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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Archive for April 20th, 2012

Jackie Clay

Q and A: Grain mill and lame chickens

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Grain mill

I have been trying to make my own whole wheat bread by grinding my own grain but the loaves never rise properly. I think it is because the flour is not getting ground fine enough. I have been grinding it with the Kitchen Aid grain mill. I just don’t think it is a good grinder. Cheap. I have tried everything. Grinding on fine, grinding twice. Nothing is working. I was wondering which grain grinder you recommend. I was considering the Wonder Mill. I don’t want to make such an expensive purchase to find out it doesn’t grind fine enough for bread. Also how do you get whole grain whole wheat bread to rise properly. Mine is always heavy and flat, like a brick, really. I know the whole grain would weigh it down but geesh, it could break a toe if you dropped it! It is tasty though. Hopefully a new mill will help. What are your thoughts?

Renee Chaffin
Harrisburg, Ohio

The Wonder Mill is a good mill, although I think I like the Nutri-mill a bit better. Both will do a good job of grinding your flour as fine as you want it. I think if you do get your grain ground in a good mill, you’ll find your bread will be much lighter. (You might check a couple of recipes in my book, Jackie Clay’s Pantry Cookbook, for some of my recipes for whole grain bread that always work for me.) Do make sure your yeast is fresh! Old yeast will not raise any bread, let alone whole grain bread. Keep your yeast refrigerated to keep it fresh longer. — Jackie

Lame chickens

What would cause my chickens to become lame in their right leg, then gradually lose mobility? They are just starting to lay, and we have already lost 7 with one lame now. We even tried taking one to the vet, but they had no clue. We really love our birds, and it is heartbreaking to have to put one down.

Christine Miller
Ahahuac, Texas

That is sad. The only time I’ve seen something like this was when I tried to “save” some of my Cornish rock meat bird pullets. About the time they started to lay, they, also, started developing lameness and finally went totally down. I’m sorry I don’t have any other ideas for you. I’m sure you’re feeding a good quality feed that includes vitamins and minerals. Any readers out there with ideas for Christine? — Jackie


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