Tag Archives: Farm fresh eggs

Adding the Pullets to the Laying Flock

This last weekend we cleaned the chicken coop. . We have a three section coop. Section one is the main coop and it is 10’x15′ and houses the feed and water for the laying flock. Section 2 is 10’x5′ and it houses the roosts and nest boxes for our main flock. Section 3 is a section we use as an extended brooder, rooster pen, and isolated breeding pen. What we clean out gets spread onto our hay field as fertilizer.

We have had last falls hatch of chicks in section 3 for the winter. The little pullets are looking very nice and were ready to mix into the main laying flock.  After we cleaned the coop we left the pullets in with the older hens. I figured there would be a ruckus while they all got used to each other but they all blended in nicely. The young pullets did look a little confused, but started to eat well after a short time. The 2 pens were only separated by chicken wire so they were weren’t really strangers.

New Pullets with the Layers
New Pullets with the Layers

I am looking forward to the young pullets to start laying soon.  There are still 4 young roosters that need to go into the freezer. Hopefully this next weekend we can start to work on that. Fried chicken really sounds good about now!

I need to order some chicks or get some eggs set to incubate. I need to have a clutch of spring chicks so when my fall hens molt,  the spring chicks will hopefully carry us through. We are trying to decide which breeds to keep and if we would like to incorporate a new breed. We do not have Buff Orpingtons, and since we both are partial to that breed, we will probably add a few.

I will be ordering a few broiler chicks to raise to sell at the farmers market as well as to put a few our freezer. I have not decided which breed of those to get either. I am trying to decide between the red broiler cross and the Dixie Rainbow type chickens.  I do know that the White Cornish cross is definitely not an option. I need to get my chicken tractor cleaned up and ready to roll.

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The Burnin’ R Incubator!!

I knew as soon as we got our first baby chicks from the hatchery that we were going to need an incubator. I do not do anything without research and a lot of thought. My verdict on an incubator was to build my own, and then expand if necessary.

Inkukit control panel
Inkukit control panel

For the controls, I chose  a kit from Incubator Warehouse. The Incukit is designed to  be attached to a container of your choice.  I have frequently seen them  used on a variety of coolers. The kit is a very neat set of stacked components, a digital thermostat, ceramic heaters, and a circulating fan. The unit also comes with hardware to attach to your cooler. You can find the info on the Incukits here: Incubator Warehouse- Incukits

Homemade incubator
Homeade Incubator

I chose a thick walled cooler from walmart as our cabinet. I had to modify the lid to accept the Incukit, but it was under $10 and a great size to get started.

 

Egg incubator layout
Layout of the inside of the incubator

The layout of the inside of our incubator is just big enough to hold a tray for water to add humidity, and an egg tray that will hold 30 eggs. I use 4 tin cans (empty) to rest the egg tray on to set it at a 45 degree angle. to turn the eggs you just have to alternate sides resting in the up position on the cans. This allows for you to turn the 30 eggs at one time.

labled eggs to hatch
How I label my eggs

I label my eggs with the date and put a mark to give the egg an identifiable position. If you have eggs put in at different times, you can leave the egg tray in one spot and rotate each egg. This will allow you to stop turning  some of the eggs , but not the entire tray.

Barred Rock eggs
Set of 5 Barred Rock eggs in the incubator

Here I have a partial tray with 2 rows nestled onto the large tray , this will allow me to just turn the 2 rows independently if needed.

I will be collecting eggs over several days t o fill the incubator. I have 3 hens laying, so it will take a few days. Now we just play Mother Hen for 21 days and wait for them to start hatching.

 

 

 


 

Baby Chicks are Doing Awesome!

Chicks in Brooder
New Baby Chicks in Brooder

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our baby chicks are doing awesome! 2 weeks old and growing like crazy. I can’t believe how many new feathers they have already.

