Monday, April 30, 2012

Slice of Life - a Video Reflection

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers


Running behind today and thinking about how to write a slice of life on the same night as grad school, research paper writing, studying for finals, etc. Decided on a video instead. Just a short one on reflection at school year’s end.

By the way – those of you that record video blogs in public are my new heroes. (Mr. Schu, Mr. Sharp, I’m looking at you here.) I’ve never felt quite so foolish as when I was speaking to my phone in the middle of a field as college students walked behind me likely wondering what I was doing.J


30 Roosters, Really?

by Margaret E. Kellogg

Hens will lay eggs without having a rooster, so how does one end up with 30 roosters? Well, we started out with one rooster, a Rhode Island Red named George. Then, when we obtained some Light Brahma chicks from the feed store, I got a rooster. They always say that there is a 10% chance when you purchase pullets that you will get a cockerel. He was the only chick that survived out of four chicks and we named him Scratch. We have since lost him and George. However, Scratch left us a legacy.

Scratch, the only egg that hatched out of eight.
A Silkie hen adopted him.
When I decided to incubate eggs, I got one chick out of eight eggs. He was black, but because he had feathered legs, I knew who his daddy was. He grew to be a big black rooster named Gus. His mom had to have been a Black Australorp.

Because I was new to incubating, I loaded up the incubator again. This was a lovely hatch rate. From this batch, six out of seven hatched, and I ended up with two more roosters. Of course, Scratch was the dad. I kept three of the six because I thought I had two hens and a rooster when, in fact, I had two roosters and a hen.

Gus, the adult
Slick was a beautiful, mostly white rooster, instead of a hen. It wasn't until he took off running across the yard one day that I realized he was a rooster instead of a hen. I have to say that he and Gus are a couple of my favorites. They will let you hold and pet them, but when you let them go, they run goofy and can be about as dumb as a rock.

Screach is also one of Scratch's offspring and out of the same batch as Slick. It was obvious that he was a rooster within the first few months. Silk is a beautiful Light Brahma looking hen, although I'm not sure who her mother was for her to look like a true Light Brahma.


Slick is challenging Elvis,
our Polish Rooster.
Then there is Elvis, our beautiful Blue Polish rooster. He survived a dog attack in which there were at least 30 chicks in the same area. The neighbor's dog managed to get in to the area that contained my babies and he killed all but about three ... and Elvis was a survivor.

Let me tell you, he is one of the fastest roosters we have. If he doesn't want to be caught, we are hard-pressed to get a hold of him. He has fathered a few chicks and somehow I have ended up with an Elvis Jr. that looks just about like him. And we ended up with an Elvis III who is a bit darker ... but nonetheless is a rooster.

Mr. Frizzle
We have Mr. Frizzle, who is a Frizzle Cochin and he has been the father of quite a few ... but he produces more males than females, so there are several Frizzle-mixed Cochins. Some look like regular Black Cochins without the frizzle. Some have frizzle with white or rust collar feathers.

That's how I all got all the little roosters. I have had a few hatch that I thought were hens until they started crowing.

Most of the time, it takes 5 months for the birds to mature enough to be able to crow, unless they figure it out from the rest of the boys.

Recently, I discovered a Silkie-Easter Egger mix and thought it was a hen until he started crowing. He is quite sweet. He has a beautiful brother that is red and black with a black beard. His name, of course, is Black Beard.

This is my main crew that I plan to keep. They all get along very well. Sometimes, the little guys get to scrapping, but that is usually minor. I also have Silkie roosters. One black and one white, but I keep them with their girls separate from everyone else.

I have a couple little Red Jungle roos and they are very small but have big attitudes, and I like to keep them safely penned as well, because of the flying predators. I think they have their own pecking order, and that's why they live mostly harmoniously.

I love my roosters. I can pick them up and handle them without them attacking or being aggressive. I can say this about all of them but one. His name is Vanilla Bean. Cutest little guy ... with a big rooster aggression. He's the only one that's mean out of all of them; he pecks my ears and even got me in the eye, so I have to watch out for the vicious kanib.

