Saturday, 30 August 2014

Things to consider before getting chickens

  
Thinking about getting chickens? Chickens provide you with healthy eggs and are cute little pets, but there are some things that you may want to consider before getting chickens.
 http://www.ladycreativity.com/2014/05/new-pet-chickens.html
Costs:  You need to consider the weekly cost of keeping chickens.  The initial set ups costs can be quite high if everything is bought new. You will need to buy chickens, a coop, predator proof fencing and feeding equipment. The reoccurring costs consist mainly of feed, worming supplies and possibly some supplements. If money is tight, you may have to consider the weekly price of keeping chickens versus buying eggs from the grocery shops. We have added this up and think it is well worth the weekly price (not much) to have healthy free range eggs and 4 pet chickens too! Here is a link to downloadable checklists to track weekly or monthly egg laying.

Local laws: Check your local council rules and regulations to make sure you can keep chickens legally. Find out whether there is a limit on the number of chickens, a permit required for a coop, roosters allowed or any other restrictions. Often chicken runs must be set back at least one metre from a dividing fence. You will need to make sure your poultry shed will not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. Roosters are often not allowed in residential areas. 
Coop: Make sure the coop and run are predator proof. Here is a link to how we built our chicken coop. You will get mice, foxes, dogs, cats and native animals trying to get in when you are not looking. If you allow the chickens to free-range, then they must be locked in the coop at night to keep predators out. Also make the coop and run easy to clean. Install dropping drawers that are removed easily and also doors that are high enough for adults to walk through. Install removable roosts to be able to clean underneath them. Using sand for litter inside the coop makes cleaning it much easier. You have to keep conditions of the coop clean to prevent odour and fly breeding. Here is link to how we planned and built our chicken area.
Other pets: If you have other pets such as dogs and cats, than introducing chickens is often a huge problem. Because many dogs and cats will immediately give chase and attempt to kill the birds. Our dog has killed a few native birds that have gotten too close, so she will be trained. Here is a video of what happened when Bella met the chickens.

Noise: Chickens are relatively quiet throughout the day except when they are laying an egg.  Roosters will wake even the deepest sleeper and may bother neighbours. Research the different breeds as some do better in the heat, some do better in the cold, some lay more eggs than others, some are more or less friendly than others.

Destroying your garden & vegie patch: If you garden, then you may have to keep your chickens locked up during certain parts of the season. Chickens will eat seeds, tender greens, ripe produce and young plants. They will also dig holes in your dirt or mulch areas. These holes serve as dust baths and help the chickens control mites. Chickens will also dirty a lawn with feathers, droppings. This can be a real problem if you like a well-manicured lawn or use your lawn often. However, we just rinse the droppings into the lawn and it has never been greener. If the yard that the hens are allowed to range in is too small, they will very possibly reduce all living plants to nothing.

http://www.ladycreativity.com/2014/04/chicken-eggshell-colours-by-breed.html
Eggs: When buying chickens, if you want eggs straight away purchase point of lay birds. Please realise that hens do not always lay an egg every day. There are many factors that play a role in egg-production. For example the daily amount of sunlight will affect how many eggs you get. You can also get different coloured eggs. Click here for more information.
Lady Creativity

Friday, 29 August 2014

Homemade vegetable and rice muffins for toddlers

 
Serving Size: 6-8 muffin size servings

Ingredients: If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.
  • ¼ green capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ red capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ yellow capsicum pepper diced
  • 2 mashed potatoes
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 100g chopped spinach
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 200g cooked rice to put on top
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten (add extra egg if needed)
  • A touch of oregano flakes to flavour
  • ¼ cup milk
 
Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease bottom and sides of a muffin tin with butter. You can use a variety of muffin tins to add excite your toddler.
We have lots of different shapes – star, heart, circle, rectangle, dinosaur, Easter shapes and Christmas trees silicon trays.

Step 2: Grate selected veggies and place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Cook the rice in water until soft and drain. Keep the cooked rice separate.
Step 3: Press firmly into the muffin tin and add extra rice to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of meatloaf to make sure it is not stuck to the sides of the tin.

Step 4: Leave to cool on a serving platter. Serve slices hot with mash and vegetables.
Here is the underneath view.
Step 5: Once they are cold you can freeze them. I normally freeze a few different meals together – salmon, beef or chicken. That way when I defrost them I have a variety of lunches or dinners ready. If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.

