Monday, January 6, 2014

Caring for the Animals in -18 Weather/How to Sprout Mung Beans

You know its going to be cold the next day when all of the local school districts are cancelling school at 5:00 Sunday night!  So, no school for Big Mr J today.  And the hubby's truck wouldn't start this morning without him having to charge the battery. Cooold!
Since it is incredibly cold {yes, its supposed to be -18 air temp here tonight}, I've decided the chickens are staying in today.  At this very moment (11 a.m.) it is -14.8 degrees, but with the windchill it feels like -41 degrees!
What am I doing to take care of all of our animals?
Well... my chickens are fairly spoiled since I have been taking them warm breakfast ever since there has been snow on the ground.  
What I do is boil some water in the tea kettle, make a mix of some grains and others, pour the hot water over the mix and let it sit and absorb the hot water and cool enough so it will  be safe for them to eat.
What do I mix for them?
I always use:
-layered feed
-cracked corn
-old fashioned oatmeal
-black oil sunflower seeds
-dried wakame seaweed
Other things I sometimes add:
-chopped fresh spinach
-sprouted mung beans
-ground apples or apple peels/cores
-ground unsalted peanuts
-ground fresh cranberries
-unsweetened pureed pumpkin
-shredded cabbage
-peanut butter
-bacon or other meat grease
-flax seeds
-anything else I may have in the fridge that isn't salty or sugary and is safe for them to eat
Other things I like to prep and give to them are sprouted Mung beans; I ordered this 5 lb. can of Organic sprouting beans from Amazon.
I little goes a long way!  
Just two tablespoons of dried beans will sprout and expand to fill a 1 quart jar!
What you need:
-Mung beans
-quart jar with matching screw on ring
-4 or 5 inch square of mesh fabric or screening
How to Sprout Mung Beans:
1. Measure 2 tbsp of Mung beans into a glass quart jar {you could probably use plastic too, but I've never tried it}.
2. Cover beans with enough cool water to cover.  Top jar with mesh and screw on ring and allow them to sit overnight at room temperature.
3. Drain and rinse beans.  Drain completely.  Place on counter, out of sunlight.
4. For best results, you will need to rinse and drain beans 3 times per day.  This is why the mesh and screw on lid it so helpful; you just run cool water in through the mesh, swish it around and drain right through the mesh.

Tip:  I like to place the jar on its side during the sprouting process; it allows the beans to sprout more evenly.

5. You will know the sprouts are ready for your pets or yourself to enjoy when the sprouts begin to grow little leaves.

I like to treat my chickens with the sprouted Mung beans by putting them into a suet feeder and hanging it in the coop.  
A quart jar of sprouts will tightly fill both sides of a double sided average sized suet feeder.
Another thing... I think I have FINALLY solved the problem of my pullets sitting/pooping in the nesting boxes on these so cold days!  

I made a curtain that wraps around the nesting box shelf yesterday.  So far, so good.  
Toothless went in right away after I installed the curtain late yesterday afternoon, I also closed up the coop for the night, she laid her beautiful egg.  But since I didn't go back out there, I had a frozen egg this morning {with wood shavings stuck to it}!  Oh well, my fault; I knew she was going to lay and thought about going out to get the egg, but then also listened to the wind outside and decided not to collect it.
The cats are hunkered down in the cat house and the barn most of the time. 
The challenge for me is keeping their heated water bowl from freezing over.  I have placed the bowl in a tote on its side to help shelter the bowl from the wind.  So far its helping just a bit, I still have to go out and break the ice on the surface every once and a while.
The cows are doing very well.  They got extra corn and grains this morning and their hay has been placed on the side of the barn where the barn is acting as a wind block.
Oh and I got a scare this morning, the power went out and didn't come back on {every once in a while it will go out for a couple seconds and pop right back on}.  

I checked the fuses, breakers and even the meter outside and that had even lost power.  So, I waited 10 minutes and made a call to the electric company.  

They said the service workers were out in the area, she thought they were working in a different area that had power out even earlier.  So I was hoping we wouldn't be wearing our coats, snow pants and hats in the house!  To my relief the power came back on 20 minutes later, not to bad!
Hope everyone and every animal is staying warm and safe!

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1 comment:

  1. Your blog is so interesting to read. I am impressed with how well you take care of the animals and everything.


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