Even though they all get along pretty well, I don't need 30 roosters to get the job done, so I'm looking to place at least 20 of them.

Vanilla Bean

50 Chickens and a Bird Dog

by Jennifer Sartell

French Black Copper Maran Chicks
Right now at Iron Oak Farm, we have baby everything! Baby chicks, baby ducks, baby goats, and even a puppy!

It can be a challenge coordinating all the needs of these growing animals at once, but it's a job that I cherish and wouldn't trade for the world. One of the biggest challenges is trying to fit a growing and curious dog into a farm filled to the brim with prey animals.

Oliver
This blog is not necessarily meant to encourage people to bring their dogs around their chickens, but with some simple training, it can make life easier, and in case there's an accidental encounter, it can save some birds' lives. I am by no means a dog trainer. This is just what we’ve done with our dogs, and it seems to work. All dogs, breeds of dogs, and owners have different situations. We never leave our dog around our chickens unattended, no matter how well he’s proven himself. 

This post will mainly be about what we're doing to train our new puppy, Oliver, but I am a firm believer that you can teach an old dog new tricks. If you’ve recently adopted an adult dog, or if you’re bringing home chicks to a canine companion that’s been with you for years, there are things you can do to make the relationship better.

Breed vs. Training
According to a Google search, the Komondor seems to get the most votes for "best dog breed to have around chickens." It is a large Hungarian breed with a distinctive "cord" coat that resembles a mop head. It was bred to defend livestock and, according to owners, takes its job very seriously, needing a firm and knowledgeable trainer. But for the rest of us, who don't have a Komondor sleeping at the foot of our beds each night, there's still hope.

My first chicks with our golden retriever, Beau (I was 14, ha!)
As a family, we've had an array of different dogs over the years: a terrier mutt from a shelter that was one of the sweetest dogs I'll ever know, a German shepherd that wandered into the yard pregnant and abused and never left us, and a Lhasa apso/poodle that the neighbor didn't want. (She had crooked teeth and was allergic to everything, but we loved her just the same.) Along with this lovable ragtag team, for more than 40 years my family has consistently had a golden retriever in our lives. It's been goldens that I've raised most of my chickens around. And even though they are considered a "bird dog," goldens were bred to retrieve a dead bird, not necessarily "hunt" one and kill it. We've had great success raising chickens with golden retrievers, and never had an attack or an injury.  But I don't attribute this success to breed alone.

Ceddie in the chicken coop
Some dogs have an instinctively higher prey drive, and it's important to do research before bringing any animal into your home. With that being said, I found testimony and examples of many dog breeds that have been successfully raised around chickens. With proper training, many dogs can grow up with chickens without constant fear of attack. In some cases, dogs can even be trained to protect chickens from predators, and have been known to "mother" baby chicks. 

Baby Steps
I read somewhere, that it takes 75 times for a command to really stick with a dog. So keep in mind that patience and short sessions of daily, persistent training are going to pay off in the long run. I constantly have dog treats in my pocket to reward good behavior. (I just have to remember to clean out my pockets before throwing them in the wash.)

First and foremost, our goal is not to scare the daylights out of our new baby chicks or ducklings. A giant rushing dog can literally scare a baby animal to death. Chicks or even adult chickens can have heart attacks pretty easily, so keep that in mind.

Oliver meeting the chicks
When Oliver was very little, we started out by holding him close to the chicks, letting him smell them and learn what they were. When he would start to fuss and wiggle to get closer, we took him away. That way he learns that when he behaves well, he gets to get closer ... and when he misbehaves, he doesn’t get to see them at all.  

We try to speak calmly and not use an anxious or excited voice. Even as a puppy, Oliver will pick up on this energy and will learn that chickens equal hyper. I try to keep quiet and just act as if nothing is happening. We try not to scold or yell when Oliver is behaving badly. This way he doesn't learn to resent the chickens. Resentment or jealousy can lead to other issues, like attacking the chickens to get attention. Anxious or wild behavior is corrected with a deep, firm "no" and then he is removed.

