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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
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Jackie Clay

Q and A: moving chicks outside, meat grinder, and condensation in canned pecans

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Moving chicks outside

We live in the northeast (New York) current temps 27-38 highs and 8-30 lows. We hatched 5 chicks November 7th, 2012. They are currently housed in our warm basement (72 degrees). We would like to put them outside in chicken coop. Will they be ok with the colder weather?

New Lebanon, New York

It’s kind of hard on winter hatched chicks to go from the warm house to the cold coop. But they’re feathered out by now and what I’d suggest is to put a heat lamp in the chicken coop where the chicks can get under it if need be. That should work. Be sure to wire it firmly so it can’t get knocked down and cause a fire. You might put a piece of plywood across a corner with an opening of just a few inches under it to make a temporary “room” so only the chicks could duck under and warm up but the bigger chickens couldn’t get in. After a few weeks, they’ll be fine without the lamp. — Jackie

Meat grinder

Yesterday, my husband and I were processing a deer. He was complaining about our manual meat grinder and I was telling him about your recent blog post using your neighbor’s electric grinder. He said for me to start looking for one as he doesn’t want to keep cranking that old one. I read where Will bought you one for Christmas and wondered which model you all decided on. I was looking at the Waring Pro’s but was just curious if you decided to get one of those and if you went with the 100 or 105 if you did.

Marlana Ward
Mountain City, Tennessee

Will, my adorable husband, did buy me a meat grinder for Christmas. I loved the Waring Pro, but he found another similar brand on sale at Menard’s, a Weston, which also comes with a sausage stuffing tube. (I think that was a hint!) The price of the two was identical. Let me tell you, I’ve used a hand grinder for years and for a quick easy job, the electric ones are wonderful. Of course I’ll never get rid of my manual grinders but for now, the electric one stays in the kitchen! — Jackie

Condensation in canned pecans

I’m having condensation problems when I pressure canned my first batch of pecans today. They are about 3 weeks off the tree. We successfully canned the almonds and the walnuts, but the first batch of pecans had a lot of moisture in the jars. I’m wondering if I need to let them dry in the shell a bit longer?

Traci Stewart
Oakdale, California

I would let them dry several weeks in the shell, then make sure you toast them for half an hour on low heat, stirring often to prevent them from scorching. Well-toasted, they have nearly no moisture. This is one reason for the toasting. — Jackie

3 Responses to “Q and A: moving chicks outside, meat grinder, and condensation in canned pecans”

  1. pat rizzi Says:

    I bought a cabella grinder from Cabellas. The grinder worked beautifuly untill this year when the blade hit a bullet someone misses when cleaning a deer. The bolt sheared off (that is what is was designed to do to prevent the grinder from being destroyed ) . We ordered a new bolt ( only available through Cabellas ). This happened before Thanksgiving. When we ordered the part they said it would take 2 weeks to get it, we are still waiting. When you buy your new grinder ask about part availability.

  2. Howard Says:

    After hand grinding for years I bought a 1hp grinder from Cabelas because I had also bought an older cow to butcher and was making a lot of burger. We’re really happy with the larger grinder.(we had tried a small electric grinders years ago and it was slower than the hand grinder) I ground about 60# of Caribou this fall and it almost took me longer to clean it up than run the meat. Cabelas usually has good customer service and I’m not sure many local vendors keep a supply of seldom needed parts on hand.

  3. Marlana W. Says:

    We went to Lowe’s yesterday and picked up a Waring Pro 105. We considered a larger model but for what we needed and what budget allowed the Waring met our needs. It was much nicer to feed the meat through the grinder without cranking and we are very happy to have it. I have a few manual grinders that will still be around but this will be my go to grinder!

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