chipped the shell while with a small syringe I wept pouring warm water over the membrane. Finally I managed to take it out, peeled almost all of the membrane and than put it on a wet, warm piece of paper towel and put it back in the incubator. An hour later it was just like any other chick that hatched naturally. It still has some small pieces of dried membrane stuck to its feathers, but I will try to clean it when it will be more vigorous.

It’s a happy ending story with a happy healthy chick.

Sometimes is good to follow your instincts and do the right thing.

You will see him soon, now is not very presentable 🙂 

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