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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Produce Run

Produce transportation--little red wagon

Since I discovered that there is something torn in my knee and I injured my shoulder, I have not gone for produce for the hens. I cannot carry even a light or small box to the car. My left knee just keeps collapsing! Asking the people who give me the produce to then carry the box to the car just seems all wrong.
Today, I did ask. The young woman carried it for me without seeming to be annoyed. They never seem annoyed, but I don't want to "ride a good horse to death." When I got home, as usual, I dragged the box into my little red wagon and pulled it to the hens. 

The hens have already had an ear of corn, a cantaloupe, and an apple from this box. From the house they have had two sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, and a banana. Later today, they will get more of this plus oats. Since I have to go 50 miles to the doctor tomorrow and be gone a long time, lots of this will be saved for my time away. Yes, they will get food other than this during my absence. 

Notice the Bell pepper. It will be rescued before I feed it to hens. I will get some of it for the roast I will cook for tomorrow. Since the onion is growing green sprouts, I will try planting that and see what happens.  The rotten oranges have a special compost place. There is some sort of hole next to my fence. All onions, garlic, potatoes, and citrus go there.  I just fill the hole and don't plan to use that for soil.

After a getting a pen full of cantaloupe, corn, and apple, plus plenty of water, Fancy stood at the gate and pleaded in her long, drawn-out, squawky way, talking also, begging to get out. So, I must hurry and hang out clothes, and run out for an errand. Then, I can let them all out for their daily spa--dusting in a hole. They make their round for greens, eating short weeds, not these tall, unsightly ones that need to be eaten.

Getting produce for my hens makes me so happy. Am I just getting senile and overly sentimental when I think of them? Yes, I plan my life around hens. All was well in paradise until the raccoons showed up!

The sweet potatoes they eat are the natural loss from having bought 120 lbs of sweet potatoes last fall...25 cents/lb. The banana is one that was in the house, but gotten for hens.

In the box are grapes, strawberries, squash, onion, tomato, corn---many foods that were not rotten, just oldish, not much older than things that have lingered in my refrigerator. I rescued the red sweet pepper to cook with. The onion will be planted. Except for the moldy oranges, everything else was edible this morning. Okay, the cucumbers were turning yellow. Produce waste is my hens' gain.
onion sprouts in bottle
On the laptop was the only place I could get the short sprouts to show in the bottle. The inside of the sprouted onion was rotted on the sprouts. This will go into a vinegar jug to see what happens. I sliced and froze the whole red sweet pepper, forgetting to show the end product and all the pepper that was free-to-me. Well, you know what a Bell pepper looks like! Next time.....

It's almost six o'clock and I am sitting here, finishing this post. For the last thirty minutes, I have heard a noise I cannot identify. Finally, I figured out it has been hens in the box still sitting in the wagon by the back door. They help themselves!

Your turn
If you have hens, do they complain about not being let out of their house or pen to run free? Do you ever get old produce to feed hens or other animals?  Is there anyone else amongst you who spends $0 on food for your hens?


  1. The local vegetable stand is right outside my backyard, so when it's open (May through October) I can always get stuff to feed the chickens. I don't think that's enough for laying hens, though, so I do keep a bowl of lay pellets in their cages at all times. The pellets are milled locally, they don't have drugs in them, and it isn't that expensive. A sack of scratch is even cheaper, but doesn't have enough calcium for layers. Some friends use their truck and pickup produce from a local grocery store twice a week. Their animals always have a LOT to eat, and the variety is great, but is sure is messy. They have lots of flies in the summer. I can't carry much either, so I bought a yellow garden wagon. I use it to haul everything except groceries from the car to the house - can't do that because of the steps. I use my walker for groceries! We just do what we have to do to make things work, don't we?

  2. That is great having the market so close. I don't deprive mine of calcium or protein. They eat egg shells, scrambled eggs with grits in them, leftover cooked chicken, old milk I get elsewhere, tuna. leftover bits of cooked meat from different places. I talked to PhD who teaches poultry classes at a univ ersity and he said mine probably got plenty of protein and calcium. Did you know that the main reason poultry must be vaccinated is because of diseases in corn? TRUE In the winter, they get a crushed Vit D. Yes, I took on the chicks with the idea to feed them like they were fed 200 years ago with no feed store in sight, no supplement, no scratch, nothing modern methods use. So, they do get mango that was not available to And, they love it. That wagon carries everything. If I have knee surgery, I will have a walker. Yes, I have to make it all work!


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