Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Surprise in My Chicken Coop

This Egg Should Hatch Within the Next Week
Mid summer is upon us here and it is hot, hot, hot! Yesterday was 104.4 Fahrenheit and today was 102.3 Fahrenheit. I have thought on more than one occasion this summer maybe I should have chosen a state further north, but alas, summer heat is only a couple of months and the rest of the year is rather pleasant. I will just suck it up and do my best to stay comfortable until October arrives with its promise of more pleasant daytime highs and cool nights. Heat is rough on livestock, so I have been checking the water in the coop twice a day to make sure my chickens can cool off and stay hydrated.

I had always considered chicks a springtime thing, so I have been collecting and enjoying all the eggs my small flock has produced. All the hens are laying daily, so I have a bunch of eggs and never seem to run out. While collecting eggs a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a hen of mine had become broody and was sitting on a few eggs. I decided to let her play momma, after all, I have a ton of eggs right now and I had no idea if my rooster was fertile. For one full week I didn't retrieve any eggs. I have three hens, so that makes for a lot of eggs in the coop.

Broody Betty with her Clutch
This evening when I went to check the water I noticed Broody Betty, as I have taken to calling her, has so many eggs in her clutch she has to keep her wings spread. I figured I should probably try to candle the eggs, cull the ones that are not developing, and mark those that show signs of a potential chick. Broody Betty was not pleased, but I found most of the eggs are in different stages of development!

The ideal temperature for hatching chicken eggs is 99 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 to 55% humidity. Oklahoma is, I have discovered, ideal for this. Days here are warm and humid. Brooding Betty can get up and move about if she chooses and at night it is not too much work to keep the clutch warm and snug.

Early development
So now I wait. I will continue to check the coop twice a day and as the chicks hatch I will remove them for protection from the rest of the flock until they are big enough to fend for themselves. I will need to enlarge my coop a little by next summer to accommodate the new additions, but my egg selling will ramp up next summer and I can expand to pickling and drying the eggs as well.

Farm life never ceases to amaze me!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sweet Roll French Toast Bake

It's summer and we are at that point where we have all of our hens laying and a plethora of eggs to use. We share our eggs, preserve our eggs, devil our eggs, pickle our eggs, but still we are left with plenty to be used up. We try to come up with creative meals using our delicious, fresh eggs.

Tonight's supper needed to be quick and yummy. I stood in front of the fridge and glanced to the pantry. What could I make that would use up some of the leftovers so nothing would be wasted? I found I had a partial package of King's Hawaiian Rolls left over from a recent barbecue. King's Hawaiian Rolls™ are soft, sweet, and delicious. Contemplating the 4 rolls left in the package, I decided on making a Sweet Roll French Toast Bake.  It was a win-win to marry the rolls and the eggs into a simple and delicious dinner, but I suspect I will be making this again for breakfast or brunch at some point!

Doesn't it look delicious? It is super easy to make:


  • Left over rolls (in this case I had 4 King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls™, but there are other brands, and, hey, you can buy rolls just for this purpose and even make an entire bag to feed a large family or crowd)
  • 6-12 eggs (more rolls = more eggs)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • Maple or Pancake Syrup
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cooking Spray
  • 8 X 8 Pan (or whatever you have on hand)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray pan with no stick spray. I used an 8x8x2 pan, but you can use whatever size is convenient for the number of rolls you have left. I had a space in the middle I filled with an unbeaten egg. 
  3. Split the rolls horizontally so you have a top piece and a bottom piece. Lay these in the pan forming one layer. 
  4. Crack all the eggs into a bowl, add salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Beat with a fork gently. 
  5. Pour mixture over the bread. I made sure I had enough eggs to cover the bread. 
  6. Use a fork to turn each section of roll over. The ensures the bread is completely covered in egg and absorbs the mixture. 
  7. Bake in the oven at 350 until the egg is cooked. (Rolls will still be somewhat soft. Cook a full egg in the middle gives an easy visual of how cooked the bake is. It took 15 minutes for me.)
  8. Serve up on plates, add syrup, and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Needless to say, there were no leftovers after this meal. This would make a great dish for brunch or holiday mornings when feeding a crowd of people as well. Add bacon and a yogurt bar for a quick and easy holiday breakfast. Or, just do like we did and enjoy breakfast for dinner!


Friday, July 8, 2016

Amazon is Having a Leviton Special

Attention Tiny House builders! Amazon is having a sale on Leviton products through August 31, 2016!  That means you can get good deals on amazing Leviton products. 