We hatched a mix of eggs from our flock to replace some hens lost to critters. Our roosters are  2 Speckled Sussex and 1 Rhode Island Red, and our hens are Speckled Sussex, Rhode Island Red, and Barred Rock. So we  have some Black Sex Link, Speckled Sussex, and Rhode Island red- Speckled Sussex Cross baby chicks. Our Rhode Island Red rooster is the less dominate rooster, and I am not giving him credit for many of the offspring.

I need to start handling the babies more, they are a little too flighty for me. I do not like to have birds scattering every time I enter the coop, it could cause injury and undue stress. On our farm I like things to be very calm, the calmer the better.  In my opinion ,  stress lowers output.

As I was writing this last minute post, I realized I needed to take some better pictures of our brooder and share that as well. So, stay tuned!!


 

Burnin R CSA

There is a way to get great farm raised meat without having to buy the whole hog at once. Our CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture) program offers a share of 15 lbs. of meat each month. Plus, Discounts off of our retail prices are given for pre-payments of 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months shares.

We put our CSA customers first. Their orders are filled first. Plus we try include bonus products that we produce here on the farm when we can.

We will be implementing new CSA pricing options in the  fall. The new options will include a Premium share of Ossabaw Island pork, or a Standard share of pork from one of our other fine breeds. Our current Members will continue to enjoy Ossabaw Island and Ossabaw Island cross pork for the duration of their share purchase. So if you buy in before our new options are implemented, you will be grandfathered into our Premium share.

Our Egg CSA is will be starting up soon. The hens are ramping up to supply us with great farm-fresh brown eggs. Get signed up now! Orders will be limited starting out this Spring.

For more information on our CSA please visit: http://burninr.com/BurninrCSA.html


 

What are we eating? Is fast food what you think it is?

I just read an article about McDonald’s Artisan Chicken Sandwich. McDonald’s is simplifying the ingredients because they realize that their customers want to be able to recognize and pronounce the ingredients in the food they eat. It was the push for higher profits that made their chicken sandwich a target for change in the first place.

What can we use that is cheaper, something that we can pass off for real meat? How much can we push the federal guidelines for the allowance of “other stuff” in our meat. How can we convert scraps that we would  normally throw away into something the customer would recognize and purchase?

The people are waking up to what these big corporations are putting in our food. Wood pulp as filler in the beef. Meat glue used to combine meat particles together to mimic what they used to sell. Meat trimmings left over from the cut room floor, pressed into a familiar shapes and seasoned to taste like what it is representing, is all to popular for these corporations. No wonder why sales are dropping, people will only buy into their farce for so long before they expect better.

Have you read the label on packaged frozen chicken breasts in your local supermarket? I did, I found out that what I thought were actual chicken breasts, were actually made from the meat taken from in- between the ribs. This rib meat is then meat glued together into the shape of a chicken breast. It is pretty convincing, I wouldn’t have known until someone told me to look for it.

My Grandpa always said that he would never buy a chicken unless it was a whole chicken.  He was afraid that parts of the chicken that went bad would be cut away and they would sell the rest of the chicken as parts. He had great vision and knew that people would do anything to retain profit even at the expense of others.

A friend of my parents says that he would never buy canned beef. He said it was made from the cow’s bag. Could be true. And they would be right in saying that it is 100% beef. The only thing is, the consumer is expecting actual meat from a muscle group. As long as it can be passed off as something more appealing, the company will have a good chance of making a sale. Selling the cow’s bag would increase the revenue that they can produce from one animal.

Back in the day they may have used the cow’s bag as a leather pouch, but unless I am mistaken, I know of no recipes that call for it handed down through my family. I know that back in the day they used all parts of the pig, and would use the squeal if they could. That is being resourceful, and frugal. But I am sure they didn’t hide what was in their stew and call it something that sounded more appealing. And if something “fell” into the meat as they were processing it, they took it back out. Corporations just figure that 2% of “other” non meat stuff is great because they can sell that too.

It is sad when you can’t trust what you buy to eat.  I think that the only way to truly be able to trust what you are eating is to grow it yourself. The second best way would be to buy from a local farm that raises their animals like you would.

This is why I raise my own meat!!