Friday, July 26, 2013

A New Discovery

 Wish you could see this better but this is a Easter Egg chicken or a rendition of a Auraucan. See the green legs? Well maybe they aren't showing up too well but take my word for it that they are a sage green. She will likely lay green eggs. Very few of this breed of chicken lay pink or blue. The chicken to the left of her is is a Wyadotte, note her yellow legs and she will lay brown eggs. The hen to the Easter Egg chicken's right is a Australorp and she has black legs. She too will lay brown eggs. I'm curious, do chickens have any other colors to their legs? Leg color does not have to do with egg color. Instead you look at their ear flap. 
 But what I really wanted to tell you is that I have made a new discovery. With more dairy goats milking than I've ever had before, four, I have lots and lots of milk and that means the chickens are getting a fair amount of easy cheese. I just haven't had time yet to make very much cheese for us. I am working on trying to make a pattern of keeping yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk cultures going.

With this large increase of milk I have been making lots of easy cheese and giving it to the chickens. I've noticed that the eggs the two year olds are producing have much harder shells. In past years the shells have been particularly thin and the whites watery when the temperatures outside rise daily into the eighties and nineties. The eggs are particularly not so nice when using eggs as a thickener or in noodles and such.  

No more - the shells are hard and the whites just right. I've always given the hens free rein oyster shells until now and I thought the calcium in the shells would be absorbed but apparently that is not as effective as freshly made goat cheese. Chickens use a huge amount of calcium as that is the main ingredient in the shells. If the chicken does not have enough in their bodies it is taken from their bones. The longer and the heavier they lay the more osteoporisis they become. I may of just stubbled across a really good thing.  

And what a great way to use excessive milk. I just separate milk so I have cream for Alfredo sauce, butter, and such. The remaining milk I heat to just before boiling.
Then I add approximately 1/4 cup of vinegar to a gallon of milk. I never measure but that is the recipe. I just pour in a little vinegar and stir for a few minutes, add a bit more if needed until the milk turns yellow and clear, not milky white. I continue to stir for a minute.
Then I pour off the top since it is all whey and then after the more liquid part is put into a large pot, I pour the cheese into a colander. The cheese is rather rubbery for me but it is definitely easy and the chickens LOVE IT.

The whey I pour onto my mulch pile because milk excites micro-organisms into multiplication. Another big plus of all that excessive milk. Try this and see if it is just me imagining or if indeed this cheese has a significant effect on eggs during the heat.

Tomorrow I'll try and get a couple sourdough recipes to you. And yes, my vinegar supplies have arrived. I need to do some research before I begin.  Thank you all for your comments. They have given me much to ponder upon.

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