I used Leviton when building my Tiny House. I love the quality and the variety. Here are a few of my favorites that I used in my own Tiny House: 

  • Automatically detects excess humidity in a room and activates the ventilation fan to lessen condensation which helps reduce mold and mildew, Sensor uses microprocessor and digital sensing technology to continuously monitor and manage humidity levels in a room
  • Built-in timer sets the "minimum ON time" for the ventilation fan. The sensor time settings can be custom set to 10, 20, 30 or 45 minute intervals. The sensor will continue to operate the fan for the minimum time set or until there is a reduction in room humidity level
  • A sensitivity level adjustment allows users to adjust the sensor's sensitivity to ambient air to prevent false cycling
  • Features an Air Cycle mode which automatically turns ON the ventilation fan for a set period of time and repeats the cycle hourly (eg. 20 minutes ON/40 minutes OFF each hour)
  • Replaces a single pole switch for control of ventilation fan or a fan/light combination, Fits in a standard wall box and requires a neutral for operation, The device's built-in humidistat control meets CALGREEN requirements for Indoor Air Quality and Exhaust, Five-Year Limited warranty

USB Receptacle
The Leviton USB Charger/Tamper-Resistant Duplex Receptacle offers two high-powered USB Ports with 3.6A of charging power and two 15A or 20A/125V Tamper-Resistant Receptacles. It has the capability to charge two USB powered electronic devices utilizing its two USB Ports, leaving the two Tamper-Resistant Receptacles free for other uses. The Leviton USB Charger/Tamper-Resistant Duplex Receptacle is designed to charge tablets, smart and mobile phones, gaming devices, e-readers, digital cameras and a host of other electronic devices.

Programmable Timer

Programmable Timer
The Vizia + 24-Hour Programmable Indoor Timer with Astronomical Clock helps lower your electrical costs without sacrificing convenience. Replacing standard switches with timer switches can reduce energy consumption, improve security, and save you money. Allowing up to 50 timer event settings per day, this timer switch can be programmed weekdays, weekends, all days or any combination of days. It (Vizia + 24-hour Timer) also meets all applicable UL, CSA, and FCC requirements, and comes with three changeable faceplates in white, ivory, and light almond colors to complement your decor.
  • Automated Control of Lights, Fans, Pumps, and More
  • Easy Programming with up to 50 Timer Event Settings per Day
  • Astronomical Clock for Unbeatable Accuracy

Building your Tiny House takes a lot of thought and careful consideration about every penny spent. Leviton is a top quality product and I swear by them. Yes, you could probably buy cheaper electrical components, but lets face it, who wants to risk substandard electrical fixtures. Spend a little more and get the best you can. This sale may just make those purchases a little more pleasurable!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

One Item Every Tiny House Should Have

Picture it. You are preparing to relax and read for a bit in the quiet sanctuary of the tiny abode you toiled to build. Deciding on a quick snack, you decide to pop popcorn. Things are going well until an unexpected grease fire pops up and quickly begins to become a problem when the lid to the pan doesn't squash the flames. The stars are aligned for this fire to spread quickly if not acted upon more aggressively. You need to use a fire extinguisher because throwing water on grease will only spread the fire.

Maybe you are feeling froggy and have lit some candles for romance. Unfortunately while you are distracted the flame catches on a nearby item.

Or maybe you are getting ready for work when suddenly an electrical fire begins in a faulty electrical outlet. What do you do? You can't throw salt or water or put a lid over this situation. You will need a fire extinguisher.

Are you picking up what I am putting down? That's right. You need a fire extinguisher. It is not an option, it is a must. The problem with traditional fire extinguishers is most are designed to deal with a particular type of fire: Grease, Electrical, or one that finds its fuel from trash, paper, fabric. Fire extinguishers have historically been large and require maintenance such as being "charged" now and again. Unattractive, we typically store them under a counter or in a cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind. Heaven forbid you should have an emergency and not be able to access the extinguisher.

I found the perfect solution to this. I purchased several Tundra Fire Extinguishers by First Alert. The size of a can of hairspray, Tundra puts out electrical, grease, and trash/paper/fabric fires quickly. An all in one solution that fits easily into a Tiny House. I have one in each of my buildings. I keep one in the kitchen, one in the loft, and one close to my bed.

The Tundra Fire Extinguisher sprays 4x longer than the typical fire extinguisher. The product is biodegradable and cleans up easily with a damp rag. Best part? It requires no maintenance and has a shelf life of 4 years (each bottle is printed with a performance date indicating when to replace.) Just use the product and toss the can. Replace. Simple, right? The very best part is the price. Two cans of this magic run around $25!

Having a fire in a Tiny House is nightmare I don't wish on anyone. Being prepared is simple and could save not only your home, but your life.

*This is an affiliate link. Your purchase through Amazon will send me a few pennies to help here on Tiny House Homestead. However, I have not been paid or supported by First Alert for this post. Like I said, I have 4 cans of Tundra of my own.