Lady Creativity

Beef mince and vegetables toddler meatloaf

Serving Size: 6-8 rectangle size servings

Ingredients: If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.
  • 750g beef mince
  • ¼ green capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ red capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ yellow capsicum pepper diced
  • 100g chopped spinach
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten (add extra egg if needed)
  • A touch of oregano flakes to flavour
  • ¼ cup milk 
Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease bottom and sides of a muffin tin with butter. You can use a variety of muffin tins to add excite your toddler.
We have lots of different shapes – star, heart, circle, rectangle, dinosaur, Easter shapes and Christmas trees silicon trays.

Step 2: Grate selected veggies and place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
Step 3: Press firmly into the muffin tin and add extra pastry stars or letters to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of meatloaf to make sure it is not stuck to the sides of the tin.

Step 4: Leave to cool on a serving platter. Serve slices hot with mash and vegetables.
Here is the underneath view.
Step 5: Once they are cold you can freeze them. I normally freeze a few different meals together – salmon, beef or chicken. That way when I defrost them I have a variety of lunches or dinners ready. If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.


Lady Creativity

Salmon, vegetable and cheese dinosaurs

Serving Size: 6-8 muffin size servings

Ingredients: If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.
  • 750g boneless salmon
  • ¼ green capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ red capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ yellow capsicum pepper diced
  • 100g chopped spinach
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten (add extra egg if needed)
  • A touch of oregano flakes to flavour
  • ¼ cup milk
Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease bottom and sides of a muffin tin with butter. You can use a variety of muffin tins to add excite your toddler.
We have lots of different shapes – star, heart, circle, rectangle, dinosaur, Easter shapes and Christmas trees silicon trays.

Step 2: Grate selected veggies and place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
Step 3: Press firmly into the muffin tin and add extra cheese to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of meatloaf to make sure it is not stuck to the sides of the tin.
Step 4: Leave to cool on a serving platter. Serve slices hot with mash and vegetables.
Here is the underneath view.
Step 5: Once they are cold you can freeze them. I normally freeze a few different meals together – salmon, beef or chicken. That way when I defrost them I have a variety of lunches or dinners ready. If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.


Lady Creativity

Homemade toddler vegetable and meat pies

 
Serving Size: 10 small pie size servings
Ingredients: If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.
  • 750g beef mince
  • Enough puff pastry to make 10 pies (bought or homemade)
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 100g chopped spinach
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten (add extra egg if needed)
  • A touch of oregano flakes to flavour
  • ¼ cup milk
Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C or pie maker. Grease bottom and sides of a pie dish or pie maker with butter.  
Step 2: Grate selected veggies and place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
Step 3: Press firmly into the pie dish or pie maker and add the extra pastry to the top. I also like to add a star or letter to the top of the pie to make it special. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge to make sure it is not stuck to the sides of the tin.
Step 4: Leave to cool on a serving platter. Serve slices hot with vegetables.
Step 5: Once they are cold you can freeze them. I normally freeze a few different meals together – salmon, beef or chicken. That way when I defrost them I have a variety of lunches or dinners ready. If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.

Lady Creativity

Chicken, parmesan cheese and vegetables star muffins

Serving Size: 6-8 muffin size servings

Ingredients: If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.
  • 750g chicken (or turkey) mince
  • ¼ green capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ red capsicum pepper diced
  • ¼ yellow capsicum pepper diced
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 100g chopped spinach
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 100g grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten (add extra egg if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups of mash potato for top
  • ¼ cup milk
Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease bottom and sides of a muffin tin with butter. You can use a variety of muffin tins to add excite your toddler.
 
We have lots of different shapes – star, heart, circle, rectangle, dinosaur, Easter shapes and Christmas trees silicon trays.  
 
Step 2: Grate selected veggies and place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
Step 3: Press firmly into the muffin tin and add extra potato to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of meatloaf to make sure it is not stuck to the sides of the tin.
 
