Rolling Acres - This and That

Mike CHS

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We rarely come across many canned items over two years old but we are pretty good at rotating all of our stock. I have spent much of my adult life in hurricane country so I was pretty much in prepper mode for much of that. We have the luxury of a lot of storage space and we also have several years worth of dehydrated foods.
 

Baymule

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When/how do you "decide" it's time for the old layers to go to freezer camp, or in this case soup pantry?
I have a layer hen that doesn't lay, hasn't been for at least 3 years. She's not even that old, we got her when we first moved in to our house, that was in 2015. She laid eggs for 1 year or so...then after her first molting, she had stopped. I kept her around as a companion back when I had only 2 hens. Now that I have 5 more laying hens, I wonder if I should still keep her around or send her to freezer camp...
I usually slaughter layer hens at 3 years old when they go into their second molt. I have tried to keep them longer, but they never seem to lay as well, but they still eat the same.
 

Baymule

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Ok I don't want to hijack @MtViking 's journal to talk more about canning, so I'll do it here in my journal.

@Baymule @Mike CHS @Mini Horses @Bruce and anyone else who'd like to share your input on this:
  • Do you have home canned goods that are older than 12-18 months in your pantry?
  • In your experience have you eaten any home canned goods that are older than 2 years?
I don't think I have any old home canned goods in the pantry now, but I have had before.

I have eaten home canned goods 3-4 years old. I try to get them gone in 2 years, but it doesn't always work out that way. I do carefully check them out.
 

Bruce

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The "when to send them packing" question has a lot of "it depends" :) I don't send any packing because they are a hobby not a business. If I'm feeding a hen I've had for years that isn't laying anymore I'm OK with that.

I have 4 that are 7 years old. Yue isn't laying anymore and looks to be aging but she still gets out in mid pack for morning treats. Anais and Zorra seem to lay only when they want to go broody which is 2 or 3 times a year. Persephone has never gone broody and is still laying about 3 eggs a week non winter.

I have 4 that are 4 years old. 3 still lay, Mellori has been doing really soft shelled eggs this year so I'm not counting her.

Looking at it a slightly different way, DD2 costs a lot more to feed and I get nothing out of her so the chickens are cheap by comparison. At least they all used to give me something ;)
 

farmerjan

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If you give chickens alot of milk when they have not had it they will get "loose" but it won't hurt them. I feed it to the chickens, hogs, meat birds, turkeys, barn cats, what ever is out there. Not the cows but the calves will get it obviously. And one of my dairies feeds only sour milk to their calves..... clabbered they call it. I used to feed some of the smelliest sour milk to the pigs and they loved it.
 

farmerjan

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The "when to send them packing" question has a lot of "it depends" :) I don't send any packing because they are a hobby not a business. If I'm feeding a hen I've had for years that isn't laying anymore I'm OK with that.

I have 4 that are 7 years old. Yue isn't laying anymore and looks to be aging but she still gets out in mid pack for morning treats. Anais and Zorra seem to lay only when they want to go broody which is 2 or 3 times a year. Persephone has never gone broody and is still laying about 3 eggs a week non winter.

I have 4 that are 4 years old. 3 still lay, Mellori has been doing really soft shelled eggs this year so I'm not counting her.

Looking at it a slightly different way, DD2 costs a lot more to feed and I get nothing out of her so the chickens are cheap by comparison. At least they all used to give me something ;)
Well, maybe DD2 needs to get sent "packing".....:lol::lol:. Parents gave me the summer after high school free then had to start paying some board for the food and other amenities, like laundry and such. Father said my mother wasn't a maid and that since I was an adult, I needed to start taking responsibility for myself. Really though, she ought to at least be paying you board. How is she ever going to manage out in the real world if she doesn't have to learn to pay for the necessities that keep her fed and warm? I have been paying board/rent/something since I got out of high school. Learned to budget and how to live on what I earn. My son did the same. When he came back to live with me after he first got out of high school, he did chores in exchange for some of his "board" , and I mean like maintenance on all the vehicles, paid his own insurance, paid his long distance calls ( back when we all had landlines and all that), and kicked in a little to boot. He was working, and knew that money didn't grow on trees and that I wasn't like the government and provided all that free stuff.....
I understand the keeping the chickens in your case as they are as much pets as anything. I have kept an old hen that was a good layer or something til she died. Kept my old favorite guernsey cow after she no longer would breed back and buried her on the place. She was about 15. But for the most part, there is no point in my keeping something that is not somewhat productive in some way. The cats even earn their keep by ridding this place of the mice and rats that were running rampant when I moved here. Yes, they get fed too, but they have to do something....Got one kitten that is getting to be a pet, but one is okay. He might grow up to be a mouser too....:fl or at least curl up in my lap on a cold day:hide
 

Bruce

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Guess we are soft ;) Plus DD has had some serious expenses of late. $4K to fix her car after her accident (oops no collision insurance). $2K for removal of 10 of her cat's teeth. Poor guy is only 2.5 years old but has "tooth resorption". And just this week another $2K for major mechanical repairs on the car. She had a plan to move out in the spring but it fell apart. We do get the dishes done (grudgingly and to the most minimal requirement).
 

Baymule

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I get it @Bruce. I have my pets. I had a black sex link that had a red breast, I named her Robin. I had my first 2 hens and took our then 3 year old grand daughter to the feed store to get chicks. Robin was one of them. I kept her until her death a couple of years ago, she was 7. Robin is buried right inside the garden, her headstone a large rock.
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