All posts tagged: my pet chicken

The Most Patient Chicken

🌿The Most Patient Chicken🌿
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Over the next few weeks here I am going to be highlighting each of the 13 breeds we work with on our farm. There are hundreds of types of chickens out there in the world. Large, small, robust, demure. We believe that there is a chicken breed for everyone just like there is a dog/cat breed for every human personality.
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We have selected the 13 breeds we work with because each one has something unique to offer folks. From large scale homesteads to apartments – we have you covered!
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For this week we are highlighting our silkies. ❤️ There is no chicken breed more patent and docile on the planet than a Silkie. They will happily sit in a basket as a child carries them around the yard. They are flightless so they do not escape from their designated area of your yard and they make EXCELLENT mothers, adopting any young chick when they are broody. If you have fertile eggs they will also hatch them for you, they are an off the grid homesteaders dream because they will keep a flock replenished year after year without the use of electricity and incubator if you have a rooster keeping the eggs fertile.
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They are suited to all climates but they would love some extra comforts in a coop during the winter if it snows in your area because they are all down without the covering of smooth feathers that other chickens enjoy. They do well in the rain and enjoy running around on pastures.
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Dutiful layers of smooth 3/4 sized cream eggs, they have won their place on our farm for the sweet personalities they bring. I used to think they were nothing more than a designer chicken but I have been shown that they are far more versatile than most chicken breeds!
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Their amazing head feathers make it challenging for them to see predators from above. To remedy this, we give them a little hairdo (second image below) 
this way they can see any dangers lurking from above.

 


alchemist_farmThe Most Patient Chicken
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The Beauty In-between

🌿The Beauty In-between🌿
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In a world obsessed with uniformity and perfection it is the “imperfection” that catches my eye. 
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The in-between sizes, the different colors and textures are all opportunities to create something new. For years I wished I could paint, sketch or draw. I longed to create art but did not have the skills within the conventional artistic box. As I age I now see that I can create with natures palate through her awe inspiring eggs. It took 30 years, but here we are – creating something beautiful and useful everyday. ❤️
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If you are one of those folks who feel like they are in-between and not quite on the conventional track, know that we appreciate you. There is great possibility when we can see and live outside of the box. Have faith, keep working toward your dreams because you never know where your heart will lead you!
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These are all quail eggs, #coturnixquail and #alchemistbluequail both varieties are lovely additions to any homestead large or small. We ship chicks and fertile hatching eggs of them nation wide. ❤️
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alchemist_farmThe Beauty In-between
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It is What’s Inside That Counts

🌿Its What’s Inside That Counts🌿
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Crack open an egg from the grocery store, what do you see? The color, the texture, the firmness of the yolk is a direct correlation to a hens diet and the health benefits (or lack there of) of the egg.
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Not all eggs are laid equal. How we treat our birds is how well they will produce something that has the full health potential possible. 
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I read once that a tomato can contain over 22 vitamins and minerals. It can only do so if the soil it is planted in has those minerals available for the plant to uptake, it cannot create them out of thin air. The same is true for eggs, they can be one of the most nourishing foods on the planet or a simple calorie and protein filler created in a factory warehouse.
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The longer we work with the birds the more we see the incredible gifts and lessons they can teach us. If given proper pasture, sunlight and space to catch insects, the humble hen can create edible gold. Treat our animals, soil, eco systems better and they will support us in not just surviving but thriving. ❤️
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Take another mental step with me. The eggs you see open here and the yolks there in are setting the stage for healthier chicks and birds in the long run. We all know that eating right in pregnancy is vital to setting our children up for robust lives. The same is true for chickens. The birds we breed and the chicks they create are getting the best start possible.
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Solid genetics and ample nutrition from parents make for more disease resistant hens. We are all about preventative care on our farm. We do not vaccinate, we do not use antibiotics because we do not have to. Healthy food systems, healthy animals can be created if we get back to the basics of caring for our land and animals properly. 🌍

alchemist_farmIt is What’s Inside That Counts
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Want To Know All About Backyard Chicken Keeping? We Have You Covered!

Hey Everyone!

Spring is in full swing and chick season is upon us.  Every year our head chicken wrangler gets thousands of questions from folks of all sorts of expert levels in backyard chicken raising. This year for the first time she is offering two full class days (March 11th and April 1st) when two classes will be taught back to back. The first class offered on each class day is “Backyard Chicken Raising For Beginners” and the second is “Advanced Backyard Chicken Raising”. You can come to one or both classes on either class day to brush up on your chicken whispering skills and expand your knowledge base!

