All posts tagged: coturnix quail breeding pair

A Beginner’s Guide: Common Mistakes First-Time Chicken Keepers Make and How to Avoid Them

Embarking on the journey of raising chickens can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, for first-time chicken keepers, there are common pitfalls that can be easily avoided with a little knowledge and preparation. In this guide, we will outline the most common mistakes made by beginners and provide helpful tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable chicken-keeping venture.

  1. Insufficient Research and Planning

One of the biggest mistakes first-time chicken keepers make is diving into chicken ownership without adequate research and planning. It is crucial to educate yourself about chicken breeds, housing requirements, feeding, and healthcare needs. Take the time to understand local regulations and restrictions, and ensure you have a suitable coop and run setup before bringing chickens home. By investing time in research and careful planning, you will set the foundation for a thriving flock.

  1. Overcrowding the Coop

New chicken owners often underestimate the space requirements for their flock. Overcrowding the coop can lead to stress, disease, and aggressive behavior among the chickens. To avoid this, provide a minimum of 4 square feet of space per chicken inside the coop and at least 10 square feet per chicken in the outdoor run area. Adequate space promotes healthier chickens and minimizes conflicts within the flock.

  1. Neglecting Proper Ventilation

Good ventilation is crucial for maintaining a healthy coop environment. Poor air circulation can lead to the buildup of ammonia from droppings, which can cause respiratory issues. Ensure your coop has proper ventilation through windows, vents, or screened openings. This allows fresh air to circulate while removing excess moisture and odors, creating a comfortable and safe environment for your chickens.

  1. Inadequate Predation Prevention

Predators pose a significant threat to backyard chickens. First-time keepers often overlook the importance of predator-proofing their coop and run. Secure the coop with sturdy hardware cloth, bury wire mesh around the perimeter to deter digging predators, and reinforce doors and windows. Regularly inspect your setup to identify any weak points that need strengthening. Taking these precautions will help safeguard your flock from potential predators.

  1. Improper Nutrition and Feeding Practices

A balanced and nutritious diet is vital for the health and productivity of your chickens. First-time keepers may make mistakes such as overfeeding, underfeeding, or providing an imbalanced diet. Consult a poultry nutrition guide or seek advice from local experts to determine the appropriate feed for your chickens based on their age and purpose (meat or egg production). Supplement their diet with fresh greens, grit, and clean water to ensure optimal nutrition.

  1. Neglecting Biosecurity Measures

Biosecurity is crucial to prevent the spread of diseases among your flock. First-time chicken keepers often overlook the importance of implementing biosecurity measures. Limit visitors to your flock, practice good hygiene by washing hands and changing footwear before entering the coop, and quarantine new birds before introducing them to your existing flock. These practices will help minimize the risk of disease transmission and maintain a healthy flock.

  1. Ignoring Regular Health Checks

Regular health checks are essential to detect any signs of illness or parasites early on. New chicken keepers may neglect this aspect, leading to delayed identification and treatment of health issues. Take time to observe your chickens’ behavior, check for abnormalities, and perform routine checks for external parasites such as mites or lice. Establish a relationship with a local avian veterinarian who can provide guidance and professional care when needed. Make sure to have simple veterinary tools on hand such as BluKote to protect injuries if they arise.

alchemist_farmA Beginner’s Guide: Common Mistakes First-Time Chicken Keepers Make and How to Avoid Them
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Moss Egger Chickens

Exploring the Enchanting Moss Egger Chicken: A True Marvel Among Poultry Breeds

Known for its unique qualities and captivating appearance, the Moss Egger stands out as an extraordinary breed among the poultry community. Join us as we delve into the amazing features and characteristics that make the Moss Egger chicken truly remarkable.

  1. Vibrant and Varied Egg Colors

One of the most striking features of the Moss Egger chicken is its ability to lay eggs in a stunning range of colors. Named after the mossy forest floor, these striking layers of all shades of mossy green add a splash of vibrant diversity to any egg basket. The ability to produce such a wide array of colors is attributed to the breed’s genetic lineage, making each Moss Egger egg a delightful surprise.

  1. Hardy and Resilient Nature

Moss Egger chickens are known for their hardiness and adaptability to various climates. They possess a sturdy constitution that enables them to thrive in both warm and cold environments, making them an excellent choice for backyard enthusiasts and small-scale farmers alike. The breed’s resilience and ability to withstand diverse weather conditions make it a popular option for those seeking chickens that are easy to care for.

