Monday, September 24, 2012

Farm Fresh Eggs

One of the goals of Maple Hill is to raise chickens for eggs.
Until we move out of suburbia,
I can only learn as much as possible
about these homestead skills that entrance me.
I've read books, watched videos,
but I know that there's nothing like doing
to really learn a craft.

This weekend we visited a woman who has been raising
egg layers for 30 years.
I found Colleen's ad on Craigslist.
The main objective was to buy farm fresh eggs.
We came away with so much more.

Here are some of her ladies, roaming free.



The henhouse was made with some scrap wood,
chicken wire and pvc pipe. 
The hoops are usually covered with plastic,
but the summer sun pretty much deteriorated it.
The larger-wire housing was buried a foot underneath
to prevent predators from enjoying
a chicken takeaway dinner.



There seems to be plenty of room in this enclosure
for bedding, food and water. 
The girls forage during the day
and are supplemented in the evenings.



They are some sweet looking gals.



A bit of shade was a welcome respite.



Colleen also raises milk goats.
After speaking with her about Lil' Guy,
she recommended that I read up on using goat's milk
to help with his allergies.



We were planning on buying 2 dozen eggs,
1 for ourselves and 1 to share with neighbors.
She sold us 4 dozen free-range eggs for five dollars.
Such a deal!
Thankfully, I remembered to bring my own containers.



I didn't realize that after washing eggs,
they must be refrigerated.
The protective "bloom", as it's called,
is removed with cleaning,
and so the porous egg is more vulnerable
to absorbing bacteria.

What a great discovery this farm was.
I'm so grateful to those who are willing
to share what they know.
One day I will be blessed to do the same...

The Chicken Chick


Photobucket

20 comments:

  1. Thank you- I love the chicken yard. Ours are in a large dog pen plus the coop but this could be added for extra room. I never wash the eggs before storing unless they are really super dirty.

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    1. Thanks for the advice! Glad you are enjoying your girls.

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  2. Great post! I enjoyed it. I hope you'll come share this post on my Farm Girl Blog Fest: http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/09/farm-girl-friday-blog-fest-1.html

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  3. I hope you do get to raise your own hens one day...there is nothing like walking to the hen house and having a fresh egg within minutes of being laid. There is nothing like it!

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  4. Beautiful! I've heard of a few people having success with goats milk over cows milk for allergies as well as ear infections. I am hoping for chickens for you.....they really are wonderful. :)

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    1. I need to add that to my research list! I know you enjoy your chickens. And I enjoy your photos of their eggs!

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful farm. Raising chicken for the last year has been incredibly rewarding. I am just starting a new homestead related link up, and would love you to join. If you get a moment, come by and check it out! http://www.simplejoyfulliving.com/2012/09/backyard-farming-connection-bees.html

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    1. I will get right on that! Thanks for visiting!

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  6. That is a great price for that many eggs Daisy! I hope you get to own chickens soon, but in the meantime, you are lucky to have a spot nearby to buy farm fresh eggs :)

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    1. I was paying about $3.50 for a dozen cage-free eggs at the market, but I don't think they are free range, so I'm feelin' a lot better about this!

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  7. In from the barn hop. I hope you get to raise chickens soon. We are new to raising chickens and we just LOVE it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping in. Glad you are enjoying your flock!

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  8. So awesome you got to take a trip to learn a few things and get some fresh eggs too!

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  9. Enjoyed your post. I share your dream, and also have been doing a lot of studying lately. Seems there is a lot to be learned, but I know it will definitely all be worth it. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend!

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  10. Hi again (as a frequent guest of your blog)... I am so happy to have found this post! Your tunnel enclosure is something I hadn't seen before anywhere and I think it would be a great addition to any coop in snow country, like mine. I understand the sun will wreak havoc on any kind of covering/tarp, but even if it was cheapo painters' plastic, this would give the hens an outdoor run during winter - and I am thrilled with that prospect, so thanks for sharing it!
    I'm happy for you with your new hens - I just got mine last year, so I know what a thrill it is! The learning experience is just starting, lol!

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    1. This post was actually about a woman I found locally who raises chickens for eggs. I'm glad it helped you out! Enjoy your girls!

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