Educational Information

Chickens in our Everyday Language

πŸ’«Our LanguageπŸ’«
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Some may think that a chickens behavior is simplistic and nothing like her own. Step back for a minute and look at all of the interesting phrases we have in our English language derived from a chickens behavior and from our interactions with them.
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We don’t count our chickens before they are hatched, we certainly don’t want to put all of her eggs in one basket. We like to hatch out ideas, we can be cocky or we can chicken out, if we are worried we find ourselves walking on eggshells. Feeling frazzled? Perhaps you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off! If we are feeling stifled we want a chance to spread our wings and we definitely don’t like being cooped up!
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Perhaps we are far similar than we realize.πŸ˜‰
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Pictured here is the gorgeous feathering of one of our French Black Copper Marans Roosters. Presales for this breed and many others are open on our website for 2023!
alchemist_farmChickens in our Everyday Language
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Olive Egger Chickens

Did you know that chickens can lay all sorts of interesting colors of eggs? A chicken’s ability to lay colored eggs extends far beyond the white and tan eggs most of us have seen in the grocery store! Today we’ll cover a specific type, Olive Egger.

From dark chocolate brown colored, to blues, speckles, and perhaps the most captivating of all – green or olive egger!

The phrase β€œOlive Egger” refers to a chicken that lays green colored eggs. This can be achieved by combining two breeds of chickens, one that carries a blue egg laying gene, and another that carries a brown egg laying gene. Put those two together and ta da you have beautiful green eggs! This first generation of a blue gene and a brown egg gene put together is called a first generation Olive Egger or F1.

Six olive egger eggs in a person's hand with grass in the backgroundNow here comes the interesting part, say you ordered a box of olive egger chicks, some turned out to be females and some turned out to be males and you think β€œhey I want more of this color of egg in my life!” So you put a male and female together and raise up their chicks. You will be surprised when the females from that cross are only laying green eggs 50% of the time. This is because the green egg gene is not stabilized.Β 

It takes years of selective breeding to be able to stabilize that beautiful green color and expand upon it. Here at Alchemist Farm, we have created the beautiful Moss Eggers. We’ve been working on these birds for the past 10 years and they are a F16 if you can believe it! Each year we select the most interesting colored green eggs to hatch for future generations and stabilize that lovely green color that we all look for in our daily egg collecting baskets. The result of our careful selection has yielded birds that are laying green eggs with all sorts of interesting patterns on top, these patterns can be speckled and sometimes an interesting bloom. What is a bloom? A bloom is the protective coating a hen puts over her egg as it is in the final stage of being laid, this protects the eggs from bacteria entering. Sometimes this bloom can be very thick and in the case of our Moss Eggers, creates the illusion of eggs looking silver. Some of our hens lay multi-colored eggs where there is both green, blue and silver on a single laid egg. Nature is incredible!

If interesting egg colors are something you’re interested in bringing to your life, we are your people! We focus on gorgeous egg colors, strong egg laying ability, climate resilience to withstand strong heat and cold, sweet temperament, and we are the only humane chicken hatchery in the United States.Β 

Purchasing chicks from us not only beautifies your daily egg collecting basket, your purchase goes towards shifting the way the hatching industry is run.Β 

Basket of multiple olive egger eggsFrom the 100% compostable packaging of all of our chick shipments, to the massive solar array we erected to run our hatchery. From every single bird being free to roam on their own pastures to the thousands of male chicks who are not killed upon hatch here. From being single use plastic free on our farm to our zero waste practices. We are making ecological waves in all the right ways and your support makes it possible. We offer chicks for sale from February – September of each year, our lovely Moss Eggers are available along with 12 other unique and interesting breeds. We believe there is a chicken breed for everyone, come and see our offerings!

Want to see images of our beautiful birds and eggs in action? Checkout our Instagram page.Β 

 

alchemist_farmOlive Egger Chickens
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Trust

πŸ’™TrustπŸ’™

We handle every single animal on our land. I can turn my back to any rooster, bend down in-front of and pick up one of their hens without fear of being attacked. Any of our birds can be flipped upside down, held comfortably on one arm, pet, adored and then respectfully released back into the field.

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Learning the language of animals is something that cannot be taught in a book, it is all field experience. A simple call or stance speaks volumes to me about a birds mood. Each breed has a temperamental theme and each bird within that breed has its own character. I had a gorgeous Marans cockerel last year that did not physically do anything to me but every time I went to feed the flock I could feel that he was thinking about chasing me off. I would stop my feeding, crouch down, look at him and throw the same energy back at him, he would casually strut away knowing his place but even that exchange was one I did not want to breed so let him go. Chickens and roosters in particular are quite emotionally loud if we listen. We start each breeding group with 10 boys and narrow it down to two or three whose personality we want to pass on to future generations.
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It is our hope that over the years we will be able to educate folks that roosters and chickens are safe to be around. There is no reason to keep a mean rooster in your life when there are plenty of good reliable ones that can step up to protect your flock.

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Pictured here is one of our Sage Egger roosters. Sage Eggers are one of the breeds we have available in our 2019 lineup of birds. He is a gorgeous boy with exceptional creole patterning on his saddle feathers. Fun fact, the saddle feathers on roosters are used for fly fishing.

 

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The Egg Tooth

πŸ₯Egg ToothπŸ₯

Did you know that as chicks form in the shell they create a special extra piece on the end of their beak called an egg tooth? This day old Ayam Cemani chick is modeling it perfectly.

The egg tooth helps them in the long journey out of the egg and falls off naturally after a few days time of hatching. If giving a baby chick to a broody hen it is best to give the chick when it is less than 3 days old. Looking for the egg tooth on a chick will be in indicator ofΒ that perfect age for mama hen/chick bonding.

The first time I saw a chick hatch out of an egg was a powerful experience. It is amazing how tight they are inside of the egg and how they are able to break out having no space to work with. Watching my first chick hatch changed my relationship to chickens, it gave me a new deep respect for how strong and versatile they are.

No matter what is going on in our lives, nature shows us that there is always a way forward – we may have to work for it, but it is there!


We have limited numbers of chicks of this beautiful and unique breed. If you would like to have some of these all black beauties strutting around your barnyard reach out! We ship nation wideΒ 

alchemist_farmThe Egg Tooth
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What Does A Chicken Hatching Look Like?

Ever wondered what a chicken hatching out of an egg looks like? Here are some fun peck by peck shots of some chicks making their way out of their eggs after being in the incubator for 21 days.

After hatching the chicks stay in the incubator to dry out and “fluff up” while other chicks hatch out of their eggs.

Once all of the chicks have hatched they are placed in a brooder under a heat lamp and given access to chick crumble and fresh clean water.

cream-legbar-and-isbar-chicks-in-brooder1-e1428473968400-744x495.jpgStay tuned for reviews on different incubators and brooding techniques. Happy hatching everyone!

 

alchemist_farmWhat Does A Chicken Hatching Look Like?
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