  1. Abundant Egg Production

Moss Egger chickens are prolific layers, consistently providing a steady supply of eggs. With proper care and nutrition, these chickens can produce a substantial number of eggs throughout the year. This high level of productivity not only ensures a consistent source of fresh eggs for households but also offers potential business opportunities for those interested in small-scale egg production.

  1. Low Maintenance Requirements

Another remarkable aspect of the Moss Egger chicken is its low maintenance requirements. These chickens are known for their self-sufficiency, displaying excellent foraging skills. Their ability to find their own food, supplemented with a balanced diet, reduces the need for constant monitoring and expensive feed expenditures. Additionally, Moss Eggers tend to be robust and resistant to common poultry ailments, making them a hassle-free breed to raise.

  1. Friendly and Docile Temperament

Moss Egger chickens are renowned for their amiable and docile temperament, making them a great choice for families and individuals seeking friendly and approachable chickens. They are known to be social creatures, often exhibiting calm and gentle behavior towards humans and other flock members. Their friendly nature allows for easy handling, making them suitable for chicken enthusiasts of all ages.

  1. Engaging Aesthetics

With their striking appearance, Moss Egger chickens are a true visual delight. Their soft, fluffy feathers, coupled with unique patterns and colors, add a touch of natural beauty to any flock. These picturesque chickens are sure to catch the eye and become a focal point of admiration in any backyard or farm setting.

The Moss Egger chicken stands out as an extraordinary breed, with its vibrant egg colors, hardiness, and low-maintenance requirements. Their abundant egg production, combined with a friendly temperament and engaging aesthetics, makes them a fantastic addition to any poultry enthusiast’s flock. Whether you are a novice or an experienced chicken keeper, the Moss Egger is a breed that is sure to captivate and amaze. Embrace the wonders of the Moss Egger chicken and experience the joy and beauty it brings to your poultry-raising endeavors.

alchemist_farmMoss Egger Chickens
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Chickens Are The Ultimate Pet

Chickens are not only a staple on farms but also boast remarkable traits and contributions to both nature and society. So, let’s dive in and discover why chickens are truly amazing animals!

  1. Diversity of Chicken Breeds

Chickens come in an astonishing array of breeds, each with its unique characteristics and appearances. From the regal elegance of the Silkie to the vibrant plumage of the Polish, chickens captivate us with their diverse and beautiful feathers. This diversity makes them not only a joy to observe but also a popular subject for photographers and artists.

  1. Efficient Pest Controllers

Beyond their visual appeal, chickens provide exceptional pest control services. These feathered foragers are natural insect hunters and can quickly rid gardens, yards, and farms of unwanted pests. From devouring slugs and snails to chasing down pesky insects, chickens prove to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution to pest management.

  1. Sustainable Egg Production

One of the most significant contributions of chickens to human society is their ability to provide a sustainable source of protein through egg production. Chickens are prolific layers, and their eggs are not only nutritious but also versatile in culinary applications. By keeping chickens for eggs, individuals can reduce their reliance on industrially produced eggs and promote sustainable food practices.

  1. Organic Fertilizer Production

Chickens are excellent composters and can assist in creating nutrient-rich organic fertilizer. Their droppings, commonly known as “black gold,” are a valuable resource for gardeners and farmers. The high nitrogen content in chicken manure helps improve soil fertility and promotes healthier plant growth. By harnessing the power of chickens, you can establish a natural and sustainable cycle within your garden.

  1. Therapeutic Value

The soothing sound of clucking, the rhythmic scratching in the dirt, and the gentle flapping of wings provide a calming atmosphere. Many people find solace and relaxation in observing and interacting with chickens, making them ideal animals for therapy and emotional support. Chickens have been known to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being.

  1. Educational Opportunities

Chickens offer abundant educational opportunities, especially for children. By raising chickens, kids can learn about responsibility, compassion, and the circle of life. They can witness firsthand the development of eggs into chicks, observe the growth and behavior of chickens, and understand the importance of sustainable food sources. These experiences foster a deeper connection with nature and instill valuable life skills.

  1. Engaging Pets

Contrary to popular belief, chickens can make wonderful and engaging pets. They are intelligent animals that can be trained to respond to commands, recognize their owners, and even perform simple tricks. Chickens also possess unique personalities and can form strong bonds with their human companions. Having chickens as pets can be a source of joy, companionship, and amusement.

