Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;
Ahh ... The incredible, edible, farm fresh egg ...
|Farm Fresh Eggs|
By Saturday, we had 10 edible eggs from our chickens (one was not edible as it was broken), and Saturday evening Debbie and Donald celebrated by enjoying a dinner of fried potatoes and eggs ... farm fresh eggs.
After about 4 1/2 months, our chickens are finally producing. While it generally takes 5 - 6 months for them to start producing, many will start earlier. Our first batch of eggs were very small, requiring 4-5 eggs to meet the needs of what three eggs will usually meet.
Our Silver Laced Wyandotte's can produce up to 200 eggs a year. With 22 chickens, that could be a whole lot of eggs. The eggs are pale (or soft) brown or tan (tinted) and have a very full flavor.
The chickens and turkeys have been keeping us busy. Between feeding, watering (they eat a lot of feed and drink a lot of water, particularly in the summer heat), and keeping them in their respective pens, they are turning out to be a very busy part-time job. If you are not planning to sell eggs, fertilizer, meat, or chickens, 3 - 4 hens should suffice for the back-yard farmer.
While the chickens tend to stay around the pen when they escape, we cannot say the same is true for the turkeys. If you have woods nearby and inadequate roosting in the turkey pen, you will most likely find your turkeys abandoning the pen in favor of the woods. Ours love to roost in the trees. They also tend to fall out of the trees, and are apt to fall outside of the fence line. They also love to fly and several get out at a time. We are fortunate to have trees inside the pen, but we are concerned that they may find the woods more attractive, so we try to get them back in as soon as we know they are out.
This weekend was a loss. The chickens are in need of fresh hay, both in their yard and for their nesting boxes (they apparently rather lay their eggs in the soft grass under the copse of trees in their extended pen, then in the harsh pine shavings in their nesting boxes). Donald planned to go down to the pasture and cut hay Saturday to bring up, but as he was preparing equipment Friday afternoon we were hit with a severe thunderstorm that dropped over 1.5 inches of rain ... so much for getting hay up Saturday. On Sunday, he again prepared to go down and we started getting pop-up thundershowers. We do not want to take a chance putting wet hay in the chicken coop, so he decided to once again postpone cutting hay. Hopefully we will be able to get some cut early in the week.
As he could not cut hay, he spent Saturday morning in the barn working on cleaning it up and trying to get it more organized.
Brenda, Donald's sister, is interested in raising alpacas, so she is doing the research to determine the feasibility of raising them here in Oklahoma. We have looked into this in the past, but have concerns about how they will do in the humidity. If it is determined that they can do well with the humidity, we will look at them as part of our livestock operations.
Until next time,
Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms
"He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment." Proverbs 12:11