Featherless Hens

Featherless Hens: Supplementing their diet with egg yolks and eggshells

 

 

 

PROBLEM: a featherless hen

I have decided to see whether it is possible to supplement a hen’s diet with egg yolks and eggshells in order to improve the amount of calcium she consumes so that her feathers can grow back.

Although this hen does not have many feathers, she is a good layer and generally lays an egg a day. I thought her feathers would grow back when two of the other hens who had been picking on her and pecking her died but I’m still waiting. Although some feathers did grow back, she is still a long way from full feather form.

I have in the past given her crushed up calcium tablets but that hasn’t seemed to work. So I decided to try an experiment. My theory is that she is using all her calcium resources on egg production and so I would try to replenish them by feeding her egg yolk and eggshell.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: supplement her diet with egg yolks and eggshells

The experiment started today (29th May 2019). I ground up some eggshells in a spice blender. I then mixed an egg yolk and a teaspoon of eggshell in a jam jar lid and fed it to her. 

A hen is at the peak of her laying life when she is 35 weeks old. She will normally consume 4g of calcium a day. She consumes most calcium in the early hours of the day but also a small amount throughout the day.

0.5g of her daily calcium intake is indigestible and is lost through faeces, 0.4g is lost through urine and 0.1g is used for bone regeneration. The remaining 3g is used in the egg process: 2g for the eggshell and 1g for the yolk and albumen.

The photo at the top of the page shows her today. The photo below shows her and some of the other hens finishing up the leftovers.

 

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY CRUMBLErhubarb and strawberry crumbleWe’ve now got a fair amount of rhubarb and so we decided to do something with it and make a crumble. In the end, we made two: the first with rhubarb and strawberries in an electric oven and the second with rhubarb and apples in the bread oven.

The crumble can be prepared in advance and then cooked before serving but it is a good idea to only add the crumble topping to the fruit just before baking to stop it going soggy.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 600g of rhubarb
  2. 400g strawberries
  3. 50g brown sugar
  4. 140g plain flour
  5. 100g oats
  6. 120g brown sugar
  7. 120g butter (at room temperature), cut into pieces
Instructions
  1. Cut the rhubarb and into small chunks and the strawberries to a similar size.
  2. Heat the rhubarb pieces in a pan with a splash of water and 50g of sugar for 3-5 minutes and then add the strawberries.
  3. Cook until soft.
  4. Taste the juice and add more sugar if necessary.
  5. Separate the fruit from the syrup.
  6. To make the crumble for the topping, mix together the flour, oats, sugar and butter together with your fingers to make crumbs.
  7. Transfer the fruit to a baking tin with a few tablespoons of the syrup and top with the crumble mixture.
  8. Cook in a hot oven (200ÂșC) for 30 minutes. You can always finish it off under the grill to brown the top if necessary.
Variation
  1. Substitute cooking apples for the strawberries and cook at the same time as the rhubarb, adding more sugar if necessary.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Curried peanut, corn and rice salad

Finally, I have got round to including this recipe on the blog. It is surprisingly simple to make but amazingly tasty. It was something I invented a couple of years ago and it makes the perfect accompaniment for barbecues, etc.

Curried peanut, corn and rice salad
A simple to make and tasty salad with rice, corn and peanuts
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups long grain rice, cooked, washed and drained
  2. 2-3 heaped teaspoons curry powder
  3. 4-5 heaped desssert spoons mayonnaise
  4. 250g salted peanuts
  5. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season to taste.
  2. Serve.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Vegan Kale and Chickpea Curry

Winter at the Cortijo: Vegan food for the olive harvest

At certain times of the year when there’s not much growing except kale and cabbage, it’s good to have some different recipes for what to do with kale.

For a good part of the year, we have volunteers coming to stay with us to help us with the farm and most of them come through Workaway. Our first ever workawayer was Tiffany from New Zealand. This recipe for a vegan kale and chickpea curry popped up on her Facebook feed the other day – I think it was posted by her mum.

The original recipe is taken from the Cooking Light website with a few modifications: as I was cooking for 6 people, and we’ve got masses of kale, I used a large bowl of chopped kale (almost an entire colander), more chickpeas and different spices.

Vegan Kale and Chickpea Curry
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large bowl of chopped kale
  2. 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  3. 1 large red pepper, roughly chopped
  4. 2 x 400g jars cooked chickpeas
  5. 1 can coconut milk
  6. 3 heaped tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  7. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  8. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon chill powder
  10. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  11. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  12. 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  13. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  14. 1 lemon, juiced
  15. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions until soft.
  2. Add the red pepper and continue to fry for a further couple of minutes before adding the garlic and ginger.
  3. Sprinkle over the spices and heat for another 30 seconds or so.
  4. Add in the kale and mix well.
  5. Cover the pan and let the kale wilt down.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter.
  7. Add the chickpeas and coconut milk and heat to a gentle simmer.
  8. Cover and leave for about 15 minutes.
  9. Squeeze over the lemon juice.
Notes
  1. Serve with brown basmati rice.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Vegetable Paella with Tofu

This take on a vegetarian paella used chunks of firm tofu that have been marinated in soy sauce, and also butter beans and green beans as well as the usual paella base ingredients (onion, green pepper, red pepper, garlic, tomato, etc.).

Vegetable Paella with Tofu
A delicious take on a vegetarian paella made with tofu and beans.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  2. 1 large red pepper, diced
  3. 1 green pepper, diced
  4. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1 block firm tofu, cubed and marinated in a couple of spoons of soy sauce.
  6. 2-4 tomatoes, chopped
  7. 1/3 cup of paella rice per person
  8. 400g can of butter beans
  9. handful flat green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 2cm pieces
  10. vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Heat some oil oil in a paella pan.
  2. Fry the onion, red pepper and green pepper until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, before adding the chopped tomatoes.
  4. Mix well and fry for another couple of minutes.
  5. Sprinkle over the rice and stir well.
  6. Add the butter beans and green beans.
  7. Pour over the vegetable stock and cook until the rice is almost cooked.
  8. Remove the tofu from the soy sauce and scatter over the top.
  9. Mix the remaining soy sauce with water and sprinkle over.
  10. When the rice is just cooked, remove from the heat.
  11. Cover and leave to rest for 5-7 minutes.
  12. Serve with garlic mayonnaise.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/