Farewell Chickens

I sold the last of our chickens this week. Over the course of five years The Farmstead has hatched and sold close to 500 laying hens to members of our local community. We have loved giving people the option of adding to their backyard flock without purchasing from a hatchery.

But, I’ll be the first to admit, we got a little out of control. This past summer we had over 200 birds running around, willy nilly, roosting in trees, eating ALL THE PASTURE, basically having a grand ol’ time. With a few different breeds of roosters running around I began to play a big guessing game around what breed of chicken I was selling in addition to guessing on the sex. Because we have a guaranteed hen policy I also spent a big portion of my summer trading people back for their accidental roosters.

Basically, it was a mess.

In the end everyone got happy, healthy birds, but I knew I needed to do something different.

FOCUS.

Roosters were harvested and hens were sold. My coops are empty. Over the course of the next couple weeks I’ll give all the walls a good thorough scrubbing and bleaching. As a farm that has never vaccinated and never medicated I feel good about this. I’m creating a break for whatever germies are living in there to die.

 

And while my coops are resting I’ll be incubating. Through ridiculous luck I found a Cream Legbar breeder in Oregon who will be sending me weekly installments of 18 eggs at a time. The Cream Legbar breed is new to me but I already have a feeling we’re going to get along great. From what I can gather they are:

  • Autosexing (Hooray! No more accidental roosters returns!)
  • Excellent foragers
  • Full of personality
  • Really good layers
  • Layers of blue eggs

Huzzah! They sound perfect right? It’s a big step for us, to focus on just one breed, but one that I know is smart in our continuing effort to streamline. Plus, I kind of love that Gizmo is going to grow up thinking eggs are supposed to be blue.

Speaking of Gizmo, here’s your fix for the day of our deliciously adorable ragamuffin and Peyote. She makes my heart sing.