We also don’t encourage chase games, even when the chickens are not involved. We don't want him to associate "chasing" or "catching us" with fun and rewards.

Oliver watching the show
Now that he is getting a bit bigger, we are allowing Oliver a "through the fence" approach to the chickens. When he bolts we tell him “no” and move him away from the fence until he has calmed, then give him a reward. We only allow “through the fence” interaction at this point, because he is still very young and not fully vaccinated.

As he gets older, we will progress to just having him on the leash. Already, he is losing interest in the chickens. Where it used to be fascinating for him, he barely notices them unless someone is squawking or being particularly flighty.

Ceddie looking for eggs
Our last dog, Ceddie, would let the chickens land on him, pick bits of this and that out of his fur, and I could trust him to come in the coop with me to collect eggs. I hope Oliver can have that same relationship, as it made life so much easier for us.    

Keeping Our Dog Healthy as Well
When raising chickens and dogs together, while it’s important to protect our chickens from being attacked, it's also important to protect Oliver's health as well. All of our dogs have considered chicken poo a delicacy. They are true connoisseurs, and if they could talk, could probably recommend a wine complement. And while it's a disgusting habit, our adult dogs have never had any known health problems associated with this weird tendency. That being said, it's not something to encourage, and it's definitely not a good idea for a puppy to ingest droppings.

No, Mom, I wasn't digging.
Always talk with your vet first. Ask when is a good time to allow your puppy around your chickens. Discuss worming options, risk for parasites or protozoa infections like coccidiosis, talk about vaccination options for diseases like listeria, and keep current with wellness exams and fecal tests.

We keep Oliver's play area and his spot to relieve himself away from the chickens, on the opposite side of the yard. We also keep our barn shoes away from his access so he doesn't chew on contaminated soles, and wash our hands after handling the chickens and before petting Oliver or handling his food or toys. 

Oliver
Happy Dogs, Happy Chickens
While proper training and healthy, supervised interaction are important, a well-exercised and stimulated dog can make all the difference. Boredom and pent-up energy can be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode on a flock of flapping chickens. Lots of exercise, plenty of fun, interesting toys and positive games can leave a dog satisfied and less ready to pounce on poor Henrietta.

I also try to avoid buying toys that are reminiscent of a chicken. The pet stores and even hunting supply stores sell some pretty realistic stuffed dog toys. I'm not sure if dogs make that connection, but why take the chance?

Remember that not all dogs are a great match for chickens. As a dog owner, I have a responsibility to my other animals and to my neighbors' animals to make sure that everyone is healthy and safe. Leashes go a long way, and proper fencing and secure housing is also important.

Ceddie and the Speckled Sussex
Talk to a Professional
If this is your first time raising dogs and chickens, or if you're simply not comfortable going at it alone, another option is to speak with a dog obedience trainer. Many of the pet supply stores and doggy day-cares offer obedience and socialization classes.These people can give you advice on how to train your specific dog. They can do an evaluation of your dog's personality, and work with you one-on-one to reach your goals.

With some time, effort and common sense, I've found raising both dogs and chickens to be a rewarding endeavor. The presence of both in our lives completes the feeling of home on our farm.   

To read more about our baby animals visit www.ironoakfarm.blogspot.com.


A Happy and Proud Hatching Day

by Jennifer Burcke

The welcome sign is always out on the coop at 1840 Farm. It usually welcomes guests to our farm. This week, it will be welcoming our new batch of day-old chicks.

The big day has finally arrived! Today is the hatching day for our new chicks. We’ve been waiting for this day to come for several months now. We’ve been talking about and planning for these chicks since January. In a few short days, we’ll finally be able to welcome them to their new home.

In so many ways, it seems like old news that we are chicken keepers here at 1840 Farm. Yet, we have only had chickens for 18 months. In the grand scheme of things, it is an incredibly short amount of time. I guess it is the weight of our decision to become chicken keepers that makes it seem as though they have been here for such a long time.

