Raw Milk Part 2 and Whipped Cream Cake

This is a continuing post about my journey with raw milk. Hopefully you are thinking about processed milk and beginning to question some of the decisions food safety experts make where your food is concerned. I am not against safety measures to protect me from food born illness. I do believe the animal producing the food should be part of that safety and quality process. Happy cows = happy cheeses and milk!
So you think you might like to know your local dairy farmer? Maybe set up a cow share with your neighbors? Awesome! Here is how my set up works!
I pick up 1/2 to 1 gallon of milk each Saturday from a family dairy with 3 Jersey Cows. It is self service. I put my cash in an envelope. I mark down the number of jars I am returning and place them on a rack. The envelope has my name, amount paid, jars returned, and any other comments I need to leave such as change in amount of milk I need or vacation dates. My milk is placed in the milking parlor refrigerator into a mason jar with my name on it. The milk looks like this.
Raw or fresh milk looks different. The color is buttery yellow. If the milk has had a chance to sit a couple of hours the cream begins to rise to the top. It is a thick yellowish layer. Being the city slicker I am I had not idea why my milk was so Chunky. So I would vigorously shake it up. Boy do I regret that now!
Now I know the awesomeness that is fresh cream! You can get pasturized milk and still have cream. It is the homogenization process that gives a blended milk. Homogenized milk will not separate to give you a cream top. Now each week when I buy my fresh milk I pour off the cream.
See! The container on the left is milk and the right is all cream! Fresh cream is lightly sweet, buttery and sooo creamy. There are no cooked milk notes, no sour lactic notes, and no cardboard flavors. It tastes fresh and clean. This is the first time I have really had fresh cream. I use it in coffee and baked goods.
The first recipe I tried it in blew my mind! I made Rose's Whipped Cream Cake.
The cake used no butter just cream. The flavor and texture are reminiscent of pound cake with a lighter crumb closer to an angel food and (I am not sure how this is possible) a strong butter flavor. I have made two of these in the last 3 weeks! yikes! It is a quick cake to put together and disappears equally as fast.

Whipped Cream Cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum "Heavenly Cakes"
Serves: 8 to 10
Baking Time: 25 to 35 minutes
This unusual old-time recipe was sent to me by chef Anthony Stella, a restaurateur in Delaware, who asked if I could perform a makeover on it. What intrigued both of us about the recipe was that at first glace it seemed to contain no butter or oil. But on closer analysis, I discovered that the butterfat contained in the cream was more than equal to the usual amount of butter added. My makeover involved a nip and tuck, decreasing the sugar and baking powder and increasing the salt to compensate for the saltiness previously provided by a higher amount of baking powder. I also increased the overall yield by one and a half times and baked the cake in a fluted tube pan to give it an attractive appearance and more center support. The result is a perfectly even and exceptionally moist and tender cake.
Batter Ingredients
Cake Flour or bleached all-purpose flour, sifted (2 1/4 cups/8 ounces/225 grams)
Baking powder (2 teaspoons/2 teaspoons/2 teaspoons)
Salt (3/4 teaspoon/3/4 teaspoon/3/4 teaspoon)
Heavy cream, cold (1 1/2 cups/12.3 ounces/348 grams)
3 large eggs, at room temperature (1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons/5.3 ounces/150 grams)
Pure vanilla extract (1 teaspoon/1 teaspoon/1 teaspoon)
Superfine sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/8 ounces/225 grams)
Special Equipment
One 10-cup fluted metal tube pan, coated with baking spray with flour
Preheat the Oven
Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C (350°F/175°C if using a dark pan).
Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and then sift them together to make the mixture easier to incorporate.
Mix the Liquid Ingredients
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, whip the cream, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla just until lightly combined. On medium-high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The mixture will thicken into mayonnaise consistency (unless high-butterfat cream is used). Gradually beat in the sugar. It should take about 30 seconds to incorporate it.
Make the Batter
Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture and, with a large silicone spatula, stir and fold in the flour until most of it disappears. Add the rest of the flour mixture and continue folding and mixing until all traces of flour have disappeared. Using a silicone spatula or spoon, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Run a small metal spatula or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth the surface evenly with a small metal spatula.
Bake the Cake
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
Cool and Unmold the Cake
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. With a small metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely. The cake requires no adornment, but I love to serve it with a light dusting of powdered sugar or a large dollop of lightly sweetened Whipped Cream (page 115).
Notes: Do not chill the bowl and beaters for the heavy cream because the eggs will not emulsify as readily if the whipped cream is too cold.
High-butterfat (40 percent) heavy cream produces a finer, more tender crumb. This cream is generally available only to bakeries and restaurants, but it is certainly worth asking your local baker to sell you a container.

