It has been about a year since I last updated on our homestead. And what a year it has been! We've continued to experiment with all things homestead and have found a new joy with our flock of feathers! The chicks in the previous post are well grown and of the 21 that we started with, we have 5 left. Quite a learning curve, our main teacher being the fox/weasel/monster that got into our coop last June. That really decreased our flock. A couple nasty roosters have become dinner and here we are! Our chickens are heritage birds so they have an array of colourful feathers and personalities! A heritage bird is a bird who's genetic line can be traced back multiple generations, sometimes even prior to the mid 20th century! They are great egg layers and have what is termed as a "slow growth rate" so that they can develop a strong skeletal structure and healthy organs before they develop muscle mass. Personally, I would call this a "normal" growth rate compared to how some breeds have been sped up to become broiler birds (the ones we eat).
As you can see in the photos above our outdoor area does not have a roof of any kind. Our chickens and roosters are free to roam and fly out whenever they like, the brave ones will hop the fence when they're feeling adventurous. Sometimes, on a beautiful summer evening, we open the gate for them to roam together as a flock. So our birds are free range by choice, their choice. We tuck them in each night and do a beak count to make sure we have everyone back safe and sound. The grass and dandelions have been flourishing! These are the reason for your golden yellow yolks, of which our girls are definitely producing at this stage of the season!
We do not treat our chickens with any antibiotic feed and so they are natural eggs! We instead keep up their health by putting a nice mix of ginger, garlic, turmeric, oregano, cayenne pepper and good ol' diatomaceous earth into their feed. We feed them a balance egg layer ration pellet and they get our household food scraps every morning. We like to know what is going into our chickens and therefore our eggs.
We've just added some ginger hens to our coop and have some Silkie x Polish chicks growing up rapidly in our basement (seen in the second picture above). With more to arrive this summer!
Big Hill Homestead is a family run operation and as soon as you can walk, you can work! Our two year old daughter is in charge of the egg farming, selling and is the leader of the hens! She collects the eggs every morning, feeds them scraps and watches over the chicks as they grow. The hens love her and follow her around the yard hoping she will drop them a few more morsels of bread. This has been a great joy for her and us as it has given her something to do each day as we have been in pandemic isolation.
YES! We are selling free range, homestead fresh, organic eggs!
Please do get in touch with us via email or phone to order a dozen!
They are selling for $6/dozen.