The seven hens that call our coop home have changed us in so many ways. Before they arrived, I would have called myself a gardener. Now I wear the title “farmer” with immense pride. Somehow, “gardener” just doesn’t suffice anymore. Once you begin tending to the daily needs of a flock of hens and collecting the resulting fresh eggs, “farmer” just seems more appropriate. 

Not only did our hens transform our family into three generations of proud family farmers, but they inspired us to think bigger. They showed us that we could handle more on our farm than we would have ever dreamed possible. The hens inspired us to add a herd of dairy goats to our farm. One short year later, we have experienced the birth of our first goat kids and the daily pleasure of beginning our morning milking in the quiet of the barn. 

It’s really quite amazing that seven heritage breed hens could teach us so much without ever uttering a human word. They didn’t have to. With every egg they left us in the nest box, we were reminded that nature, when properly tended to, holds the power to return the favor tenfold. It was amazing to see that scraps from the garden and a bowl of warm oatmeal could be transformed into delicious fresh eggs. Being entertained by their antics each day was merely a bonus. 

Now, as we prepare to welcome the newest and smallest members to our farm, I can’t help but think of the day in 2010 when the first chicks arrived. We had no idea what to expect when we opened their shipping box. Everything we knew about chickens had come straight from reading books and blogs just like Community Chickens in the months before their arrival.

We read earnestly, looking for information from chicken keepers and experts alike. We visited neighbors who kept chickens to see how they had outfitted their coops. We talked to people we knew who had kept chickens in the past. We willingly and gratefully accepted advice and encouragement from every direction. We hoped that we knew what we were doing and that we wouldn’t make too many mistakes. We hoped that we wouldn’t regret choosing to add chickens to our farm.

We did make mistakes. Some were due to our inexperience; some were simply a matter of the trial and error that goes along with everyday life. Each mistake taught us something. Each misstep led us down the path of learning on the job and brought us closer to becoming experienced chicken keepers. 

We’re still learning every day. The hens have taught us about egg production, calcium needs, molting, and how to cope with living through a hurricane by eating fresh eggs on the grill every night. I can honestly say that we have yet to experience a moment of regret regarding our decision to add chickens to our daily lives. Instead, we take immense pride in our chickens and our role as their keepers. Maybe that's why we choose to welcome visitors to 1840 Farm by drawing their attention to our coop and its welcome sign.

While tending to our chickens every day has become a common activity, we are just as excited about the arrival of these day-old chicks as the last batch. My children have been counting off the days for months. First the proclamation was the number of months until they were hatched. Then months turned into weeks and finally to the number of days until we arrived at today’s hatching day.

Now that the day is here, I will summon the knowledge gained in the fall of 2010 to prepare for the arrival of these chicks. I’ll make sure not to be midway through a session with the canning pot this time. Instead, I’ll be outside working to prepare our raised beds for planting this summer’s garden. 

I’ll be ready to jump in the truck and go retrieve the chirping package from the local post office as soon as the phone call comes. When we return, these chicks will be introduced to the warm environment of the brooding pen that will be their home for the next few months. The food will be waiting; the water and apple cider vinegar will be flowing. The heat provided by the brooder will be ready to comfort them after their long and arduous journey to 1840 Farm.

My children will be close at hand while this process unfolds. They will take an active role and learn how to handle the day-old baby chicks from the moment they arrive. As I watch them, I will hope that as adults they will chose to be chicken keepers and also to teach another generation how to do so. I will hope that they will share their lifelong knowledge with friends, neighbors and family.

After the baby chicks have been welcomed to 1840 Farm, we will observe them for a few moments and then leave them to acclimate to their new surroundings. Then we’ll mark the time on the clock, and prepare to make the next chick check two hours later. Each time, my children will come along with clipboard in hand to document the temperature in the brooding pen, the activity and health of the chicks, and any changes that we make to their environment.

By performing these simple tasks, my children are proudly claiming their place as sixth-generation New England farmers. They are committing to memory how to care for a flock of chickens from birth to laying hens. As adults, they will not need to consult a book in order to learn how to prepare the brooder or tend to the daily needs of their hens. Instead, they will only need to draw on the experiences that they are collecting right now.

