All posts tagged: pastured poultry

Quail Eggs

🌿Quail Eggs🌿
Quail are SO prolific! They lay 5-6 eggs a week without fail and begin to do so at just 8 weeks of age which is lightning fast in the world of poultry.
Did you know that whatever pattern of bloom a quail hen lays on her eggs is the pattern she creates her whole life? It may not be in the exact same place on the egg from a given day to another but it is always in the same theme. Big dots, gentle speckles or even swirls that look like smoke.
Nature never ceases to amaze us here on the farm. It inspires us, beckons us to come outside and interact with it, care for it, and conserve it. 🌏
What’s your quail egg color fancy? Blue or brown speckled? 😊

alchemist_farmQuail Eggs
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Perfect Design

🌿Perfect Design🌿
Every Monday during our hatching season we open our hatchers and sort/count the weeks fluffy chicks. After the chicks have been carefully moved from the hatcher we inspect the eggs that have not hatched to see if any chicks are still making a late entrance into the world.
This chick was quietly sitting in its shell, looking around at the world around it. It was pausing before making its final pushes to get out of the only home it has ever known.
We know they the chicks are quite snug in their eggs but this visual was a stunning reminder of nature’s perfect design. There is not a millimeter of extra space inside a chickens egg. The chicks grow to fill the space and then carefully, oh so carefully peck their way out.


Nature only takes what it needs, and uses its spaces and resources wisely. It is a powerful example for us humans to follow. ❤️

alchemist_farmPerfect Design
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Barnyard Romance

All of our breeding groups are kept in separate pastures over our acreage. They have permanent fencing in between them and their flight wings trimmed so they stay with their individual group to create pure bred offspring.

It is rare, but every now and again we have a hen that falls in love with a rooster of a different breed. Once a hen like this gets it in her mind that she needs to be with a particular rooster it is a straight up Romeo and Juliet situation and she will stop at nothing to be near him. I have seen these hens climb a 4ft tall fence with their talons while flapping to scale the height and pop over into a different pasture out of sheer determination!

Over the years of working with livestock I have learned to lean into and work with nature as opposed to trying to force it in a direction it does not want to go. When these hens emerge I now let them stay with their barnyard lover and her eggs become part of our barnyard dozen. Not purebred anymore but created with a whole lot of love!

I have been thinking about regenerative farming a lot recently. A great example of working with nature and not against it in the regenerative farming space is building up who/what is in the soil to create healthier crops and higher yields. Right now, large scale farmers all over the United States use massive amounts of pesticides to kill something specific that they do not want. Regenerative farmers are offering a new approach. If the life under ground is healthy and vibrant (worms, microbes, healthy mycelium etc.) then that soil is feeding the plants and making them more disease resistant. If to soil is built up as opposed to stripped away then that also aids in soil/plant health and higher yields. Boosting the life in the soil instead of killing part of it is producing amazing results.

We are at a beautiful point in human history where information sharing is swifter and easier than ever. We can learn from one another and share all of the powerful ways that we can work with nature for swift and amazing results. 🌿

alchemist_farmBarnyard Romance
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A Weeks Collection

We hatch our chicks weekly and make them ready for pickups and shipments the day after they hatch. Hatching once a week means that we save eggs up for a week before setting them.
The numbers of eggs laid in a week ebbs and flows with the seasons, weather and emotional state of the flocks. This last week was a good solid average week of eggs laid so I decided to pop them into a giant basket that my mother gave me last time we visited and whooooie was one heavy beautiful basket! 🌿
We do not wash our eggs, they are clean because we are on top of keeping our nesting boxes clean and we make sure the birds have comfy places to roost at night away from their nesting boxes so they stay fresh longer. Clean nesting boxes mean clean eggs that do not need to be washed. 🙌
Why don’t we want to wash the eggs? The eggs have a lovely protective bloom on them that makes viability higher for hatching. It is natures protective blanket and there is no way we would want to wash that beautiful business off. ❤️
This basket contains eggs from our:
🐓Alchemist Blues
🐓 Azure Eggers
🐓Copper Marans 🐓Double Silver Laced Barnevelders
🐓German Bielefelders 🐓Golden Laced Orpingtons
🐓Heritage Welsummers
🐓Moss Eggers
🐓Sage Eggers
The only breed we work with not pictured in this basket of delight are our Olive Eggers, they are a new cross we are working on and they will yield dark green eggs with a blue undertone. More color, more depth to the egg collecting basket will be appearing soon. ❤️❤️❤️

alchemist_farmA Weeks Collection
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What To Expect With Shipped Chicks

 What will happen when my chicks are shipped?