Kefir


 What is kefir and why would you drink it?
Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage you can make at home using kefir grains. The grains look like cauliflower and are squishy.(Like my very technical lingo?) 

The grains are made up of a community of yeast and bacteria. It has more good gut bugs (probiotics) than yogurt. So I drink it cause it is full of beneficial bacteria, has antioxidant properties, and because it tastes so darn good!
Do not confuse the kefir you buy at whole food market near the yogurt with the kefir that you make with real live kefir grains. The store bought kefir tastes like a drinkable yogurt with a sharp lactic acid bite. Homemade kefir is sweet and creamy, less sour with a bit of a zing. 
See the bubbles?

Store bought kefir  is good... until you taste real kefir. Kefir you make at home using grains is effervescent, sweet with some slight sour notes, and creamy smooth texture.
I use kefir in place of buttermilk. If  i need yogurt I pour it into butter muslin and hang it for 12 hours to drain the whey. For cream cheese hang it longer. Easy peasy no?
So how do you make it?
You place your fresh grains into a clean mason jar and pour dairy milk over it. I like my kefir fizzy so I lightly screw on a cap. Let it sit out over night to ferment. If you prefer a sour lactic bite to your kefir let it ferment longer. Once it is to your liking strain the kefir grains out. Metal is not recommended since some say it upsets the balance of the grain colony.
What you have left behind once you remove the grains is Kefir! At this point it will keep refrigerated for a week. I make about 2 cups worth daily and drink it as soon as it is ready. You can add fruit and sweetener if you like. I do a quick blend in the jar with my immersion blender for a smooth creamy mouth feel. Drinking curdled milk is not appetizing to me so a quick blend really makes a difference.
 Once you have stained out your grains place them in a new clean mason jar and cover with milk. Repeat often!

where can you get real kefir grains? There are many sources on the internet like this one. I got my first batch in the mail.. It took close to a month to get a balanced flavored kefir. I have also shipped partially dried grains to friends but, it takes me a week or so to have enough to share. My first few batches had a very pronounced yeasty/ beer type smell and flavor. Eventually your grains will settle down and the yeast will be less predominate. Just enough to create fizz without smelling like sourdough starter. I drank it anyway. You may have bad batches every so often. I think it is the nature of live food. You can toss those or share them with a pet. My dog LOVES kefir and it has improved his digestion! ( he was on antibiotics and I never thought to re-balance his gut with probiotics)
Don't for get to enter my give- away for a chance to win a $50 store credit!

Cake Slice Bakers: Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting.



For the last week at work I have undergone sensory training. I have eaten every type of chocolate available for purchase. We tasted every variety of milk from skim to buttermilk and a variety of fruits. It was eye opening. I have never equated chocolate with burnt rubber, brown fruit or sour milk. Now I can not help but really analyze the food I am tasting. Did you know people have their tongues insured for this type of career? Did you know tasting food was a career? I think it is waaay coool! I hope to have my tongue insured some day.

Another thing I learned in sensory training is the difference between preferences and actually describing what you are tasting.
With that said- On to this months Cake Slice Bakers top pick Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting!
Here are the facts. The recipe is quick and easy 1,2,3 and you are done. The frosting is super easy-  just heat, combine, and stir. I used Hershey's special dark cocoa and enjoyed the result.
The banana cake is moist with a nice balance of sweet, salty, and a lovely perfumey note from the bananas. I really like this cake and will probably make it again.  The frosting had an upfront sweet note, followed by vanilla flavor, and finally bitter chocolate flavor. The texture I ended up with was more of a doughnut icing than a cake frosting. 

 Given my choice I would top this lovely banana cake with a dollop of fresh whipped cream to compliment the banana flavor. As is this recipe was a good one for both flavor and texture.


Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
Banana Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk*
1½ cups mashed ripe banana

Chocolate Frosting
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk or half-an-half
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

* If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by stirring 1½ teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice into ½ cup of milk and leaving for 10 minutes.

To make the cake, heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to combine well.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla. Beat well for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally until you have a smooth batter.

Using a large spoon, stir in half the flour just until it disappears into the batter. Stir in the buttermilk and then the remaining flour the same way. Quickly and gently fold in the mashed banana and then divide the batter between the 2 cake pans.

Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched lightly in the center, and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pans on wire racks. Then turn out onto the racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the butter, cocoa and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes, until the cocoa dissolves into a dark shiny essence. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at low speed until you have a thick smooth frosting.

To complete the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a cake plate and spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly over the top. Cover with the second layer placed top side up. Spread the rest of the frosting evenly first over the sides and then covering the top of the cake.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
AND don't forget I am having a give away! See my 100th post for info on how to enter!

100th Blog Post and a GiveAway!


Wow I just can not believe I have kept this going for as long as I have!
When I first started this little baking blog I thought it would be a way of making my baking obsession seem legit. I could make it seem like I NEEDED to bake 3 or for cakes a week for RESEARCH and Blog Material. Then I started meeting other bloggers and I realized what a great community we have.
There have been days when a comment really makes me smile or laugh our loud.  So I want to say a big Thank You to all who stop by!  Sharing my morning coffee while checking in on your blogs makes me feel like I am sitting in your kitchens. So in honor of blog friends and my 100th post I am hosting a giveaway! That's right! You will be randomly selected to receive a $50.00 gift certificate at any of the CSN stores.
WOW!  $50.00 dollars to spend any way you want! How do you enter?
You need to be a registered follower of my blog to participate and leave a comment. This is open to bloggers from all countries!. I will use random.org to select the winner.

This giveaway is thanks to the people at CSN stores. Your gift certificate will enable you to select an item at any of their 200 stores! You can choose anything from cookware, bake-ware, baby and kids items, home improvement, or even home furnishings such as barstools to set up your own exclusive entertaining room!

Good luck friends! You have until April 30th to get signed up as a follower. I will post the winner of the $50.00 dollar gift card to be used at CSN stores on May 1,2010!

Milk Part 1

Every Saturday I do something illegal and dangerous.
I drive out to a local farm and purchase unpasteurized cow milk.

Ok so it isn't entirely illegal.- at least not in Oregon.
"Under Oregon state law, commercial dairies are prohibited from distributing raw milk. The only exception is for small operations with three cows or less, which are permitted to sell raw milk on-site but cannot advertise sales or ship off the premises."
The farm I go to is an exception. 
The dangerous part may be true.
There is a huge debate about raw vs pasteurized milk and health benefits vs. health risks.
Why would I risk my life or health to use raw milk?
CHEESE!
Which leads me to how this all started! My friend A and I wanted to make mozzarella cheese. We tried a few batches with store bought milk. We checked the label and steered clear of UHT or ultra Pasteurized products. We barely got curds. We tried powdered milk as recommended in the kit recipe with moderate success. We researched milk companies only to find more batches of failed cheese. You see milk that has been UHT processed is heated to 240-280 so it can sit on the supermarket shelf up to six months depending on the packaging ( this is for aseptic box style packaging)! This Ultra High Temperature processing breaks down the whey protein that is needed to form good curds for cheese making. Not all brands of milk label  UHT pasteurized even if they reach temperatures that break down the whey protein.
At this point I decided to get milk from the source! A quick trip to Google pulled up a list of raw milk "suppliers" in my area and I made a few calls. I was lucky to find a local dairy farm minutes from where I keep my horse. I met the milk maid, the cows, and toured the milking parlor. The milk parlor smelled of bleach and was spotless! A good sign. I signed a waiver saying the milk was only for animal/ pet consumption and bought my first gallon of raw milk.
To be honest I was a bit freaked out by the raw milk. But we had to have at least on successful batch of cheese and this was my last ditch effort.
There is no comparison to the cheese making process using raw milk vs. store bought. Within a few minutes of adding the acid and rennet we had the most beautiful curds we had yet to experience. The process was exactly as explained in the book so we knew we had been doing it right all along.
Now that I have been using raw milk for about 2 months I can not view store bought milk as real milk. From my raw milk I can
  • skim off the cream
  • make butter
  • make buttermilk
  • make cheese
  • make whipped cream
  • kefir
  • yogurt
For those of you who bake there is no comparison for flavor in puddings, custards, and baked goods when using  fresh milk/cream vs UHT.  processed milk/cream. 


