Hens not laying
My question for you is about chickens. I have Isa Brown and Barred Rock hens who are just 25 weeks old. Usually my new hens are laying already. I only have 1/4 of them laying. This is happening to 2 other people I know too. The one has Australorps the same age that are not laying at all. Is there something going on in environment that they aren’t laying? We all have different feed sources too so we don’t think it’s the feed. We are thinking that we got them too late and not enough light. I have now started to turn a dim light on about 4am. Any suggestions? It definitely baffles us as to what is going on to so many people.
You also said you will be butchering your roosters? Do you kill them outside then do the butchering and cleaning indoors? Earlier this week we butchered off the last of our old hens and it was cold!! It took my hands a few hours to thaw!
Wild Rose, Wisconsin
We’re having the same trouble with the pullets we raised late this year. As the days are so short now, we have to start providing extra light in the evening, so it tricks their time clocks into producing more eggs. For us, that means scheduling a few hours of generator running time each evening, as we are off grid. For those on grid, plugging a single CFL into a timer, and setting it to provide a few hours of extra light each evening will work. When we build our new chicken house (after the new barn is done), we plan on adding a small room to house deep cycle batteries and a charger, so we can give lights to the chickens without running the generator then. (Sometimes it’s convenient, as I’m doing wash, running water, etc. Other times it’s not and we feel it’s kind of a waste of money.)
No, we freeze our fingers, too! We pick a sunny, partly warm day and only do three at a time. We’ve found that in that time, our fingers don’t freeze too badly and the warm water from the scalding keeps the birds fairly warm for plucking and the bodies are still warm for the cleaning. Our fingers start to freeze when we rinse off the birds and table with a hose. Brrr. That’s what we get for putting it off so long! — Jackie
Canning in half-pint jars
I am a 72 year old, single person and do much of my canning in half pint jars. My questions is: When I am canning meat, like hamburger or meatloaf in half pint jars, how long should I keep the pressure up (11 lbs) on my pressure canner?
I think the safe answer is the same as pints, but I would like to know what you think about it. I did call the Ball Blue book people and their answer was “they haven’t did any testing on half pints” so they didn’t give me a answer. This would also be a good question for the magazine because many people are now canning more than ever.
Hazel Green, Alabama
Charles, you can up your half pints for the same length of time as you do your pints. I do it all the time and can’t imagine the Ball Blue Book folks not being able to tell you that! I find myself canning so many things in half pints, especially meats, as I use them as ingredients in mixed recipes and a pint is just too much. — Jackie