Step 4: Leave to cool on a serving platter. Serve slices hot with mash and vegetables.
Here is the underneath view.
Step 5: Once they are cold you can freeze them. I normally freeze a few different meals together – salmon, beef or chicken. That way when I defrost them I have a variety of lunches or dinners ready. If you want to freeze them make sure all your ingredients are fresh when you bake them. It is recommended that these are eaten within 4 weeks of being frozen.
Lady Creativity

Thursday, 28 August 2014

New large vegie patch 20m x 3m construction

My husband had been promising a large vegie patch since we moved in. We have finally finished the construction of the large vegie patch. It is 20 metres long by 3 metres wide. Here is how we improved our soil and built the raised garden beds.
We started with red clay in piles. It was dumped there after we construction our outdoor area a few months ago. It is back breaking work to remove the hard clay and even out the huge clumps. This took us a few days to fix.
  Joshua and Bella helped my husband along the way. We had already built the garden at the corner of the vegie garden.
They soil was treated with manure and compost while we got the timber for the garden beds. We needed just over 20 metres of wood for the length of the garden and the return.
Once the garden beds were built, we needed to improve the soil and remove all the grass and weeds. We used a natural weed killer spray. I don't like to add poison sprays to our vegie patch, as we will eat the produce grown in there.
 
Once the weeds were dead, we evened out the soil to make it level. We then made sure it drained well and added a lot of aged manure and compost. I sowed a few varieties of vegetables in our greenhouse. They will be planted in the ground in about a month. This will give the soil time to settle.
After about a month I started to plant some of the seedlings.

Here is the vegie patch a few weeks later near the new chicken coop and worm farms. This is the same shed seen in the photos above. In the vegie garden there are garlic plants, beans, mint, spring onions and chives. Bella is happy watching the chickens.
 
 
http://www.ladycreativity.com/2014/11/vegie-patch-update-2014-spring.html

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Lady Creativity

Monday, 25 August 2014

Week 35: household tasks and cleaning checklist

Household tasks and cleaning
Change and wash towels, bath mats, hand towels and bedding. 
Hang up and iron all clothes in wardrobes. 
Check baby’s clothes for any that don’t fit. Organise clothes in drawers and wardrobe if needed.
Dust surfaces and sills, vacuum and steam clean floors.
Spray and wipe benches, windex glass surfaces and mirrors. Wipe hand and pet prints from windows, walls and sliding doors.
Give dog worming tablets and flea treatment.
Discard food that’s past its prime in the freezer and fridge. Clean the freezer and fridge. Defrost freezer and clean trays. Remove fridge glass shelves and crisper drawers and bring to room temperature so there’s no danger of cracking when you wash them. Wipe the interior with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda and hot water. Rinse with a damp cloth and then dry with a clean towel. 

Garden and outdoor care
Shake out or replace doormats.
Dig over entire plot and remove weeds.
Harvest crops of carrots, beetroot, leeks and parsnips.

Lifestyle
Make sure that there is something special or unique about each day.
Have a doctor, dentist or vet check-up.
Talk about work, feelings and stress to friends and loved one.
Do Wii fit workout and walk dog. If cannot walk or Wii fit, then run up and down stairs 20 times.
Make meal planner for week
Lady Creativity

Saturday, 23 August 2014

DIY Children's birthday party lolly bags

Joshua's Thomas the tank engine theme 2nd birthday party is this week and I have been busy making the lolly bags for his guests. Here is how I did it:

Instructions:
Step 1: The first thing you need to know is how many guests you are having. Then you can buy enough lollies and lolly bags/boxes for each child or guest that is coming to the party.


Step 2: Once I have all the lolly bags and lollies, I like to spread them out on the bench and evenly sort the lollies between all the bags.


Step 3: I add the biggest lollies and candy first and then add the tiny ones last.

 Close up of what is in the bags
 
 
Step 4: Then I put all the lollies in the bags. I will check that they all have enough in them. Next we will seal them.
 
Step 5: I normally put a small message on a circular piece of paper that I will glue the lolly bag shut with. This year it says 'Thank you for attending Joshua's 2nd birthday party'.
 
 I need to cut out enough so I have one per lolly bag.

Step 6: Now I fold the lolly bags in half and glue the circular message on the back of each lolly bag. Allow an hour or so for them to dry.

 Back view
 
 Front view
 

Step 7: I normally put them on a serving tray and place them near the front door. That way I can give them to our guests as they leave the party and thank them for attending.

Lady Creativity

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