Yesterday afternoon, I entered the barn and was greeted with this:
"Do you need something?"
"Please just leave me alone in this warm spot, and let me sleep."
Perhaps you can relate?
Today we are cleaning out the chicken houses - stripping them- and giving them a thorough cleaning.
It is something we do every few months, however, right now we are doing it in a desperate attempt at finding a solution to a current situation. You see, we have had three sudden deaths (hens) in our chicken houses in the last two weeks.
Normally, we have a death every few months or more, so three in two weeks is perplexing. There have been no signs that any of the chickens were ill. We just found them dead.
Most of what you read about keeping chickens mentions the fact that wild birds can introduce disease into chicken houses. I have found, however, with healthy free-range chickens that this is less of a risk. Free-range chickens are unstressed and more resistant to disease.
So... our chicken deaths will remain a mystery. But, we will try what we can to prevent any further problems. It's been a tough winter for everyone!Well, maybe not for these three... they roll with whatever Mother Nature throws at us. These three are our constant companions and are always eager to help us with the chores.
And then there is Chester, always bringing up the rear. Chester would never consider leaving home without us (unlike Annie and Sam who will head off on an adventure at the drop of a hat.)
The pantry project is going well, although not without a couple of hiccups resulting in another day's labor (today). Here is what it originally looked like:
At the end of yesterday:
After today I will need to repaint the remaining visible wall and finish organizing the shelves. I love to organize, so this won't be much of a chore. You might notice that I have a little less shelf space. This is actually a good thing and will prevent me from over-stocking my pantry (something I have a tendency to do.) Cabinets on the bottom will allow me to store some small appliances out of sight.
To Di, who asked, yesterday, about the safety of silicone for baking and cooking:
Food-grade silicone is made without the use of any petroleum products, ie: plastics. There are no "fillers" used with the manufacturing of food-grade silicone. It is basically a man-made rubber material that is the result of joining silicon and oxygen atoms in a chain. Silicon is the second most abundant element, behind oxygen, in the earth's crust - although silicon is rather unstable and is not found in its pure form. It naturally occurs in a form known as silica (silicon dioxide) and can be found in rocks, sand, and soil. Silica is used in the manufacturing of glass.
Everything that I have read about silicone states that food-grade silicone is entirely safe for use in cooking up to 400 degrees F. It is non-toxic, chemically inert, non-porous, and stable. It has been shown to be non-toxic to soil and aquatic organisms. It lasts a lifetime and can be recycled.
To me, it is the perfect sustainable alternative to plastics, which are an ecological nightmare.