Hatching day will be a happy occasion here at 1840 Farm. A collection of new chicks will emerge from their shells and begin their journey to our home and our hearts. Two children will begin their formal education as chicken keepers. They will grow and learn together taking turns occupying the role of teacher and student respectively. Me? I'll be the proud mother hen watching the beautiful story unfold.  


I know that you are as proud of your flock and coop as we are. All of us at 1840 Farm would like to help you welcome guests to your family's home in the same way that we do. One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a handpainted "Welcome to our Coop" wooden sign to proudly display on their coop. The winner's sign will be handcrafted at 1840 Farm and customized with the year that their coop was established.

To enter, simply leave a comment below with the year that your coop was (or will be) established. You can earn a second entry by commenting on my post announcing this drawing on Facebook. Finally, for those of you on Pinterest, you can pin this story to your own Pinterest board, mention that you have done so in your comment below, and earn a third entry.

Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 6, at midnight. I will use www.random.org to select a winner and announce them in my Community Chickens post and on Facebook next Monday, May 7, 2012. Good luck to all who enter!

To make sure that you don't miss any of the excitement, giveaways or unending supply of cute photos of baby chicks during the A Year in the Life at 1840 Farm Series, follow us on Facebook to read the daily news from the coop at 1840 Farm.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

There's More Than One Way to Boil an Egg!

by Rebecca Nickols

This past Easter my daughter said that she had seen a link on the Internet on how to make a hard-boiled egg in the oven. She said that it was supposed to be a fast and easy way to boil an egg. I simply said, "That's interesting." What I was really thinking was: "What's hard about boiling water?" It did spark my curiosity, though, and we decided to give it a try. When I Googled the instructions for baking an egg, I found that people have tried numerous methods to make a hard-boiled egg, and I decided to try them all!

Number 1: On the Stove

To make the perfect hard-boiled egg the traditional way (in a pot of boiling water), here's a few tips:
- Use your oldest eggs (at least 2 weeks old).
- Place the eggs in cold water in a pan and bring the water to a boil.
- Turn the heat off and the leave the eggs in the hot water for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.
- Peel and enjoy!

Number 2: In a Crock Pot

- Place eggs in a slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover the eggs.
- Cook on low for 3 1/2 hours.




This was definitely an easy method, but I wasn't too impressed with the outcome. The eggs were very difficult to peel and the yolks were hard and had that unappetizing green ring. The scientific term for that greenish color is ferrous sulfide and it appears when the eggs are cooked at too high of a temperature; the iron (ferrous) in the yolk reacts with the sulfur in the eggs whites.

Number 3: In the Microwave

- Fill a bowl with enough water to cover the top of the eggs. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Remove the eggs and heat the water in the microwave to boiling.
- Add the eggs to the boiling water and cover the bowl with a plate.
- Cook on medium for 8 minutes.
- Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.

I have to admit I was a little timid to try this method. I was envisioning an exploding egg and the mess that I would have to clean. I did have a couple of the eggs crack, but fortunately they stayed contained. The eggs that didn't crack were easy to peel and tasted delicious!



Number 4: In the Dishwasher

- Place the eggs on the top rack of the dishwater.
-Run at the highest possible temperature setting.

This method turned out more like a poached egg than a hard-boiled egg.






I'm not a fan of the texture or taste of poached eggs, but you could add a few eggs to the dishwasher each night and wake up to a perfect poached egg (and a load of clean dishes)!







Number 5: In the Oven

- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the eggs in a miniature muffin pan (I got that tip from this site, The Burlap Bag).
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.

The eggs did look a little odd when I first removed them from the oven ... The shells were covered with brown spots that disappeared when I immersed them in the cold water. After I peeled the eggs, I noticed that they still had what appeared to be burnt spots on the egg whites. The discoloration had no affect on the taste ...

This was actually the easiest method of them all! The yolks were a perfect color (without the green ring) and the taste was delicious!

