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Easter Eggs Au Natural-recipes for natural color

Today, we dyed eggs with natural, food based colors and had some really great results. I will admit, that some of them were woefully slow and not too eggciting in the color department, so I added a few drops of food coloring to take them up a notch. This is what we got, using Blackberries, red Cabbage, Spirulina, Paprika, and beets. Fill a 1/2 pint jar (or equivalent size cup) with the food stuffs, chopped up, pour boiling water over it, and let sit about 1/2 hour. Add 2 tbsp of vinegar. For Paprika (which was my fave color) used 2 TBSP Paprika, to 1/2 pint water + vinegar. For the Blackberry colors, smoosh them up.

Au natural takes longer, but the colors (especially on our already multi colored eggs) are beautiful!

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Bad News/Good News- the story of two ducklings

The bad news is that over the weekend we lost power for 5 hours, during the day. It was the most rain and wind we have had in ages and I’m always thankful for the rain. This time of year, I’m in full hatch mode, filling my incubators with fertile eggs. I ended up losing about 12 dozen eggs, in various states of incubation, some only a few days from hatching.

In the past, when this has happened, I tried SO hard to save them. Then, I had some that had just hatched, some in progress. I slept, some, on the couch, with the dog, so I could keep stoking the woodstove, which had eggs, in towels, in casserole dishes piled all around it. All I got in the end was a poor night’s sleep (although Emma Bean is a GREAT snuggler) and a bunch of dead chicks.

This time, I had one Aracona duckling that had hatched a few minutes before we lost power, and one that had started pecking its way out. I covered all the incubators with towels and watched the ducklings progress. The first one was doing ok, not shivering yet, and starting to fluff out. But the second one was stuck in it’s egg. It was starting to get clammy in the incubator and he was struggling to survive with only a tiny hole pecked through.
I started a big fire, finished the pipping by breaking the shell open, removing all the egg goo left on the duck, and toweling it off. Then I put a rack on the wood stove, a towel on a casserole dish, and the just born ducklings in the towel, wrapped up like a little sauna tee pee with a small hole in the top, on the rack. I’d let it sit there until the glass held some heat, then put it on the hearth for a while, over and over again, for 5 hours.

This time, for my efforts I got this

Welcome to Stormy and Windy, who spent the remainder of the evening curled up on my shoulder, under my hair, snoozing!