Category Archives: Backyard Chickens

Green Eggs and Ham

“That’s not how my school made green eggs and ham,” Little Bird was quick to point out. No, probably not.

We had ham leftover from Thanksgiving. And the basil she planted from seeds from a Mother’s Day fundraiser at Green Acre is still going strong, so we made a hand-chopped pesto and served it over fresh eggs and the leftover ham.

green eggs and ham

Little Bird was happy to cut some of her basil.

cutting the basil she planted from seed

Our youngest hens have just started laying.

backyard eggs

I wanted to try hand-chopping the pesto. I saw someone in Italy do that once on a show several years ago. I used a curved knife and chopped the dry ingredients first and then stirred in the olive oil. The ingredients were the same as from my pesto recipe here.

hand-chopped pesto

To make a more complete dinner, we ended up eating all of this over spaghetti. And we added avocado, because, well, we eat avocado at almost every meal!

New Baby Birds: Guinea Keets!

Our backyard birds are expanding with Guinea fowl! In addition to our eleven chicken hens and chicks, we now have three brand new Guinea babies (called “keets.”) They arrived in the mail, only a day or two old. As you can see, they are about as cute as can be.

 guinea keet

What are Guinea fowl?

Purely Poultry, from whom we purchased the keets, explain: “Guinea fowl are native to Africa. They are known as pest controllers and wonderful backyard guard birds due to their loud noises and wild behavior. They make a great addition to the backyard flock if you are looking for a tick and bug eater and a clown like character to enjoy.”

Why Have Guinea Fowl?

Papa Bird was most interested in having them protect our “Little Birds” (human) and birds from rattlesnakes. Here are 5 more reasons from Guinea Fowl: Your Overlooked Backyard Buddy – Modern Farmer:

5 Reasons To Have Guineas

1. Watchdogs. Guineas do a great job at guarding your property, sounding a halting alarm when something unfamiliar approaches. Hawk, hawk, hawk!

2. Nutritious eggs and meat. Unlike chickens, who produce eggs throughout the year, guineas typically lay large a couple of times a year. Don’t let their tiny size get you down (two guinea eggs equals one large chicken egg) The flavor is more delicate. Guinea meat is darker and richer than chicken, with less fat and lower cholesterol, and considered a delicacy in Europe and some trendy American restaurants.

3. Sustainable Living. These low-maintenance birds helpfully protect other farm animals and are free from poultry diseases that are troublesome to most farmers. Their nutrient-rich manure can be composted and used in the garden.

4. Pest Control. Working as a team, guineas will eat any pest they can get their beaks on, but unlike chickens, do so without tearing and scratching up your garden. Since they free-range, they will hunt ticks (or beetles, fleas, grasshoppers, crickets, snakes) all over your property. They are a more natural option to control the insect pest population than pesticides.

5. Entertainment. What great personalities! What beautiful plumage! What strange looking feathers! You can see them in colors ranging from pearl grey to lavender, royal purple and blue. They’re very curious and fun to watch.

guinea keetHow Do Guineas Help Control Pests?

The University of Maine has a nice article regarding how to use Guinea fowl for insect control.

How Can I Learn More about How to Care for Guinea Fowl?

Check out the Guinea Fowl International Association‘s website.

Where can you get Guinea Keets like ours?

Check out Guinea Keets for Sale. We have three Royal Purple Guinea Keets, purchased from here. We are not affiliates, or profiting in any way by recommending them. Just passing on the info of where we found them!

Want to See What They Look Like When They Grow Up?

Subscribe to Baby Birds Farm and I’ll be sure to update on their growth!

Preview of Beet Pickled Eggs

Just a quick share of my husband’s pickled eggs and beets. He grew up with this Pennsylvania Dutch traditional snack. It is usually made with red beets, but since we had both golden beets and red in the garden, the last round he made a jar of both. I love how the colors turned out. We will share his recipe for pickled beets and eggs soon!

Beet Pickled Eggs

All Lined Up…

It has been a little while since I posted. We have been busy! More on that below. Seeing all of our pretty green and brown eggs lined up into rows made me happy. (Our hens had stopped laying for a little while during the winter.)

20140207-122546.jpg

Happily, I feel like a lot of other things are getting lined up over here at the Baby Birds Farm. I went back to work, Papa Bird started a new business, and I started a small private practice, focusing on maternal mental health.

In other news, my last post, on using the Bar Method to Prepare for Birth, had its fifteen minutes of fame. My local studio, Bar Method San Diego, shared the post on their Facebook page. That was nice, but not totally unexpected. Then, within  24 hours, other studios around the country and the National Bar Method page (with 20,000 followers) also shared the post. Here’s to all the happy Bar Method mamas! Hope they are encouraged, if I could have an easy, unmedicated birth, they can, too!

ps. If you aren’t following Baby Birds on Facebook, click here and do so now! If you already “like” the page, but don’t see a lot of my posts in your feed, you may have to like and comment on a few posts to let Facebook know that you want to see more of the posts. (FB is weird like that.)

Simple, Easy Recipes for Summer Dinners

I love summer. I love having extra daylight in the evening. Best of all, our garden is at it’s peak. I often slack on grocery shopping. Driving home from work, I will approach panic and then realize, between the garden and the chickens, I can pull together a simple, easy dinner recipe without having to stop and buy any extra ingredients.

Easy, simple recipes: spaghetti squash pesto and zucchini frittata

The other night was a classic example. Our refrigerator was extremely bare. But I had recently made fresh goat cheese, our chickens are laying eggs, and we had giant zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, a spaghetti squash, garlic and plenty of herbs all from the garden.

Easy, simple recipes: spaghetti squash pesto

As soon as I got home from work, I threw the spaghetti squash whole into the toaster oven. (The regular oven works fine, but the smaller squash fit in the toaster oven, which saves energy and keeps the kitchen from getting as hot.) After about 45 minutes at 350°, it was soft. I cut it in half, pulled out the flesh, discarding the seeds and shredded it with a fork. Click here for the pesto recipe. This time I experimented by throwing in an avocado from a friend’s tree. It made it extra creamy.

Easy, simple recipes: zucchini frittata

Next up was a frittata. I sautéed the zucchini and garlic in some ghee a friend made, had Little Bird stir, stir the eggs, and then mixed in tomatoes and thyme. After baking, we topped it with our fresh chèvre rolled in truffle salt. For the full frittata recipe, click here.

Victory Gardens for the win!