needle and thREAD: Lunch Bags and Poultry

We had lunch bags last year,  Actually, we probably still have them, but they’re in a box somewhere in the basement.  So when I bought our little bento-style lunch kits, I needed something to put them in.  And bags that could be thrown into the wash seemed just about right.


I used the pattern from this tutorial but didn’t bother with oilcloth.  I had these old, green curtains (just call me Fräulein Maria) which had ties on the top.  To make sure they were all different– we can’t have Owen and Moriah mixing up their lunches!– I put other fabric panels in two of them.


It was just the easy project I needed right now.  My mom, on the other hand, agreed to make doll clothes.

I’ve been reading some backyard poultry books my friend Kathie passed along.  The Luttmans’ Chickens in Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide makes me think poultry will be messier than I thought.  Who was I kidding?  Next up: ABC of Poultry Raising.

For more needle & thread, check out In the Heart of My Home.
needle and thREAD

6 thoughts on “needle and thREAD: Lunch Bags and Poultry

  1. Meat chickens or egg layers? We raised 25 chickens for meat last year and it was a great experience. It was a bit messy though, and after brooding in our garage we moved them to a friend’s farm where they lived very luxurious lives, for meat chickens that is. So, I admit, I didn’t have the mess right in my back yard.


    • Did you process them yourself? Or did you have someone else do that? How did your kids participate/think about that?
      We plan to have egg layers. “Working pets” Sam calls them.


  2. Great idea for the lunch bags. Chickens do NOT have to be messy. My best advice, just at the moment is not to try straw. Straw goes everywhere and IS messy. Once the grass is gone in the coop/run area, you can use pine shavings or sand (can be raked, like cleaning a cat litterbox) and pine shavings or fallen, dried leaves as bedding in the hen house itself. But straw is messy. And, in our experience, the only bedding that was smelly as well.


    • I was reading about sand– how often do you have to change it out altogether? And what do you do with it then?
      We can’t really order chicks this fall, so if we want chicks, it will be chicks in the spring. How feasible would it be to do chicks and started pullets (chicks for the kids, pullets for my eggs) and then integrate them later?


      • I’m not 100% sure about the sand as I’ve never done that method. But chickens only have one “vent” so their urine and feces is all one “solid” clump. I’d think you could just rake it out and never change out the sand. You can compost the poop – it makes GREAT fertilizer once it ages/decomposes. We’ve been using a two-bin compost tumbler here in Texas. I think the heat an humidity helps but I think you’d turn chicken poop into black gold very quickly in one even in Denver. The poop would be a green – so if you are getting lots, toss in some pine shavings or dried leaves. Also – about composting in a tumbler bin – I think it’s best to leaves sticks out of it (piles too, really), they just take too long to break down in a backyard bin.

        Chicks and pullets at the same time is doable, but for me, I’d rather not manage it. Once they are the same size they could be put together without a problem. But until then (so for a good 4 months at least) they will see themselves as two separate flocks and the older ones will pick on the young ones. They would need separate everything… housing, feed & water, time ranging in the yard, etc. For me, it would be too much to manage them separately for months… I’d just do one or the other. Because you want the babies, I’d just get chicks. It’s fun to watch them grow. We did spring chickens every time, but I had a friend who got chicks in the fall one year. I thought it was smart because they have to be housed under a heat lamp until they have feathers whether it is spring or fall, and it just seemed more efficient to do it in the fall to me. It really doesn’t matter… it’s a the same wait at any time of the year.


  3. Oh – baby chicks can be messy – they somehow manage to make everything dusty. Raise them outside in your garage or somewhere you don’t care about being dusty (not your office, like we did the first time). Or get started pullets – if they have feathers they don’t need any kind of heat lamp and will be fine outdoor right off the bat. One last tip – if you get chicks, order them in the fall so that come warmer weather in the spring, they are big enough to be in their coop, and will start laying much sooner. If you get chicks in the spring, you won’t see eggs until August or September.


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