Much to my surprise, I will be making hard boiled eggs in the oven again! Has anyone ever tried this method or another unusual way to boil an egg? I'd love to hear about it in a comment below!

To see what else is happening on our Southwest Missouri property, visit ...the garden-roof coop.

It's Monday! What are you reading?


I’m joining Jen & Kellee (and many other bloggers) in discussing what we are reading this week. Join us! Go to their site and link up your own blog.


Man alive – I still didn’t finish Crow. That shouldn’t be an indication that the book isn’t wonderful, it is. More like it shows how crazy your life is at the end of a school year and as I prepare for my own finals and write final papers as well. Ugh! Only a few books read this week but lots of reading was accomplished:
·      Blog on reading, running, and teaching
·      Twitter – daily. Sometimes hourly.
Facebook – ditto.
·      Magazines – Midwest Living, Better Homes and Gardens
·      Book responses from my students – online and in their journals
·      Articles online like this oneabout Pearson and their stranglehold on testing
·      And a few books – see below (an * by any favorites.)
o   Waterless Mountain Laura Adams Armer
o   The Curious Garden Peter Brown *
o   Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
o   Nate the Great Marjorie weinman Sharmat (* a reread)

This week I really want to finish Crow and The One and Only Ivan – reading that one with my boys. Grad school two nights, three little league games, and one open house conspire to make it a tough week but we will muster through!

Have a great reading week everyone!
Katherine

2-Day EPL Weekend Special LIVE:





Yesterday's EPL Results:


15:00:


Stoke City 1 Arsenal 1
This match was played at The Britannia Stadium, as Stoke hosted 3rd placed Arsenal.


Striker Peter Crouch broke the deadlock in the 9th minute from a deadly header.


Deadly header: Crouch heads past Szczesny to score for Stoke against Arsenal.
'Player of the Year' striker Robin Van Persie equalised for Arsenal, 6 minutes later to make it 1-1.

Van Persie scores his 27th goal in the EPL this season to make it 1-1 against Stoke after 15 minutes.

Pure delight: Robin Van Persie celebrates his goal against Stoke with midfielder Tomas Rosicky.
This is how the match finished. 1-1.

Arsenal stay in 3rd place, with Stoke are in 14th place.




Wigan Athletic 4 Newcastle United 0
This match came from DW Stadium as Wigan hosted 4th placed Newcastle who are fighting for a Champions League qualification place.
Winger Victor Moses scored in the 13rd minute to give Wigan an early lead.
He doubled the lead, 2 minutes 


Swansea City 4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4


Sunderland 2 Bolton Wanderers 2


Everton 4 Fulham 0


West Bromwich Albion 0 Aston Villa 0


17:30:


Norwich City 0 Liverpool 3




Today's EPL Matches:

Chelsea vs QPR: LIVE at 13:30pm

Tottenham Hotspur vs Blackburn Rovers: LIVE at 16:00pm


Chelsea vs Wigan:

Team Line-ups:

Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole, Mata, Essien, Lampard, Sturridge, Torres, Kalou.
Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Ramires, Drogba, Malouda, Meireles, Hutchinson.


QPR: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo, Mackie, Barton, Derry, Buzsaky, Cisse, Zamora.
Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Campbell, Traore, Young, Smith, Wright-Phillips.

Live Commentary:

0: The referee blows the whislte to start this match-up at Stamford Bridge.
Former room-mates Roberto Di Matteo and Mark Hughes are the opposite managers in the dugout today. 
1: GOAL!
Daniel Sturridge takes a stinging drive from 20 yards out which spins and swerves past Paddy Kenny.

Chelsea players mob Daniel Sturridge after his 20-yard opener in the first 45 seconds of the match against QPR.


Dream start for Matteo and Chelsea.

13: GOAL!
Corner whipped into the box by Mata for John Terry who is unmarked.... He heads the ball past Kenny into the net. 
2-0, and Terry waves his hand in the air, (something to do with his dismassal on Tuesday against Barca) before patting his badge.

