Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicken By Products / My Ah-ha! Moment

I'm so excited... I just have to share.  I've been making stock in my crock pot for awhile now, using a whole chicken carcass after roasting it and eating what we want.  This time, I boiled eggs in the stock .....and cooked the stock too long...the result ... EVEN THE BONES are able to be crushed with my fingers and fed back to the birds.  THIS BRINGS THE WORDS, CHICKEN-BY-PRODUCTS, TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!   And it brought me to an "ah-ha!" moment.  Here is my story:
 Three original chicken "pets" have grown to 7 birds that have brought so much joy into my life, adding - -  Chicken-by-products.  Here are just a few of them:

Chickens filled my empty nest with something to take care of after our children were grown and gone.
Our son-in-law built me a chicken coop that is just right for our hot climate because it has plenty of airflow.  Then he and two other sons-in-law and a daughter's boyfriend hoisted it over our fence.  I had to ask my neighbor for permission to bring a coop through his yard.  I would have loved to see the look on his face when  he saw it happening!  (Thanks Rudy!)  I know Jim wasn't pleased to see it come in...oops!

Then I got busy making it look cute!  This is a creative work in progress.  One of my favorite things is the sign made by my grandson, pictured here with five of my hens. He used a magnifying glass and the hot Arizona sun!

Lucy (in the planter) showing four of her sisters how to enjoy (destroy) the basil
The mirror is real,  The hearts were added in Picnik
Needing more space, I extended the run and added two new chickens.  This required a temporary home, so I fixed up a rabbit hutch that my daughter found on Craigslist.  And of course, I decorated it too.  My children used to play house in these Oleander shrubs.  

Here is the "ugly duckling" before.
Here it is after some fixing up and decorating.
My third attempt at curtains was a success

Wonderful eggs!

 --the main by-product of my new hobby.

  Pictures of eggs

 Is another by-product


Is yet another.

And good, fresh, healthy food is yet another...
Fresh Eggs are delicious.   Here is a meal I served to a vegetarian friend for dinner: 6 eggs, cracked but not broken into a casserole ...3/4 cu half and half poured over the top ...then a can of Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes, (some crumbled bacon when not serving vegetarians.) shredded cheese and fresh basil.  Baked at 350 until set.   YUM!

Another by-product: I recycle what the hens don't eat into compost.  They contribute droppings.  I use the kitchen scraps, dryer lint, coffee grounds, grass clippings and eggshells to make great dirt!  and the dirt makes great flowers.

FRIENDS are a by-product of chickens.  I have met some new friends on Facebook who share my crazy chicken love.  Many of them frequent the Fresh Eggs Daily  page. (

FED is where I submitted this photo that won a 2012 calendar for our wall!

So here is the point:

The cycle of life... 

We feed the chickens the things we don't eat...the chickens eat the plants we grow, provide the eggs that we eat; we add the shells to the compost that enriches the dirt that we make with the plants that we compost that enriches the soil where we grow the plants to eat and feed to the chickens who make droppings and eggshells ...

You get the picture?

One more thing:  I have more eggs than we can eat, so I share them with our neighbors.
And the cycle goes on! 
and on... Remember when I started this story, it was about turning a chicken (not one of mine!) into stock, boiled eggs, dog food, and mush that the chickens eat?  The discovery of even finding a way to use the bones was an "ah ha!" moment -- I just had to share!

And the cycle goes on:
and on
and on
and on
and on
and on...
and on
and on
 Smile ;-)
and even Jim got used to the idea!

Up next...
Decoupage the coop walls!

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  1. Love your story, I too am a emptynester, I am new to this chicken love thing. Have not got to the part of the cycle where we are getting eggs yet tho, my chicks are only 14 weeks old. But definitely looking forward to that reward. But for now will enjoy the new found chicken love that I have.

  2. So cool Beck!!! I think it's wonderful!!!

  3. Well Said! Every day God see's fit to provide just another "thankful" in our lives! Funny - how can a chicken be "ALL THAT" and a bag of chips!?! Who'da thunk it? I Look out everyday and See SO much rolled up in those fluff of feathers running at me to greet me each morning .... and people think we are crazy for loving our chickens! You did forget one thing - Chicken TV. :-D HA HA!-Rachel B

  4. this is a sweet blog! so glad i found you through wilmouth farms and your email. i moved your link of your post for the best of 2011 into the linky for you and i hope that is okay! thanks for linking up. there will be a button available this week stating you were featured in the best of 2011. please take it or a brighton park button for your blog for december (or longer, if you like :-) love, katie

  5. Thanks Katie. I will post the link to Brighton Park as soon as I figure out how...;) Your blog is delightful!

  6. Dutch Girl...I'm now following your lovely blog too.

  7. LOVE the nestbox curtains. And I love that your chickens have such a wonderful effect on your life.

  8. Howdy from a fellow Arizonan!
    What a great post! :)

  9. Thank you, Candy. I'm heading over to the Lazy Bar C Farm for a look see. ;)

  10. Hi. We are also chicken lovers. We live in Glendale and just discovered that one of our hens is actually a rooster. We aren't even allowed to have chickens here in Glendale and our HOA will not be very happy either if they hear that we have a rooster. We're looking for a good home for him where he will not be eaten. He's been a loved pet since we got him as a chick. Please let me know if you might be interested in him. He's an easter egger and was born the first wk of August.

  11. Hi Kristin,
    I will look into it. Have you checked to see if a kid from 4-H might like your roo?

  12. Very sweet blog!! I too, am an empty nester that has tried several "hobbies", from stained glass (ouch) to decoupage (Honey, do you really want to decoupage the backrest on the toilette seat?)to button rings (ho hum) I haven't found my aha! yet, but, I'm staying busy looking for it. Thanks for sharing. : )


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