All posts tagged: best dual purpose chickens

How Do I Care For My Chickens?

This is the most commonly asked question, and a very important one because you want to make sure you are prepared before brining in a new sweet animal into your life!

There are many details within this larger umbrella question. For a deeper dive on how to care for baby chicks you can visit our website section titled “New Chicken Keeper“. For those of you who prefer video classes we offer a Beginning Chicken Keeping Class and for everyone else, here is a general overview to get you thinking in the right direction!

Feeding: Chickens require a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. A diet high in protein is especially important for laying hens, as it helps them produce strong, healthy eggs. Chickens can be fed a commercial feed, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as kitchen cooking scraps and given access to grit for digestion.

Housing: Chickens need a safe and secure place to roost at night and lay their eggs. A chicken coop should provide protection from predators, be well-ventilated, and have ample nesting boxes for egg-laying. It should also be kept clean and free of moisture to prevent disease.

Health: Chickens are susceptible to a range of diseases and parasites, so it is important to keep a close eye on their health. Regularly checking for signs of illness, providing clean water, and keeping the coop clean are all important aspects of maintaining healthy chickens.

General Care: Chickens require regular attention to ensure their overall well-being. This includes monitoring their behavior, providing them with adequate space to move around, and maintaining a regular egg-collecting routine. They invite us to come outside and be with them – daily observation can tell is so much about what is needed for their health and wellbeing.

alchemist_farmHow Do I Care For My Chickens?
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History of The Welsummer Chicken

The History of This Beautiful Breed Is Interesting

The Welsummer chicken is a breed of domestic fowl that originated in the Netherlands. The breed was developed in the village of Welsum, located in the province of Gelderland, in the early 20th century. The breed was created by crossing several other breeds of chickens, including the Partridge Leghorn and the Plymouth Rock, with the goal of creating a bird that was hardy, good layers, and had a distinctive appearance.

The Welsummer was first introduced to England in the 1920s, where it was embraced for its attractive appearance and excellent egg-laying ability. The breed quickly gained popularity among poultry fanciers, and it was soon being exported to other countries, including the United States.

In the United States, the Welsummer remained a relatively unknown breed until the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when a growing interest in heritage poultry breeds led to a resurgence of popularity for the breed. Today, the Welsummer is widely recognized as an excellent layer of medium to large brown eggs, in our case we are selecting for heavy speckling on our eggs. Our line of heritage welsummers originated from an old school breeder in Appalachia and we are continuing on his work of selecting for speckling and robust health!

This is one very understated but amazing breed not to be missed in your flock πŸ™‚

 

alchemist_farmHistory of The Welsummer Chicken
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Benefits Of Keeping Backyard Chickens

There are many benefits to keeping backyard chickens

  1. Fresh eggs: One of the primary benefits of keeping backyard chickens is having a constant supply of fresh eggs. Eggs from backyard chickens are often considered to be of higher quality and have a richer taste than store-bought eggs.
  2. Sustainable food source: Raising your own chickens can be a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to obtain your own food. Backyard chickens require less land, water, and feed than traditional livestock, making them a more efficient source of protein.
  3. Pest control: Chickens are natural pest controllers and can help to keep your garden free of bugs and insects. They can also help control weeds and other unwanted vegetation.
  4. Fertilizer: Backyard chickens produce nutrient-rich fertilizer in the form of their droppings. This can be used to fertilize your garden and improve the soil quality.
  5. Educational opportunities: Keeping backyard chickens can be a great learning experience for children and adults alike. It can teach responsibility, animal husbandry, and the importance of sustainable food production.
  6. Companionship: Chickens can be friendly and sociable animals, and keeping them as pets can provide a source of companionship and entertainment.

There are so many more! Chickens are the most generous of animals, they give and ask very little in return. Some folks say dogs are a mans best friend but we argue that it is in fact chickens that can be! πŸ™‚

alchemist_farmBenefits Of Keeping Backyard Chickens
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Connecting With Your Flock

Not sure how to connect with your flock and start establishing that sweet relationship? Give these suggestions a try! πŸ™‚

  1. Spend time with them: The best way to connect with chickens is to spend time with them. This can involve simply sitting with them, watching them as they go about their day, or providing them with treats and interacting with them. Chickens have unique personalities, and getting to know them can be a rewarding experience.
  2. Handle them regularly: Regularly handling your chickens can help to build trust and a bond between you and your birds. Start by holding them gently and talking to them in a calm and reassuring tone. With time, they will become more comfortable with being handled and may even start to enjoy it.
  3. Provide a safe and comfortable environment: Chickens are social animals and do best when they feel safe and comfortable. Providing a clean, spacious coop and run, along with access to food and water, will help to keep your birds happy and healthy. Adding a dust bath, perches, and other environmental enrichment can also help to make their living environment more enjoyable and increase their overall well-being.

In addition to these three ways, it’s also important to be patient and gentle with your chickens, and to always treat them with respect and kindness. With time and effort, you can develop a strong bond with your chickens and enjoy the many benefits of having these fascinating and entertaining pets in your life. May you all connect sweetly today with your flocks!

 

alchemist_farmConnecting With Your Flock
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History of The French Black Copper Marans

Ever wonder About The backstory of this amazing breed

The Black Copper Marans chicken is a breed of domestic fowl that originated in France. The breed was developed in the town of Marans, located in the Charente-Maritime region of France, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The breed was originally used for both egg production and meat, and it was prized for its rich, dark brown eggs.

