Rise&Shine Urban Farm

  (White Pigeon, Michigan)
Pixie White, a Turkey for the Small Acreage Farmer
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Viva la turkey egg!

The hens are laying in full force now, with an average of a dozen a day being collected.  I am a big fan of egg salad in the summer, which takes alot of eggs.  Into your mayo base, next time,  mix a little wasabi.  The "extra heat kick" is very refreshing and addictive. 

I am still amazed at folks that are initially put off about eating a turkey egg.  When I have friends over for the weekend who have never experienced a turkey egg omelet, I will make two omelets one with chicken eggs and the other with turkey eggs.  In appearance there is no question that the turkey egg omelet wins.  Higher and fluffier, the turkey egg omelet is able to hold the cheese and assorted fillings without breaking and becoming a mess.  By feel alone, I can tell which is the turkey egg versus the chicken egg when whisking.  (This statement has been challenged and I have prevailed)  Whisking a store bought chicken egg feels like whisking water while the turkey eggs "drag" on the folk.   As for color, the deeper orange yolk of the turkey egg makes for a richer appearance in presentation.  Mouth feel with the turkey egg is more appealing, less mushy, when eaten in comparision. 

Taste, well I simply do not know if the taste is better because the hens are fed better than the caged chickens or because the mixture you place on top of the turkey omelet does not slide around-giving you all the flavors of your toppings in each bite.  Regardless, it is the turkey egg omelet that always wins out not only in flavor but in appearance.   

Naturally, in all of my baking I use turkey eggs, along with 
pure cane sugar, real butter, mexican vanilla, ect., all of which definitely makes a difference in taste, height, crumb, flakiness, and texture of my cakes, pies, cookies, and breads. 

But that is not to say that I do not suffer from my own food prejudices, which I, myself, am trying to overcome.  For example, raw milk.  This summer,  I will have access to raw cow's milk that I intend to make european butter, ice cream, and soft cheese from.  I want to taste "real buttermilk," see for myself how it differs from the chemicallyproduced store bought buttermilk and what difference it makes as a baking ingredient.      

So, next time you have the opportunity to try a turkey egg, or another  unfamiliar ingredient, be brave and go for it!  it is all about the experience. 

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Poults Comings and Goings

It has been a very busy here as poults are hatching and predators have been coming in at nite to "snack."  Raccoons are very clever and it has been a fight to keep them from breaking into the poult nursery.   If you let them, they will stay up all night with their sharp claws digging a hole into the side of the hutch before making away with poults or eggs stolen from under the hens.   To date, about sixty poults have made their way to new homes.  And, I must say, they have left with a sigh of relief knowing that I have met all my orders despite the attempts of predators to the contrary.

One hen who refused to leave her nest suffered severe side wounds down to the bone.  The wounds were horrific, exposing her spine, wing bone and down to her body carcass, with some exposure of her body cavity.    It was a difficult decision to attempt to save her but I am so glad I did.  Removed to a seperate pen with daily clean bedding, antibotics and love,  I can finally state (after six weeks)  I have hopes of a full recovery.    Named, Gilda, she is now in the process of learning how to use her leg again as most of  nerves and muscle were destroyed.  From a 10 by 12 inch wound, there remains only the covering of the wing bone from the elements.   Nature is amazing when given the opportunity.  Because of Gilda's determination and will to live...she will have a home here until nature ditcates otherwise. 

As a final note, this year, I over wintered several hens and their maturity has resulted in jumbo sized eggs, much appreciated by all. 

Soon, it will be time to thin the flock down before meeting holiday orders, as my own freezer is empty of turkey and summer is my "turkey time."    I look foward towards turkey salad, sandwiches, soup, and casseroles. 

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