Harvest time

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British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
Nothing amazing in what we do, plenty of people on here know much more. I love researching and learning and doing things from first principles so we have to be quite organised ore I lose track.


Interesting that your breeding rooster is mostly Orpington. These guys are Buff Orps. We have settled on pure Orps as meat chooks

Buff Orpington Poults by British Red, on Flickr
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
I began keeping Red Jungle fowl 10 years ago, as almost completely feral chickens, and had them for years but someone stole them from the small house they would sleep in one night. A surprise - one thinks the days of stealing chickens were past. But they spent a lot of time in the road so people knew they were there - and then I got into a fight with some local crazy and he threatened them,,,,,,,but one night they all were taken. Pure red jungle fowl are a collector's bird. I would let then sit a couple nests a year to keep the flock replenished.

So I was offered 14 juvenile Orphingtons and took them, 8 turned out to be roosters and I ate them. Then I bought a gamecock banti for wood craft as orphingtons have none, and he was a good rooster and had wood smart ways and kept the flock alive. And then a chicken was added here and there, couple Americana, some white banti, a red sex link, I would just seem to buy a chick if my hen was hatching eggs and let it join in or be given one. Now they are all just a mix, only 3 hens are pure, and they are Orphingtons. I like the way they seem to be good at staying alive, by being born to the woods. Adult birds I have been given seem to be killed. I have foxes, great horned owls, raccoons, bobcat, opossum, hawks and falcons, and neighboring dogs. And snakes take chicks and eggs. I never even know how many I have - they come and go. I have 26 eggs in the incubator, but it is very inaccurate at keeping a level temp so only get 50-60% hatch.

I tried keeping meat birds but I just prefer bought chicken. I dutifully kill and butcher the roosters, but do not really like them to eat. I need to make a coq o vin out of the noisy rooster as he is annoying.

This is a typical lunch for them - they get lots of the pogies - the sardine fish I can net from the bank. I think it is a very natural and whole food. I have to sell eggs as I always have too many chickens and my eggs are regarded as the very best in town. All day foraging in the wild, then fed fresh fish and veg. Also they are a more natural chicken, not purebred, but a mix with native farm yard bird.

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It is after 3 a.m. and I am up - I went night fishing from 11 to 1 a.m., I have fish to clean tomorrow - nights on the Gulf are lovely, warm, plenty to see, fish to watch, night birds, porpoises, and clouds - often with lightning in the distance, stars and water.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
Our chooks eat mostly veg (caulis, chard, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber beans etc.), grains (wheat and barley) and a few worms. They have pellets available 24/7 but prefer fresh stuff.

This weeks harvest is early pumpkins

Pumpkins by British Red, on Flickr


Made a fair few bowls of soup

Pumpkin Soup by British Red, on Flickr


It did make me think a bit about self sufficiency. Amazing how things tie together, using the bolted onions, composting the peelings, using that compost heat to warm the greenhouse, that grows the chilli's that go in the soup.....must write it all up for our website!
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
Nice pumpkins Red, I regret not growing any. I put in some green and yellow squash but always have stem borers - a horrible insect. They lay an egg at the young stem base and slowly eat the main stem till is is a mere shell. The plant looks good and just when the first fruit is beginning the plant suddenly dies. Pulling them - there is nothing there of the trunk, just a paper shell. Next year I will plant something else or use a pesticide. I do not use pesticides on my edibles. Not that I care about chemicals, because I do not - just for the aesthetics of being organic.

And Red, Pumpkin Pie! A wonderful pie, probably the 3rd most common pie in USA, Every supermarket frozen pie section has a couple kinds of them, every bakers section has them with the apple and cherry pies. I have not made one in years, but I used to. I even remember making pumpkin chiffon pie with gelatin and beaten egg whites to give it lift.

And there are parts of Africa where pumpkin is a big part of the diet and I would like to get some seeds from one of their pumpkins - and some recipes. Many years ago I dabbled in some West African cooking with peanuts and I forget what else - need to look into it again.

Last night we were to go fishing but lightning scared off the others - and it was gorgeous out, the storm passing to the North as they mostly do. Having spent so many years living in the bush, and outdoors rough all over, I am not much bothered by weather. So I canned two gallons of the frozen blackberries, taking out 40% of the seeds, or so, but leaving a good deal. It could be strained out when using if wished; but seeds provide authenticity. The yield was 8 pints.

USA and UK have different pints and gallons. Your Imperial pint is 20 oz, the American one is 16 oz - is one pound weight And volume; if water is the base for volume/weight in USA pints. This often makes people think USA cars are terribly bad at miles per gallon as the Imperial gallon is 20% larger. (They are bad though - the anti pollution laws make them inefficient, they are very strict in USA)

What size are your Ball canning jars? For some reason I do not remember them being used much in UK, but people re-using old jam jars and such. Do most people use them like here? I left England permanently at 21, many years ago - and I get back, still remember the area I grew up in like I never had left (London) when I am staying at my parents, but really I have become American. It is very odd going back. Like a dream how I know every building, every alley and bit of green, all the tube stops and buses. But the people are different. The ones I know moved on in the London housing pricing them out, or just life moving them on, or the older ones passing. Also - if you get to London, it is not as English as it was. So many of the people are from other countries, shop fronts written in other scripts..... A weird deja vu of it being exactly the same physically - exactly the same, there has been no building as it was full then, and is now, but the people different. I like to visit. My parents place is a 4 minute walk to the tube, Tesco 5 minutes, there is a high energy and buzz, a tube or BR train and you are in the heart of London with all the old places and so much to see. I used to know London so very well. But I get kind of desperate after a bit. It is so same but different. It passed me by and I do not fit in there anymore. I know when my parents pass I may never get back again, which makes sense, but is so sad in some ways, such a door closing.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
I use Ball jars in pints and Kilners in 500ml, 1 litre and 250ml. Those equate near enough to half pints, pints and quarts. Very few people pressure can in the UK. You can't buy canners here. Some people water bath but not many. Plenty of people make jam, chutney, pickles etc. in jam jars. Never really understood the US need to water bath things like that?

