Tag Archives: eggs

The Sound of Chickens-Monday Funnies!

The Prairie Home Companion does an annual joke show and they often feature this song about chickens. It makes me laugh so hard I cry. I picture our hens fleeing our milk truck or large tractors as they are crossing our driveway. Wonder if we should have chicken crossing guards…

 

Sound of Chickens

 

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Wordless Wednesday: How to Catch a Chicken

chicken, jonnie, summer, 2011

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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The Chicken Hotel

Yesterday, I posted a picture of a project Tim and Steve are working on this summer. Thanks to Cassy and Bree for guessing correctly on yesterday’s post

So what is it you may ask? It will be our new “Chicken Hotel.” The laying hens have over stayed their welcome in the yard and are being put out to pasture. It is very understandable that Lisa is growing tired of them messing up her mulch and pooping on the deck.

Decades before Joel Salatin became famous in movies such as Food Inc  and  Fresh, he was better know by his book Pasture Poultry Profits.  Back in the 1990’s Jon and Lisa had read his books and attended a lecture he gave on the subject. The farm started raising chickens on pasture using Salatin’s methods. Our broiler production has grown from a few hundred to between 700 and 900 annually.

Now we are employing another one of Salatin’s methods: the egg mobile, or as we call it, the Chicken Hotel. We are converting an old hay rack into a portable living and roosting quarters for the laying hens. During the day, the hens will be let out into one of our pastures to free range, eat bugs and fertilize the soil. At night, they will be protected in the “Chicken Hotel” from predators. This hotel will be a complete mobile unit complete with nesting boxes, roosts, feeders and waters.

Salatin's Egg Mobiles

The hotel will not be done soon enough. The hens have really made themselves at home in the yard. We are thinking that their first pasture visit will have to be far away from the house…so that they don’t return.

We are nearing the finishing time for our first batch of meat chickens. If you are interested in purchasing chickens pre-cut please contact Lisa ASAP.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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Filed under #AgChat, Chickens, Livestock, Pictures, Raising Animals

Free ranging hens (at least for today)

image

Finally we are having a sunny and warm day. We let the hens out of their normal hen run to do a little free ranging. They seem to really like the dirt under our lilacs.
Need eggs? Give us a call or stop by to buy some.

Emily

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Wordless Wednesday-Caring for the Hens

The boys have been helping me gather eggs and care for the hens the last couple of days. They are GREAT helpers.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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The Ugly Chicken-Story of an Outcast Chicken

Last week we sent our last batch of chickens of the season to the butchers. In that batch there was one chicken that was really tiny, and would have been considered a Cornish game hen at best. So her life got spared and now she is in with the layers.

She is quite the sight. All the beautiful buff and red layers gather together and strut their stuff. The poor Cornish is an outcast in her stark white feathers. Chickens are very territorial and it took them about four days until they “accepted” her in their chick clique. Poor “Whitey” was not allowed in the roost where she wanted and was left alone all day. Sometimes chickens will attack a new chicken when it is introduced to the flock. Luckily, our layers behaved and just gave her the cold shoulder. 

Whitey was afraid of everyone for awhile and wouldn’t let me take her picture.

Whitey has learned to escape the fenced in chicken area. She comes and goes as she wants.  This has  given her some clout among the flock. The fenced area is more to keep predators out and not necessarily keep the chickens in.

We we probably allow Whitey to grow up and become a “layer” hen just like the rest of the group. Cornish Cross chickens are not known for their egg production and she will most likely lay an egg every two days. Most layers will lay one egg a day. Due to the fact that her ear lobes are red, her eggs will probably be brown. It will be interesting to see if she ever “developes” like a true Cornish with large breasts, or if she will be more slim because she is on a different diet.

The other night, a racoon managed to get into the chicken house. We thought that he had eaten one of the layers, but thankfully, she was just out for a stroll. Maybe the electric fence doesn’t work all that well keeping anyone in or out?

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, http://www.zweberfarms.com

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Interested in Buying Eggs?

We are constantly being asked if we sell eggs on our farm. Currently, we don’t but you all have us thinking about it.

Please follow the link to a short 7 question survey: Egg Survey.

Here are some of the ideas we have about how we would raise laying hens for eggs:

  • In the summer we would raise them in an  “Egg Mobile” similar to Joel Salatin’s
    • We would have them in our pastures to “clean up” the bugs and spread their natural fertilizer
  • Egg Mobile

  • In the winter they would be raised in half of a green house and provide heat for the other half (which we would grow plants in)
  • Depending on availability we would like to raise them on non-gmo feed and possibly organic feed.
    • It is really hard to find non-gmo and organic chicken feed around us, so we are tossing around the idea of growing and grinding our own.
  • Customers would be able to buy eggs when it is most convenient for them.
    • We know of other farmers who do this system and it seems to work. Customers would take the eggs they need, leave the money and then return the cartons the next time they purchase.

Like all of our “projects,” we want to keep the health of our animal and land as our number one priority. Let us know what you think about purchasing eggs from Zweber Farms.

Thanks!

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