KW Homestead

Emma & Jason's pasture raised poultry, homesteading thoughts, and wild adventures.

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Pekin & Runner Ducklings Join the Homestead

The first batch of these cute duck babes arrived here this week! They spent the first few days inside (since the outside temperatures dropped to 20 with lots of wind) and they’ve been growing steadily!

The Pekin breed is the breed we raise for meat, and we decided on a few Runner ducks as well, a hilarious breed that stands super tall and looks like they might just fall over at all times! There’s not much cuter than a baby duck!

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Poultry Pricing @ KW Homestead

Looking for an easy way to access all of our product and pricing  information in one place? Here is the PDF for you!

Please feel free to share widely with your family and friends… Thanks for supporting what we do here at KW Homestead!

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How Do You Cook Duck Eggs?

Oftentimes we are asked how duck eggs should be cooked. One of the great things about duck eggs, is that they can be cooked in all the same ways as classic chicken eggs. If you’re interested in seeing a nutritional profile comparing duck eggs and chicken eggs, visit this page on our website. Here are a few more tips:

Fried Duck Eggs

We usually fry our duck eggs over-easy, but duck eggs shine as fried eggs no matter how you cook them. The only difference in cooking duck eggs is that cooking them on medium heat is more effective than high heat (as folks often do with chicken eggs). Since duck eggs have a higher fat content, cooking them on high increases the risk that you might burn the eggs before they’re fully cooked. Another great thing about duck eggs is that the yolks hold together very well when flipping them, so you rarely get a busted yolk. Perfect!

Fried Duck Eggs

Fried Duck Eggs

Scrambled Duck Eggs/Duck Egg Omelettes

Jason particularly enjoys our scrambled duck eggs and omelets. Duck eggs are great for cooking in this way, especially since they hold up better than chicken eggs and retain more texture and flavor when cooked omelette-style. Duck eggs are significantly more flavorful than chicken eggs, and creamier in texture. They’re extra delicious when you add veggies and other yummies to your omelette.

A Lambsquarter, Purple Potato, and Duck Eggs Omelette!

A Lambsquarter, Purple Potato, and Duck Eggs Omelette!

Boiled/Deviled Duck Eggs

Boiled duck eggs are one of Emma’s favorite ways to eat our eggs. We boil them a bit longer than chicken eggs, but we know everyone has their own recipe for boiling eggs. We usually boil them for about 10 minutes and then leave them in the warm water with the pot’s lid on for about 10 more minutes. We always check an egg afterwards just to make sure they’re cooked to our preferences.

In case you love deviled eggs (like Emma does), you’re going to love deviled duck eggs even more! The natural creaminess of the eggs makes all the difference when you devil them! This is Emma’s mom’s recipe for curried, devil duck eggs… The BEST deviled eggs around!

Baking with Duck Eggs

Duck eggs are often touted as being the very best for baking, and it’s totally true! Since we only eat duck eggs these days (no chicken eggs for us), we’ve baked with duck eggs for a long time. The creaminess of duck eggs makes baking with them simply amazing! When you’re baking, you can substitute duck eggs for chicken eggs 1:1.

Duck Egg Drop Soup

This is perhaps the easiest and most unique way to enjoy duck eggs. We make a delicious broth with our chicken bones and make sure that the strained and ready-to-drink broth is very lightly simmering. Then we crack a few duck eggs into a bowl and whisk them so that when we slowly pour them into the simmering broth, they are easily stirred into small pieces with a fast-moving whisk. The whisked duck eggs cook in a matter of minutes and then we like to add peas and other yummy spices! Try this simple and easy recipe for a delicous treat.

Duck Egg Drop Soup!

Duck Egg Drop Soup!

There is always a way to enjoy nutritious and yummy duck eggs!

 

 

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Happy Ducks Come Home

This video is a brief look at the beginning of our ducks’ nighttime routine here on the homestead. After we call “duck, duck, duck!” they come running back to their nighttime space to wait for their evening meal. We just added fresh bedding (consisting of leaves) before this video was filmed, and since ducks are hunters at heart, you can see them searching through the bedding in case any bugs are hiding.

Check out the video below!

 

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Farm Food Friday: Gluten, Flour, & Sugar Free Breakfast Pancakes

I usually skip the simpler carbohydrates if I can, like rice and flour, but that doesn’t make me any less hungry…

After some trial and error, Jason created a fantastic and simple pancake recipe, loaded with calories but low in sugar! What a great and filling breakfast! Plus, it’s fantastic with one of my very favorite foods: grass fed butter.

It’s so simple, you’ll be surprised! You can make these into classic pancakes, or you can take the easy route and bake the batter in the oven as a thicker cake. I enjoy the texture of the baked pancakes better.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium/large sweet potatoes
  • 12 duck eggs (or chicken eggs, if you prefer)
  • 1 banana (a browner one is preferable)
  • Powdered ginger
  • Powdered cinnamon
  • Salt

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Materials:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Potato masher
  • Whisk
  • Mixing spoon
  • 8×11″ oven pan

Directions:

  • Wash sweet potatoes
  • Bake whole sweet potatoes in the oven on 350 until soft
  • Once cool, peel sweet potatoes and place in the large mixing bowl
  • Peel banana and place with potatoes
  • Mash potatoes and banana until moderately smooth
  • Add 1/3 of eggs and mash/stir together until mixed evenly. Add second and third 1/3 of eggs when previous eggs are mixed in properly and do the same
  • Add a pinch of salt and ginger
  • Add a pinch (or more, if desired) of cinnamon
  • Mix thoroughly with whisk, spoon, and masher, attempting to make the mixture as smooth as possible.
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Grease 8×11″ pan and pour in mixture
  • Smooth the top of the mixture
  • Bake on 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a knife can be removed cleanly from cake
  • Enjoy!