Defender John Terry heads the ball past Paddy Kenny to make it 2-0 to Chelsea against QPR.
He's earnt it: JT thanks the fans for their continued support after what happened on Tuesday.



18: GOAL!
Fernado Torres is played through in-front of goal and like his goal against Barcelona on Tuesday, gets past the keeper before slotting the ball in the far right corner of the net. 3-0, and it is probably home and dry for Chelsea.


3-0: Torres gets past Kenny with ease before slotting the ball into an empty net.



23: Chelsea are pasing the ball well and ensure ensuring QPR do not get any chance.


24: Defender Nedum Onouha heads the ball towards his goalkeeper Paddy Kenny who drops the ball towards open play, but Torres is there and cooly splots the ball into an empty net. 4-0 now and it's not even half-time yet! Poor defending by QPR, and this could get ugly very soon. 

Celebration time: Fernando Torres celebrates his 2nd goal of the day against QPR to make it 4-0.



28: Nice play by Chelsea, with one touch football from Sturridge, Mata and Torres. The ball comes to Lampard who is closed down well inside the box by Paddy Kenny to stop the scoreline being 5-0.


34: Chelsea still pressing for another goal, possession stats show that The Blues are dominating Rangers right now with 70% to 30% in Chelsea's favour.


35: Chelsea fans are booing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand now after the racial allegations involving him and John Terry.

Not surprising, but disgraceful nonetheless.


41: Foul by QPR midfielder Joey Barton on Chelsea forward Juan Mata. Free-kick to Chelsea, as Mata limps on. 
Replays show that Barton stomped on Mata on purpose to stop the dangerous attack. Lucky to get away without a yellow card.


45: The fourth official on the far side indicates that there will be 2 minutes of stoppage time to be added on here. 


45+2: Referee Howard Webb blows the whistle for half-time at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea comfortably lead 4-0 against their West-London rivals QPR who are still in the relegation battle.


2:25:

45: 
Howard Webb waits for Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge to get back on the pitch for Chelsea, and we are now underway for the second half. 
Chelsea 4 QPR 0.


49: Sturridge has the ball at his feet inside the QPR half looking to strike at goal, before slipping on the floor and losing the ball.

51: Full-back Ashley Cole with the ball at his feet, he flicks the ball through the defence to forward Juan Mata who is onside and takes a shot at goal..... SAVE by Paddy Kenny!!

Weak shot by Mata, and it was straight at Kenny who comfortably saved (and held!) the ball.

52: QPR are trying to ensure that Chelsea are not getting the ball, or any more clear cut chances as they did in the first half, by passing the ball around well.

54: Striker Jamie Mackie runs on the ball and takes a shot from 20 yards out which is deflected by defender John Terry towards goal... GREAT SAVE!! by Petr Cech!
It was a swerving ball, and the deflection made it worse for Cech to save.. but it is still a clean sheet for Cech. Still 4-0.

59: Torres takes a shot from just outside the box, but the shot is parried by Kenny.

61: Yellow card given to Joey Barton after a late tackle on Juan Mata. He pretends as if nothing happens, trying to con Howard Webb.
I don't think the best referee in England will fall for that...


64: Juan Mata with a through ball to Fernando Torres who calmy placing the ball towards goal.... GOAL!!!

Fernando Torres places the ball past Paddy Kenny for his 3rd goal against QPR and Stamford Bridge.
It's been a long time coming: Torres celebrates his 3rd goal for Chelsea with their loyal fans.


Torres beats Kenny and completes his hat-trick today.

FACT: That is Fernando Torres' first hat-trick for Chelsea, and his first for over 2-and-a-half years.

5-0 to Chelsea.

67: Chelsea SUB:
Florent Malouda ON
Juan Mata OFF


71: Fernando Torres' stats today:
5 shots, 4 on target, 3 goals
Looks like a £50million striker again.

73: QPR striker Djiribil Cisse has a headed shot which narrowly goes over the bar. Close.

75: Chelsea SUB:
Ramires ON
Salomon Kalou OFF

77:  
QPR SUB: 
Shaun Wright-Phillips ON
Bobby Zamora OFF
Zamora has failed to get into this match at all so far and Wright-Phillips' pace will get Chelsea's defence something to think about.