 A handful of days before your shipping date we will send you your tracking number for your chicks and you will start to see movement on the number come Tuesday. We ship every Tuesday morning. Shipping on the chicks can take anywhere from 1-3 days depending on the route between our local post office in Sebastopol California and your local postoffice. We pack the chicks with a heat pack and enough gro gel to last them a journey of 4 days should the mail take longer than expected. We have shipping minimums of 10 chicks between February-June 1st to ensure that the chicks stay warm and secure while in transit. 

 When your chicks begin their journey of travel it is a good idea to set up your brooder at home so that it is all ready for them when you get them home. We recommend a nice warm space with feeders and clean waterers setup. We favor heat lamps as a source of heat AS LONG AS THEY ARE EXTRA EXRTA secure so that there is no chance of them falling into the brooder and causing a fire. Lots of folks prefer using heat plates for their chicks, it is not something that we use at the farm because we find that the chicks clump up under them and can get squished. A heat lamp that is at an appropriate height will allow for the chicks to draw near to it for heat or away from it if they want to cool down. 

 When your chicks arrive at your local post office they will be held there for you to pick them up.  Your phone number will be written on the top of the box and your post office will call you as soon as they arrive (sometimes very early in the morning) for you to come scoop them up. Before you leave for the post office go ahead and turn your brooder warming source on so that your brooder will be warm and cozy for them when you get them home.

When you get to the post office please open your box and make sure all of the chicks arrived safely. If any did not make the journey please take a photo of the perished chick inside of the box with the live ones so we can either refund or replace the chick for you.

 Once getting your chicks home allow them to get settled in alone for an hour. Let them stretch their legs, explore their new space, get a drink and relax before cuddling them. If a chick is looking sad or like it needs some extra love then you can hold it close to you to give it warmth and it will come around swiftly. 

 We recommend putting some powdered vitamins and electrolytes in your chicks waterer for the first week that they arrive at your home to help ease the transitional stress of travel. Powdered probiotics also will help boost the immune system of your birds from an early age and help them ward off any possible pathogens that they will encounter of the course of their life. Both probiotics and electrolyte resources can be found here both are inexpensive and really effective! 

alchemist_farmWhat To Expect With Shipped Chicks
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The 2019 Lineup

🌿The Lineup🌿

Want to know who of our lineup lays what? Here is a fun color egg chart labeled with the breeds. Represented here are all of the chicken breeds we are breeding in 2019 with the exception of the Alchemist Blues which are taking their swweeeeeeeet time in starting to lay 😉

🌿I believe they will lay a blueish/greenish but time will tell. Their color will be revealed any day now!

🌿Egg color and blue egg color in particular is a tricky thing to capture on film. Too overcast or too bright and the colors look different. We try to do our best when taking photographs but nothing is as fun as seeing the eggs in person 😊 This chart is a nice representation of everything side by side so you can pickup even the different hues in the cream eggs.

🌿💫 What’s the best tasting egg? The Marans get my vote, they do not lay at as high of a frequency as the others and as a result their yolks are really rich!

💫Who lays the most eggs? The Heritwge Welsummers, Sage Eggers and Double Silver Laced Barnevelders.

💫Who lays year round? Our Double Silver Laced Barnevelder.

💫Who is the biggest bird? Our Golden Laced Orpington.

💫Which breeds can be purchased as female chicks? Azure Eggers, Cream Legbars, Alchemist Blues, German Bielefelder 🌿

alchemist_farmThe 2019 Lineup
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The First Set

🌿And So It Begins🌿

This week I stepped into the hatching shed and cleared the space of its winter slumber. The ladies have begun to lay and everyday we are seeing new colors emerge that we will be enjoying for the 2019 season.

I looked over the eggs collected, cheerful little gems, filled with the possibility of life and took a deep breath. I said a good long prayer over our eggs, our birds, our land, our infrastructure, our family, the folks who help us, and all of the people who support us.

You see, breeding chickens and hatching eggs is so much more than that simple act for me. We provide jobs for folks, we preserve genetics, help with local food security and biodiversity of life all over the United States. We educate folks on connecting with the traditions of the past. We connect families with their land, help close loops in their lives, help reduce carbon footprints – one egg, one conversation at a time.

Our genetics, our soil, our air, water and energy is concentrated in the eggs we collect everyday. All that is hatched and then sent out to all of you. A little piece of me is in every life we bring into the world and ship out.

I ended my prayer, loaded the eggs and turned on the incubators. The deep hum of the fans brought back all of the memories of seasons past. The fans whispered the promise of life to come in just three short weeks. Three weeks and the sweet smell of freshly hatched chicks will fill the air, the sound of peeping and and scrabble of little curious feet scampering about the brooder.

We are so honored each year to get to share this journey of the creation of life with you all. Thank you for your support of us and for recognizing the need for humane treatment of chickens. We could not do what we do without you! ❤️

alchemist_farmThe First Set
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