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Beware the Label “Free Range”

Everyone knows that poultry labeled as free range is better than poultry that isn’t, right?

Sadly, you might have to think again!

According to the USDA website, which controls and manages food safety and food labeling, all that is required of producers who raise meat labeled as “free range” or “free roaming” is that they must “demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”

So what does this really mean? It means that producers can raise their birds with less than 1 square foot of space each, they can raise them on a concrete floor, under fluorescent lighting, living on layers of their own poop, as long as they have “access to the outside.” Access to the outside can mean a small door that leads to a parking lot, a fenced in concrete slab, or a lovely pasture. You can see the problem here…

Free range or organic doesn’t actually say anything about how humanely the birds are raised, or whether or not they actually ever go outside and enjoy the sunshine, grass, and bugs.

Industrial chicken porch

This is a “porch” in a commercial poultry operation that counts as “access to the outside.” Image from cornucopia.com.

Your best bet as a consumer is to buy locally, and get to know your farmer so you can really be sure of how your meat and eggs are raised!

So what does the life of a truly free range duck look like here at KW Homestead? Check out the video below to see how they live…

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Mama Pigs Love the Woods!

We recently posted about how amazingly well electric netting works for managing livestock and poultry. This video shows you how happy our mama pigs are as they explore their newest wooded area.

You can see that they are snacking away, completely uncaring about if our arrival is accompanied with food. They do a fantastic job of finding delicious treats and slowly clearing space in the forest floor. This gives us a chance to remove small trees and other growths to ensure a sunnier future for that stretch of woods.

Check out the video below, and enjoy the sweet, subtle sounds of being a pig.

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Electric Netting: Managing Animals the Easy Way!

We began our fencing journey solely with cattle panels and chicken wire, and eventually transitioned to electric fencing in places where it made the most sense. We started working with single strand electric, which never worked quite as well as we wanted (except for the cows!), and we decided to make the transition to electric netting for many of our pigs and all of our poultry. It’s the best decision we’ve EVER made here at KW Homestead!

There are so many benefits to working with electric netting… It’s easy to set up and take down, it contains even small piglets and birds, it’s durable and flexible, it never gets tangled (unlike single strand), and many more reasons!

Check out this video to see Jason explaining why electric netting is just the greatest!

 

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Farm Food Friday: Pulled Chicken Tacos with Tomatillos and Cilantro

We are a pretty hungry family, and making food in bulk is a great idea for us. Usually every Saturday we cook 2 of our Red Ranger Chickens, and this week was no different. This time we decided to make pulled chicken for eating tacos with the large pile of ripe and yummy avocados that we always seem to have in the house these days!

Here’s the details… Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole Red Ranger chickens
  • 3 pints of pureed tomatillos
  • 1 or 2 bunches of cilantro (this depends on how much you love cilantro)
  • 2 onions
  • salt, pepper, & garlic
  • cayenne pepper, paprika, & oregano

Materials:

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 large bowl
  • knife for slicing onions and cilantro
  • stirring spoon
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This finished, pulled chicken was a version that we made with some pureed tomatoes added as well.

Recipe:

  1. First part up your chickens, but leave the skin on, folks! So many of the great nutrients are in the skin, and you can always shred the skin into small pieces that will be undetectable once you start eating your tacos.
  2. Place all the parts in your large pot with a little bit of water. We use a large cast iron pot and place the whole thing in the oven on 400, but you could always use your pot on the stove top and simmer the meat until it’s cooked and ready to fall off the bone.
  3. Let your meat cool and then shred it off of the bone (into the large bowl), making sure to remove any cartilage if you don’t want that kind of thing in your tacos!
  4. Add the shredded chicken back to your pot. If there’s a small amount of broth in the bottom of your pot from cooking the chicken, feel free to leave it in there to mix in with the shredded chicken. If there’s a lot of broth, remove some first (but save it and drink it… Yum!).
  5. Slice the onions and cilantro.
  6. Add the onions, cilantro, and tomatillos to the chicken.
  7. Add a small amount of salt, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and oregano, to taste. Keep in mind that the cilantro and tomatillos really carry the dish, and so the spices are just for a little bit of added flavor… You don’t need to get heavy-handed with the spice. Mix everything together well with your spoon!
  8. Place this back in the oven or on the stove top, checking periodically until the onions are soft. Then it’s ready!

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Hand-Painted Bone, Feather, and Shell Puzzle

bone shell feather puzzle for sale

I have always been a lover of bones. So much so, that I ended up studying archaeology (specifically zooarchaeology) for a time, which eventually led me to Jason. So I would say that bones have served me very well!

When my “niece” became a big sister,  I made her a painted puzzle which included bones from various animals, feathers, and shells. I was tempted to keep it for myself. I love the feel of bones, the smell of bones, but most of all, the symbology of bones.

Our bones are with us our whole lives, they make us human, make us whole. They are also on earth longer than we are (in most cases), and I believe they hold something of us when we go. I feel the same about animal bones. That is why I adorn my house and often my body with them. I believe that they reconnect me with the world that we often forget and to our primal, animal selves.

As I grow a little human inside me now, this baby already has their bones. These bones with make them strong, but also because some are still unformed, they will allow this baby to pass out of me into the world we know… Into a world where this baby and I can one day work on a bone puzzle just like this one:

bone puzzle

If you’re interested in a bone, feather, and/or shell puzzle for a loved one in your life, you can email us at ourochreway@gmail.com for more information about ordering your very own puzzle!

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