    Blackout Cake




    I never had the true Brooklyn Blackout Cake experience. This is a chocolate cake which captures a bit of American history. The story goes that there was a great neighborhood bakery in Brooklyn called Ebinger's. They were famous for the Blackout Cake.
    Legend has it the cake originated during the war when Blackouts were practiced in the city. Ebinger's made this cake famous and baked it for 74 years. Then one very sad day the Bakery closed its doors and the recipe was sealed in a vault by the family. Rumor has it that Entenmann's tried to buy the recipe but the family kept the secret and refused to sell out. Occasionally a newspaper article will pop up claiming to reveal the top secret recipe for blackout cake but those lucky brooklynites who grew up with the sweet treat have yet to give approval to any of the so called authentic recipes. sightings of ex Ebinger bakers or family members are as elevated as Elvis sightings. Each new sighting or recipe brings excitement and anticipation of a cake so delicious it may only exist in memory.
    After much research and recipe comparisons  I've been able to gather the cake is a moist, deeply chocolate flavored cake filled and surrounded with chocolate pudding and coated in a chocolate crumb crust. I did not choose to bake one of the Ebinger Blackout Cake recipes. I went with a classic American cocoa cake and a classic American cocoa pudding found on my Hershey's cocoa tin. It is still a Blackout Cake and may be the stuff of legends once your friends have a slice. So until the mystery of Ebingers famous recipe for Brooklyn blackout cake  is solved I think we will just have to keep baking!
    Do you have a bakery from your past that has great memories or a most loved recipe? Mine is a place called The Goody Bakery. It was located in South Miami. My dad used to take me there after preschool and I would get a giant sugar cookie decorated like a smiley face.

    Hershey's Black Magic Cake

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour - I used cake flour for a more tender crumb
    • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
    • 1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:

    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

    2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

    * To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.


    Hershey's Chocolate Pudding
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2-1/4 cups milk
    • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Whipped topping(optional)

    Directions:

    1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk.

    2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into individual dessert dishes. To avoid a skin from forming on top, press plastic wrap directly onto surface; serve warm or refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired. 4 to 5 servings.

    MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:
    1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in large microwave-safe bowl; gradually stir in milk.

    2. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture comes to full boil, stirring every 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into dishes and serve as directed above.

    To Assemble the cake
    Level the baked cakes. Use the cake scraps or baker snacks ;) to make a crumb coating for the cake.
    If you have tall enough cake you can half each one for a 3 layer cake and use the 4th layer to make the crumb coating for the cake.
    Place 1/2 cup of pudding in between each layer and the top of the cake. You may cover the entire cake with pudding if you like but this cake is so moist it is fine without it! Cover the top with crumbs from your extra cake layer or scraps. That's all there is too it! I like how simple yet elegant this cake looks.

    Tasting notes: This cake is very moist and tender with a nicely balanced chocolate flavor. Not too sweet. The pudding compliments the cake well. It is sweet and creamy. more in the realm of milk chocolate. I like it as a frosting and will use it again. If I were just using the pudding as a dessert sans cake I would try another recipe. It does not have enough chocolate flavor for me and is a little too sweet as a stand alone dessert - I am more of a dark chocolate fan. Hope you enjoy!