80: Ramires crosses the ball into the box for Malouda. Ferdinand fails to clear the ball out of danger and Malouda simply powerfully taps in a shot past Kenny to make it 6-0.

Too easy: Florent Malouda scores for Chelsea to make it 6-0 against QPR in the 80th minute.


Destruction by Chelsea, and QPR will feel disgusted now.
'Refunds please'

82: Chelsea SUB:
Sam Hutchinson ON

Jose Bosingwa OFF


Hutchinson replaces Bosingwa to partner John Terry in the heart of defence. 
He had to retire due to a serious injury in 2010 (and he is only 19!), but made a remarkable comeback.


Well done, Hutchinson!
Great example to a rising star like me! Never give up!
 

Anyways,

84: Djirbil Cisse hits the ball low and hard past Petr Cech into the net from a good cross by Onouha.

90: The fourth official signals for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on here at Stamford Bridge.

90+3: The referee blows the whistle for full-time here. 

Chelsea thrash QPR 6-1 with Torres scoring his first hat-trick in over 2 years.
To be honest, they hardly need to get past fourth gear as QPR were poor in defence and attack, with Cisse providing a consolation goal.
Chelsea move ahead of Tottenham who are yet to play against Blackburn later today, while close behind Newcastle in 4th place.

QPR have more problems as they have to play well against Manchester City and Stoke City if they want to stay in the EPL next season.

They stay in 16th place. 


15:35:

Tottenham Hotpsur vs Blackburn Rovers:

Team Line-ups:


Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor.  
Subs: Cudicini, Saha, Giovani, Defoe, King, Livermore, Nelsen.


Danny Rose and Sandro both start for Tottenham.
Jermain Defoe and Louis Saha are the attacking options available for Harry Redknapp on the bench.


Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Marcus Olsson, Formica, Dunn, Lowe, Pedersen, Hoilett, Yakubu.
Subs: Kean, Martin Olsson, Modeste, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Rochina, Goodwillie.

David Goodwillie and Ruben Rochina are both on the bench.
If David Hoilett (pace master, long shot taker) and Yakubu (clinical finisher) can strike up another good performance, they can give Spurs a run for their money.  


16:00: The referee blows the whistle to start the match at White Hart Lane.
Blackburn start the match in 19th place, with Tottenham are in 6th place.


16:45:
Half-time at White Hart Lane.
The home side have dominated throughout and deservedly are ahead at the break.
They were denied a couple of times by the woodwark and the post.
Midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute, after winger Gareth Bale's header hit the crossbar and came back to VDV who hit the ball into the net (but the defender tried clearing the ball to protest).


Rafael Van Der Vaart scores a rebound to put Tottenham ahead against Blackburn.
10th of the season: VDV wheels away to celebrate his goal to put Spurs ahead in a crunch match for a CL spot next season.


18:00:
Full-time here at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham comfortably beat Blackburn Rovers by 2 goals to nil.
Blackburn failed to defend properly and will be happy that they were saved by the woodwork and post on several occasions.
Full-back Kyle Walker scored a 30-yard screamer from a free-kick in the 74th minute to give Spurs all three points at home.

Full-back Kyle Walker hits a superb free-kick from 30 yards out to give Tottenham a 2-0 lead against Blackburn.
Absolutely brilliant: Walker celebrates his amazing goal against Blackburn to cap off a great fortnight after winning the PFA 'Young Player of the Year' award last weekend.








See Kyle Walker's screamer against Blackburn here:






Tomorrow:

Manchester City vs Manchester United: LIVE from 20:00pm at The Ethiad Stadium

The title race is all on this match.
If United win tomorrow, they have virtually won the title with 2 matches left and 6 points ahead of Manchester rivals City.
If City win, then only goal difference will be between the two teams.



19:35:
BREAKING NEWS:


West Bromwich Albion have granted permission for The FA to speak to their manager Roy Hodgson about the England job.