Self Sufficient Living : A sad day.


Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living : Keeping Chickens, Self Sufficient Living : News | Posted on 17-01-2012

The last of our original battery farm rescue chickens, Maud, died yesterday from what we suspect was egg yolk peritonitis.

The morning before she look very fluffed and bow legged, we thought that she may have an egg stuck. We made a temporary home for her out our small dog crate, gave her a warm bath and left her overnight to see how she, or rather the stuck egg, progressed. The next day she was no better, so off she went to the vets.  It turns out that she had a raging infection and a massive amount of fluid in her abdomen to boot. The decision to put hee to sleep was made.

Maud had a good two summers with us sunbathing, which is a lot better than the alternative once your productive time is over in the battery farm.  Now she is with her friends in the great chicken coop in the sky.

Our first batch of rescue chickens. RIP girls

Symptoms of egg yolk peritonitis

  • loss of appetite/anorexia
  • weakness
  • depression
  • respiratory distress
  • lethargy
  • fluffed feathers
  • lack of vocalizations
  • yolk-colored droppings
  • swollen vent and/or abdomen

RIP Maud




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Self Sufficient Living : Make your own soft cheese.


Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living : Cooking, Self Sufficient Living : Guide | Posted on 13-01-2012

If you know me, or indeed have met me, even for a short time, you will know that I love cheese,  and love may not be a strong enough word. My name at work use to be mighty mouse, due to me bringing in wacky and often smelly cheeses, I must have been so popular.
Here is a quick guide to making your own soft cheese. Another tiny step to living more self sufficiently.

All you need is some milk, preferably organic whole milk, a large pan, some muslin and lemon juice.

Bring the milk to a low simmer, take it off the heat, squirt in some lemon and stir. The milk should start to curdle, if it doesn’t bung in a little more lemon.
Scoop out the curd with a slatted spoon and place it into the muslin. Once you have it all, tie off the muslin with a piece of string and hang overnight. Make sure you hang it over a container of some sort, to catch the whey that will drain from your cheese.
In the morning open up your muslin and spread out your cheese on the worktop. This cheese is a little bland but you can give it some vavooom with some chives, garlic, salt and pepper.
Note : Don’t throw out the whey after you have separated it from the curds, as it can be used to make soda bread.

Let me know how you get on and if you have any flavour tips, I’ll be happy to try them out!

Mighty Mouse

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Self Sufficient Living : Switch dimmable energy saving light bulb


Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living: Review | Posted on 03-01-2012

The new house has really inefficent spotlights in every room and I think they generate more heat than they do light. Before I get hit with a massive energy bill, I think it’s time for a energy saving eco bulb makeover! (say that fast three times!)
Elly likes to be able to dim the lights as she sees fit, but the problem is we only have conventional  light switches and no dimmers. After trawling the web I found a great solution, a Switch dimmable energy saving light bulb.

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New Additions to the gang


Posted by Jason Pullen | Posted in Self Sufficient Living : Keeping Chickens | Posted on 01-01-2012

Now we have a bit more space and Jay has assembled Cluckington Towers, the new chicken coop seemed a little empty for our 3 girls, a visit to the rescue centre to get some more ex-batts was needed. The plan was to get 5 girls and a boy to keep them in line, it was all going well until I spotted 2 beautiful silvery grey ladies, so 3 became 11! Cluckington Towers may need an extension sooner than we anticipated. We have called the silver sisters Hyacinth and Violet, although we are not yet sure what they are! We also added 5 more ex-batts Myrtle the smallest of the group, her best pals Holly & Ivy, bossy/stroppy Naomi Campbell and Elizabeth Taylor and our preening Silkie boy Merrick!

Self Sufficient Living : Our White Cock

Meet 'Merrick' our new boy

Self Sufficient Living : New Chickens

New Chickens

Things seem to be settling down after the initial introduction, a rough version of kiss chase seemed to be going on and not just from Merrick. Poor little Myrtle seems to have gotten over the worst of it after we rubbed Shea butter into her comb, so the others couldn’t get a grip on it.
There is not much on the egg front right now, but we are expecting great things come the spring.

Stay tuned and if any of you can tell us what the silvery grey ladies are, please drop us a comment.


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