Check out the descriptions below for a full outline of each class as well as locations and times.

Class 1: Beginners Backyard Chicken Keeping Course

 This two hour class is designed for those who are interested in keeping backyard chickens and want to know the basics from which breeds to select for your flock goals to how to build a predator proof coop. We will discuss brooding of chicks, feed for all stages of a chickens life, proper coop maintenance, integration of existing flocks, collection and storage of eating eggs, how to set yourself up for success in relating to your new yard companions and how to look for signs of illness.

 

Class 2: Advanced Backyard Chicken Keeping and Hatching

 This two hour class is going to be packed with all of the nitty gritty details that the experienced backyard chicken keeper is looking for clarity on. We will discuss various incubation techniques as well as incubators available on the market, selecting correct eggs for incubation, testing for signs of fertility, candling, feather color genetics and how to breed for specific looks in your birds. On the health front we will cover vaccination, holistic health management of your flock, setting up proper biosecurity, what it means to be NPIP certified and if it makes sense for your flock, what to keep in your home veterinary kit, treatments for common ailments, class questions.

Saturday March 11th
This full class day will be held at Alchemist Farm in Sebastopol (space is limited). Cost for each class individually is $55 or $100 for both classes. Our Beginner class begins at 10am and goes until 12pm we will have a lunch break and if you are joining us for our Advanced class it will begin at 2pm and go until 4pm. This class day includes viewing of some of our breeding groups in action and is a rare opportunity to come beyond the Alchemist front gate. Clean booties to maintain biosecurity will be provided. To register for this class you can email us at: Alchemistfarm@gmail.com

 

Saturday April 1st

This full class day will be held at: SHED located at
25 North St. Healdsburg, CA in Healdsburg. Cost for each class at this location is $45. For class times and registration you can follow this link:

http://healdsburgshed.com/events/beginner-chicken-keeping/

http://healdsburgshed.com/events/advanced-chicken-keeping/
Class participants in either class day receive 15% off a chick or hatching order placed in 2017!

alchemist_farmWant To Know All About Backyard Chicken Keeping? We Have You Covered!
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Little Chicken Wranglers

Endless entertainment for little hands. We love having friends over to play when the sun is out. Many little ones have never held a chicken but our birds are patient and happy to accept cuddles from all ages 🙂

alchemist_farmLittle Chicken Wranglers
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Talking Chicken At The Gravenstein Apple Fair

Talking chicken at the Gravenstein Apple Fair!

We are committed to educating folks on humane ways of raising chickens and were thrilled to be invited to speak at this years Gravenstein Apple Fair. The head chicken wrangler gave a 45 minute presentation on chicken raising basics with Patricia the partridge silkie happily tucked under her arm. Topics covered ranged from how to predator proof your coop to which breeds are best for your family.

If you have a local group who would like to learn about chicken wrangling don’t hesitate to reach out – we love chatting chicken with people!

alchemist_farmTalking Chicken At The Gravenstein Apple Fair
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Seeding Fresh Pasture

Seeding fresh pasture

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What do you do when your father comes to visit? Why put him to work assembling your seed spreader! With big rain in the report for Northern California we created our own seed mix of general pasture, rye grass and clovers to cast over our acreage. We are extremely water conscious here on the farm and do not irrigate our fields during the summer, big rains means an explosion of color on the landscape again.

alchemist_farmSeeding Fresh Pasture
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Blue Ribbons For Our Birds From The National Heirloom Expo

Blue Ribbons All Around From The National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa!

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We keep a closed flock here on the farm which means that we do not bring any new birds onto the premises. We do this to protect the health of our breeding stock from various diseases other flocks can carry. We are proud to be part of the National Poultry Improvement Plan, every bird on our property has been tested clean of diseases.

Keeping a closed flock means that we cannot open the farm to visitors or take our birds to shows unless the birds are sold at the shows. This year we decided to participate in the National Heirloom Expo put on by Baker Creek Seeds because we are aligned with their mission of preserving heritage breeds of livestock and seeds. We entered a small sampling of our breeds into the judging and were pleased to have each one of our birds win a blue ribbon!

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We held a silent auction for a breeding quality pair of Svart Hona and at the end of the fair it was none other than the founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company who won them. It was bittersweet seeing Darth and Duchess off to their new home but we know they are now in excellent hands!

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alchemist_farmBlue Ribbons For Our Birds From The National Heirloom Expo
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