Bought a couple of lovely looking chickens today (Bluebells). Will bung pictures up soon.
 

DanielCoffey

Member
Jul 5, 2015
27
0
Edinburgh, UK
There are a couple of importers on Amazon.co.uk who list the All-American pressure canners in the two most common sizes but I think Amazon.com will allow us to order them direct too with the Amazon Worldwide shipping. I have had the All American 921 on my wishlist for ages waiting for me to move house and get a garden and larger kitchen.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
Here are the new birds - Bluebell hybrids (RIR x Marans)

Hippogriff and Buckbeak by British Red, on Flickr

Hippogriff Bluebell by British Red, on Flickr

Good looking hens I think. The Bluebell we already have is the most friendly and inquisitive hen we have, a good layer and easy to handle. We hope these will be the same.

They are in a small coop on their own with an enclosed run whilst they settle in. We will let them out into a wider run on Friday but separate them from the main flock with a fence so that they can socialise. About Sunday we will remove the fence and hopefully they will mingle peacefully.
 
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Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
13
Scotland
Boy! I said boy that's mighty fine looking chickens! :D

Bonny hens you've got there, not seen their like before.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
The interesting thing with these hybrids is that they are good layers for up to 4 years as opposed to 2 years for the intensive breeds like Warrens.
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
4
Sunderland
Unusual looking chucks there red! We had 4 banty hens in the garden up until last year, but the council sent us a letter saying we had to get rid of them through some ludicrous bylaw. I understand if I was grazing beast or even if we had a cockrel but what harm would 4 bantam hens do? Nothing better than your own fresh eggs is there?
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
I use Ball jars in pints and Kilners in 500ml, 1 litre and 250ml. Those equate near enough to half pints, pints and quarts. Very few people pressure can in the UK. You can't buy canners here. Some people water bath but not many. Plenty of people make jam, chutney, pickles etc. in jam jars. Never really understood the US need to water bath things like that?

Bought a couple of lovely looking chickens today (Bluebells). Will bung pictures up soon.


Are the Ball jars USA, 16 oz pints, or British 20 oz pints? That could be why you cannot get as many in the canner. Waterbath canning is needed in USA where summers are hot. If you want the full year life it must pass through a summer. Some use the method of pouring in boiling hot and then let it seal - but waterbath canning it is so easy and completely successful. And this is especially important if giving the stuff away because if just done here, like jam is set up in UK, it would grow mold.

Canners were necessary in rural USA where everyone grew gardens and canned the produce till recently - out of necessity. Now it is mostly hobbyists like us, although still very useful for many. We used to can personally salmon in Alaska, and so many did there - but you bought the metal cans and a seam roller, and pressure canned them and they were just like bought but with no label. But deep freezers have cut the need for it way back. But in Alaska so many live off the grid - or just like canned salmon - I make wonderful things from canned salmon and always have some, bought, on the shelf. We actually worked in the canneries in Alaska for extra money during Augusts. Also living in the bush we always used fish we caught as a staple.

I keep running in and out as I pass type here - I just headed a quart of shrimp - the big ones I kept wile netting last nights bait shrimp, and took the heads out to the chickens, and have a pie cooking on the stove. Frozen blackberry and old apples.

I have neglected my garden terribly! But need to finish paperwork so it gets neglected more. Tonight I will make a gumbo soup with some varieties of peppers, okra, and hopefully a couple beans that are still holding out and those shrimp. Soon it is time to plant the fall garden - possibly this weekend but I have a refrigerator to fix, and a set of cabinet doors to frame in and install, the big lawn to cut, and a big roundup spraying on the encroaching invasive grass and weeds.

Pretty chickens - make my mongrel flock look scruffy, but they are semi feral so the look suits them. I do not know what I was thinking but I have 26 eggs in the incubator (two small ones together in 2 of the spots) This is my $29 incubator with the old computer fan and my home made egg roller - do not have to open it to roll the eggs.


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Edit, this is an old picture when the birds were more uniform, now the eggs are all sizes, green, brown - light and dark, whitish, cream, big and little. I had to kill the rooster in the photo below as he had to much fighting blood in him and I tried to introduce a different rooster as a chick, which worked fine till it matured and he almost killed it although it was twice his size. That rooster once jumped on a hawk that had caught a hen in its claws (hens are bigger than hawks - the hawk lays on the ground and kills the hen by biting its brain - very noisy and flapping event) and beat it up. I once managed to knock a hawk off a chicken with a broom! Both times the hen survived.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,853
1,070
64
Florida
Are the Ball jars USA, 16 oz pints, or British 20 oz pints? That could be why you cannot get as many in the canner. Waterbath canning is needed in USA where summers are hot. If you want the full year life it must pass through a summer. Some use the method of pouring in boiling hot and then let it seal - but waterbath canning it is so easy and completely successful. And this is especially important if giving the stuff away because if just done here, like jam is set up in UK, it would grow mold.........

I've had preserves grow mold in the fridge as well if left there long enough after the seal was broken. Mind that did take a while.
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
Red. I really would like a good British custard sauce recipe. I used to use 'Birds' powder from the can but I want to make the real thing. I think egg yolks, sugar, and some milk in a double boiler, then whisked into boiling milk with some corn starch as a thickener - but then it would not pour so smoothly once refrigerated possibly.

Could you walk me through making it properly? We almost always use whipped cream - sometimes ice-cream, but need the third way. (I do have a cooking thread in the food group.)
 

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