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Chickens and mayo (and mayo on chicken)

Two things I have been meaning to follow up on. First, many people have been asking after the chickens. They are doing well, and laying more eggs than I would have expected. They recently passed their fourth birthday, which is longer than most chickens get to live.

(I have not been able to find out how long a chicken lives. Apparently it’s not something that happens very often. They usually suffer an untimely demise long before then. I did read about one chicken that was ten years old.)

chickens

Harriett (the red one) has long since gone through chicken menopause and stopped laying. She has also continued to develop the secondary sex characteristics of a rooster, including an impressive set of spurs, and long pointed hackle feathers. Dolly (the black one) has been working herself up to a proper rooster crow mid-mornings, but is still laying eggs. And Martha (the blonde one) quietly but steadily lays an egg almost every day.

It took them a long time to start laying this year, but last month I collected 28 eggs over 31 days. Not too shabby, ladies!

As for mayo, last week I mentioned trying my hand at it. Gayle sent me this recipe which worked quite well. However, next time I will only use half the salt (or less).

Homemade mayo turns out to be fairly tasty. However, it only holds in the fridge for 3-5 days, and I would only ever make it with eggs from my own chickens (or another very reputable source). But it’s the only way to get mayonnaise that doesn’t have sugar in it.

Have you ever tried to actually avoid eating any sugar at all? It is hard! I find sugar in all sorts of things you wouldn’t expect, from roasted chicken to salad dressing (all of them) to salted peanuts.

(Update for those who care: I changed the link to the mayo recipe, this is the recipe I have tried. Not sure about the one I originally linked to, sorry!)

11 comments to Chickens and mayo (and mayo on chicken)

  • Ana

    I did a short-lived diet experiment of no gluten, dairy, or sugar. I feel your pain! Unless it’s hiding in the “spices” ingredient, Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar salad dressing seemed to be the only acceptable one I could find. It’s not bad. Good luck in your quest!

  • Okay, so the “developing secondary sex characteristics of a rooster” is what my grandma meant when she used to say “Old hens turn into roosters.” Once I had learned about the biology of the “birds and the bees,” I couldn’t quite see how that would work – I guess I was picturing them as developing testes and being able to impregnate other hens and all that.

  • Cristina

    Your title left me a little uneasy… thought you’d gone berserk and made a whole lot of homemade/homegrown chicken salad!

  • I don’t know how you feel about eating an old friend like Harriett, but an old chicken is absolutely the tastiest. Stew it, of course, or maybe do it in the crock pot. Mmm, chicken soup…

    Or not, if the thought of munching on Harriett makes your skin crawl.

  • Erika

    I never could… she is a pet. Also there is the minor issue of having to kill and dress her myself first.

  • Just moments ago I saw this Ikea chicken coop and thought of you and your gals: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/04/a-gorm-villa-for-hen.html

    I’m glad they’re doing well. I, too, thought from the title that you’re eating chickens but NEVER thought it was one of your own!

    OT: have you been to the new Hobby Lobby store in Federal Way? There’s also a new one in Wenatchee. I want to go, but it’s 125 miles. Maybe next time I go to Seattle for another reason.

  • two silver cats

    I am experimenting with a no-sugar …um, I hate the word “diet”, how about we just call it “food choices?” …right now to try to address some health issues without having to take (more) meds. I’m also supposed to avoid white flour too. I am finding it MUCH harder to avoid flour than sugar, but on the other hand I have had a low-grade headache for more than a week now and I bet that’s from the sugar withdrawal.

    But yeah– sugar in Greek dressing?! Supwiththat???

  • two silver cats

    And yeah, I was worried you went off the handle and ate your lovely chickens too! :) :)

  • Erika

    Good for you! I’m lucky in that for me, it was a fairly gradual process. But for a while I did have problems with something they call “keto flu.” I’m skeptical of the science behind it, but I did find that drinking some broth or having some protein really helped.

    It’s a lot like quitting smoking… if you can make it through the first week, everything else will get easier!

  • I have to avoid soy, because I’m allergic to it. You’d be amazed how many things they sneak soy into…

  • Erika

    Oh my god EVERYTHING. I spent a month trying to rule out a soy allergy as the cause of a persistent rash. It turned out not to be the culprit, but it really opened my eyes to how much soy is in everything (largely due to government subsidies). And maybe that is not such a good thing, with its potential for hormone disruption, pesticides, etc.