    Lemon Kefir Cake with Lemon Ginger Marmalade


    I was reading through one of my favorite baking books, "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan, because I have been needing some baking inspiration. The majority of my cakes have been disappointing lately and I was really ready for a quick and successful cake. I love baking from Dories book. It is like working side by side in the kitchen with an old friend. When I got to the French Yogurt Cake with Lemon Marmalade the whole recipe just clicked for me. I had just finished making marmalade so I have plenty on hand. With the weather being really crappy- typical of Oregon this time of year- I decided this cake would be a sunny little burst on a very gloomy day.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Kefir it is a cultured milk product with a taste similar to yogurt but with a slight fizz and yeast flavor. I make my own from kefir grains and raw cows milk ( posts to follow on both topics!). It is more of a drinkable yogurt the consistency of buttermilk so to make it work for this recipe I drained off some of the whey to resemble yogurt.
    This cake is so simple. My only changes were to use kefir instead of yogurt, cake flour since I was all out of AP, and olive oil in place of canola oil.  The batter comes together quickly with minimal amount of dishes piling up. That is always a plus! I baked the cake in a loaf pan for the entire recommended baking time. My cake, though light and incredibly moist, did not rise much. I blame the lack of height on the fact that I quickly gobbled half the loaf before I had finished the photo shoot! Now that's good cake!
    I used 1/2 a jar of my home made Lemon Ginger Marmalade and strained it like Dorie suggests.
    I think next time I will used the stained bits in the cake. The Marmalade glaze is the perfect accompaniment to the cake. The cake itself is lightly flavored with lemon zest and vanilla extract ( I doubled the vanilla per some TWDer's suggestions) I got some fruity notes from the olive oil and more of a ricotta flavor from the kefir. The lemon ginger marmalade glaze adds a balance of sweet, tart, and zesty over the more deeply flavored cake. Like I said I ate 1/2 before i had even realized it! The flavor develops better the second and 3rd day if you can leave it alone that long!

    So thank you Dorie for such a simple and lovely cake. I will make this one again!

    Lemon Kefir Cake with Lemon Ginger Marmalade Glaze
    adapted from the fabulous Dorie Greenspan!
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup ground almonds (or, if you'd prefer, omit the almonds and use another 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup plain yogurt - I used kefir
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - I used 1 teaspoon
    • 1/2 cup flavorless oil, such canola or safflower - I used olive oil


    For the Glaze :

    1/2 cup lemon ginger marmalade, strained
    1 teaspoon water

    Getting Ready:

    1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 81/2-x-41/2-inch loaf pan and place the pan on a baking sheet.
    2. Whisk together the flour, ground almonds, if you're using them, baking powder and salt.
    3. Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and, with your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the kefir , eggs and vanilla and whisking vigorously until the mixture is very well blended. Still whisking, add the dry ingredients, then switch to a large rubber spatula and fold in the oil. You'll have a thick, smooth batter with a slight sheen. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
    4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan; it should be golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold, and cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

    To Make the Glaze:

    Put the marmalade in a small saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl, stir in the teaspoon of the water and heat until the jelly is hot and liquefied. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the cake with the glaze.

    Schicken chicken it's the law.

     I can not believe how fast chickens grow! Here they are at 2 weeks old thwarting my attempts to get an accurate read on the thermometer to maintain precise coop temps. 
     And now just look at them at almost 4 weeks! 
    Here is Lady Ezmeralda Marmalade. Such a diva with her feather boa!  
    Next up we have a little speckled Sussex with no name. look at those shoulder pad like wings. she reminds me of those 1980's fashions. A very chic chick!
    And last but not least our top hen - Amanda ( she just reminds me of my friend Amanda. Maybe it is the eye liner? (shhh dont tell Amanda I named a hen after he! It will be our little secret!)
    Amanda was the first to escape the coop/ horse feed bin so coop building is a VERY high priority.
    Luckily Scout was on duty!
    Sigh. He is so dedicated to those hens! Definitely time to get them  into a hen house!

    So I got my chickens before looking into the local law about keeping livestock in the city limits. One of my neighbors keeps chickens so I figured it MUST be legal.  It did not take long for curiosity to get the better of me and I found a web site with a really good list of chicken laws. It says Eugene, OR. A maximum of 2 hens, no roosters, kept 20 feet from dwellings. hmmm. well I have 3 but I am still waiting to determine if they are all hens. And I may loose one to a predator so we will say I am within the legal limit of chickens. The 20 feet will take some tape measure work to determine placement of the coop and yard.
    And speaking of chicken coops! I ordered one off of amazon and boy is it cute!

    I started with the idea of building my own and after pricing the wood, roofing, and fencing I realized the 450$ and up prices for premade coops at the feed store were not that bad. Then, still unable to bring myself to pay nearly 500.00 for a coop, I mean come on! It is a place for chickens to poop. How nice should it be? I found very reasonably priced coops on amazon of all places. Is there anything they don't sell? So If I can do this any one of you can too! I will keep you updated on my adventures in Urban Chicken Farming!