In the early 20th century, the breed became popular among French poultry fanciers, who worked to standardize its appearance and improve its egg-laying ability. By the 1920s, the Black Copper Marans had become one of the most highly prized breeds of poultry in France, and it was soon exported to other countries, including England and the United States.

In the United States, the Black Copper Marans remained a relatively obscure breed until the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when a growing interest in heritage poultry breeds led to a resurgence of popularity for the breed. Today, the Black Copper Marans is widely recognized as a high-quality layer of rich, dark brown eggs, its attractive appearance, and its gentle, docile temperament.

They are one breed not to miss in your flock! We have chicks available from Feb-October of each year and we ship nationwide! πŸ™‚

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How An Eggshell is Formed Inside Of A Chicken

Fun Friday Fact
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We would love to start a new # entitled #AlchemistFarmFridayFactΒ on our social media platforms of Instagram and Facebook if you have a nitty gritty question about chicken keeping, tag us and use the tag so we can see you. We will fold your question into our weekly Friday learning series!
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For this week: we are discussing how an eggshell itself is formed inside of a chicken.
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The formation of an eggshell inside a chicken takes about 20 hours. The process of egg formation, from the time of ovulation to the time the egg is laid, typically takes about 24 to 26 hours. The majority of this time is spent forming the egg white, yolk, and membrane, with the formation of the shell occurring in the final stages of egg formation.
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Once the egg reaches the isthmus, the next part of the oviduct, a gland called the uterus gland coats the egg with a thin layer of calcium carbonate, which will become the eggshell. This is where those cool colors come in! The egg continues to move through the oviduct and is eventually laid about 24 hours after ovulation. The exact time it takes for an eggshell to form may vary slightly based on the age and overall health of the chicken.
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Shown here is a basket of lovely shades that I think are a meeting of the land and sea. The greens remind me of our forests, the blues our ocean and the gentle creams are the clouds above at sunset.
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Dark greens: Moss Eggers
Light greens: Sage Eggers
Blues: Azure Eggers
Creams: Double Silver Laced Barnevelders.
Basket: Franchesca’s Easter Basket from when she was a wee lass!
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What do you see in these blends of color?
#alchemistfarm #AlchemistFarmFridayFact
#learnsomethingnew
#chickenhatchery

alchemist_farmHow An Eggshell is Formed Inside Of A Chicken
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The Cycle Begins

This week we turned on the incubators for our 2023 season and began the process of turning these incredible shades of eggs into baby chicks for you all.

It is a remarkably powerful moment that begins our weekly cycle from now until November of hatching. Every day I go into our hatching space and quietly touch each incubator, feeling the hum of its little motor. This practice helps me connect with the life that is quietly growing inside. I pray with each one for healthy chicks, solid hatches and the homes that each chick will end up in. We are all so connected, when you support us with your energy we support you back with these incredible beings and the prayers that go along with them.

We are 18 days away from seeing our first little Alchemist chicks emerge. This is that moment of the year that holds so much anticipation and excitement, it is hard to contain it!

This year orders have been a bit different, I believe folks are feeling the unsettled state of the greater poultry industry so they are securing their chicks early. If you know you are wanting chicks in spring I recommend ordering on the sooner side because February and March we are sold out of some breeds already.

We are so grateful for your support over the years and we look forward to adding to your flocks in 2023! ❀️
Eggs by color from the top:
French Black Cooper Marans
Heritage Welsummer
Sage Egger
Two lighter colored Moss Eggers along with Alchemist Blues
Azure Eggers
Dark Moss Eggers

alchemist_farmThe Cycle Begins
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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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Feathered Friends

From olive Eggers to sage eggers, from dark brown eggs to sky blue eggs. We have you covered here at Alchemist Farm.

Our Heritage chicken breeds have been carefully bred over the last nine years by us. We select not only for fun egg colors but also temperament and climate resilience so you can rest assured that your new feathered friends will be robust and healthy.

We believe there is a chicken breed for everyone, from fancy show chickens to humble homestead style birds, every chicken has a place on our farm! Thank you for your support each year and allowing us to continue to pioneer humane breeding and hatching.

alchemist_farmFeathered Friends
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The beauty of Imperfection

The Beauty In Imperfection
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Everyday we collect our hatching eggs from our breeding flocks by hand. We intimately know every nest, every hen, every secret hiding spot.

The daily egg collecting trains our hands and eyes to spot eggs that would not be suitable for hatching. All of the eggs here in this photograph are the β€œoddball eggs” the eggs that are double, triple hollers, and eggs that are incorrectly shaped. Shape and size matters with fertile eggs because properly shaped eggs ensure correct bone development/ shape for the chicks. Pointy eggs can lead to spraddle leg. Tiny pullet eggs can lead to weak smaller chicks with failure to thrive.

All of our oddball eggs are set aside for eating and make their way to our breakfast table. Each one is its own delight for its unique oddness. This week I brought some of them together to share with you all.

Do you all get fun oddball eggs from your flocks? May we all look for the beauty in moments of imperfection, there is always something positive to focus on.

alchemist_farmThe beauty of Imperfection
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