Conclusion

Chickens are truly amazing animals, offering a myriad of benefits and captivating qualities. From their stunning diversity to their practical contributions in pest control and sustainable food production, chickens deserve our admiration. Whether you are a farmer, a gardener, or someone looking for a unique pet, chickens have something special to offer. So, embrace the wonders of these feathered creatures, and let them bring joy, sustainability, and educational experiences into your life!

Remember, if you found this article helpful, share it with others who are interested in exploring the fascinating world of chickens.

alchemist_farmChickens Are The Ultimate Pet
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New Coops For The Farm

The Making of an excellent chicken coop

In the past decade, our chicken coops have undergone significant improvements tailored to the specific needs of each breeding group. Admittedly, some of our earlier coops reflected our limited carpentry skills, but we’ve come a long way since then!

Over time, we have chosen to work with a local builder who customizes the coops to our precise requirements, taking into account factors such as climate, predation levels, and environmental considerations for our hens. Just this week, we added two new coops to our farm, and we couldn’t be happier with their appearance and functionality.

The coop design we prefer is showcased in the accompanying photos. To move the coops between pastures and ensure fresh grass for our flocks, we utilize our small Kubota Tractor, equipped with special forks that securely attach to the bucket.

Here are the features we prioritize for our farm:

  1. Elevated Coops: Our coops are raised off the ground to prevent predators from digging underneath. This elevation also offers a shaded area for the hens to escape the heat on scorching days, while providing a safe haven from aerial predators like hawks.
  2. Dual-Sided Nesting Boxes: We favor coops that have nesting boxes on both sides. While hens often prefer to lay eggs in the same box, having multiple options allows for flexibility. Additionally, external access to the nesting boxes enables convenient egg collection.
  3. Convenient Cleanout Door: A spacious cleanout door positioned in the front middle of the coop facilitates easy bedding replacement and general cleaning.
  4. Solid Plywood Flooring: Our coops feature solid plywood floors for effortless cleaning. While some people opt for wire bottoms, we have found that plywood floors offer better sanitation in the long run.
  5. Ample Cross Ventilation: To ensure comfort during hot summer months, we prioritize ample cross ventilation in our coop design, allowing for proper airflow and cooling.
  6. Adore Store Auto Door: We highly recommend the Adore Store auto door, which we believe to be the best available in the United States. After trying various options, these doors have proven to be durable and reliable over time. Using rechargeable batteries instead of single-use ones is not only environmentally friendly but also ensures excellent performance.

By incorporating these features into our coop designs, we have created a safe and comfortable environment for our chickens, while also streamlining maintenance and providing optimal conditions for their well-being.

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May Farm Update

Farm Update
The Birds: Our long winter has provided us with lush gorgeous pastures for all of the birds. All 13 of our breeding groups are happy, healthy and laying strong. We have had a mild week of weather and now it looks like we are heading straight into summer with temperatures over 85 degrees. As things warm up we like to give all of the birds an electrolyte/probiotic boost to help them feel comfortable as they transition into the longer warmer days. We do a double take of all of our automatic watering systems to make sure they are functioning perfectly so everyone stays hydrated in the coming weeks and months.
Caring for the flocks in this way is a holistic approach, we look at our farm as a whole living organism of land, birds, and humans. We think three or four steps ahead in our everyday to ensure the birds comfort. If they are stress free then they are stronger and more resilient to the big temperature swings we may see as well as whatever else nature sends our way this year! Last week we opened up all of the ventilation on the coops to ensure everyone is comfortable and we are also seeing a lot of signs of broodiness from the hens. There is lots of big mama energy happening on the land right now. πŸ™‚
Humans: we are are entering the last month of school and preparing for summer break. We know many of you will be traveling with your families and most likely not thinking about raising chicks in the next two months. Before summer break hits take some time to do a little flock planning for the fall. Now is a good time to order chicks for late summer/fall when your littles return to school. Currently we have availability of all of our breeds including our Alchemist Blue Females which have been sold out for a bit here. We LOVE raising chicks in heat of late summer and fall because it is naturally warmer for them and they grow up over the winter months when full grown hens take their laying break. Come spring of 2024 your chicks will have fully grown and will be ready to lay eggs for your family.
Staying home for the summer and ready to dig into your homesteading dreams? It is finally warm enough to put in a garden and work on your coop! We are still hatching chicks weekly and offering them for local pickup as well as shipping. We have hatches on the following dates: May 30th, June 6th, June 20th, June 27th, July 11th, July 25th and beyond until Halloween this year.
We hope the warm weather is bringing you all joy and a boost of vibrant energy.
alchemist_farmMay Farm Update
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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™‚

 

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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!

 

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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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