Chickens & Eggs
Our chickens are raised mainly for eggs; but also for entertainment and the occasional free-range chicken dinner. Our chickens get the run of all the pastures when the weather is good, and in the winter months the vegetable garden becomes their playpen and run. They have either a range house or their own corner of the barn to lay their eggs, and retire to at sunset; then we shut them in until morning to keep them safe from predators.
We keep Aracauna/Americaunas, some Buttercups, a couple Sumatras, and one renegade Brown Leghorn hen who happened along one day.
Aracaunas or Americaunas lay eggs that range from blue to green in color. The other breeds lay brown or speckled eggs. Not only do our free-range eggs taste better than 'store-bought', they're very pretty!
At left is Bodacious Bob, our Wyandotte rooster. Some of the Wyandotte hens are shown below.
Eggs for Sale: We generally have eggs available all year. Please e-mail or call 515-232-5772 to see what we have available and arrange a convenient time to pick them up.
Brown or white eggs: $3 per dozen Medium-large size, or $3.50 for XLarge-Jumbo.
Blue/green eggs: same
Please note: our eggs really are 'farm-fresh'. If you want to hard-cook them, we recommend allowing them to age at least a week in your refrigerator before boiling them, to make them easier to shell.
Hen shown at left, and rooster at right are Single-comb Brown Leghorns. Because we raise chickens on a small scale, we like to keep 'heritage' or unusual breeds. Our hens produce eggs just as well as the usual 'production' breeds.. they just look prettier to us! Our 'Foghorn', right, is just about as handsome a rooster as you can find.
Aracaunas and Americaunas are chickens that naturally lay colored eggs. The chickens come in many different colors, too! We have hens that are black and white, others that are gold like the hen at right, and some that are dark reddish brown. Aracaunas have tufts of feathers at their ears. Americaunas have shorter ear-tufts, more like 'earmuffs', and have a beard as the rooster shown at left. They have pea-combs, and are a dual-purpose breed; used for both eggs and meat.
A view of our winter quarters for the chickens, inside the barn. The coop area is double-walled, and has two windows. Their water is heated when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, and they are fed an 18% protein layer ration supplemented by scratch grain and hay in the winter. In the summer their diet is mainly grass, insects, and layer ration. We use no antibiotics, and keep our flock healthy by giving them clean, roomy quarters and plenty of light and air.
Our bantams are Buff Brahman crossbreds. Gorgeous George, the rooster shown at left, is the ruler of the chicken yard, even with his small stature! He takes no disrespect from even our Wyandotte rooster, shown at top; who outweighs George by about five pounds, Our bantam hens are in charge of hatching eggs.
Chickens for Sale: We occasionally have 'extra' hens or cockerals for butchering. Live animal sales, only! If you have never butchered chickens, we don't recommend it..until you have done a few, it is really more trouble than most people want to go to. So, experts only, please! If you are interested in buying chickens to butcher, please e-mail and we can let you know when we have some to sell. Price is $7 per bird. We do not sell killed and dressed birds or chicken meat, as that must be USDA inspected.
We do set a few eggs every year, and will sell chicks if you are raising your own poultry. This spring we will be raising some Aracauna/Americaunas. Please e-mail if you are interested in buying chicks.