All posts tagged: silkie crossed with cochin

How to Properly Care for a Broody Chicken and Ensure She Can Take Care of Her Baby Chicks

Caring for a broody chicken can be a rewarding experience, but it requires some knowledge and preparation to ensure both the mother hen and her chicks thrive. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps to properly care for a broody chicken and ensure she is able to take care of her baby chicks when they hatch. Whether you’re a seasoned poultry keeper or new to raising chickens, these tips will help you provide the best care for your broody hen.

Understanding Broody Behavior

A broody chicken is one that has decided to sit on her eggs to hatch them. This natural instinct can occur in many breeds, though some are more prone to broodiness than others. Signs of a broody chicken include:

  • Spending most of her time sitting on the nest.
  • Fluffing up her feathers and making clucking noises when approached.
  • Refusing to leave the nest even when there are no eggs.

Preparing for a Broody Chicken

Once you recognize that your chicken is broody, it’s important to prepare a suitable environment for her. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Choose a Safe Nesting Spot: Ensure the nesting box is in a quiet, safe location away from the rest of the flock. This reduces stress and prevents other chickens from disturbing her.
  2. Provide Fresh Bedding: Use clean, dry bedding in the nesting box. Straw or wood shavings are ideal materials. This helps keep the eggs clean and provides comfort for the hen.
  3. Ensure Adequate Ventilation: The nesting area should be well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of moisture and ammonia, which can harm the hen and her eggs.

Supporting Your Broody Hen

A broody hen will spend most of her time on the nest, but she still needs care to maintain her health during this period. Here are some tips:

  1. Food and Water: Place food and water close to the nesting box so she can easily access them without leaving the eggs for too long. Offer high-quality layer feed and fresh water daily.
  2. Daily Breaks: Encourage her to take short breaks to eat, drink, and defecate. This is essential for her health and prevents her from becoming too weak.
  3. Monitor Health: Check on your broody hen regularly to ensure she is eating, drinking, and appears healthy. Watch for signs of parasites or illness and address any issues promptly.

Preparing for Hatching

As the hatching date approaches, there are additional steps you can take to ensure a successful hatch and healthy chicks:

  1. Candling the Eggs: Around 7-10 days into incubation, candle the eggs (use a bright light to check inside) to ensure they are developing properly. Remove any infertile or non-developing eggs to prevent them from spoiling and affecting the other eggs.
  2. Increase Vigilance: Keep a closer eye on the hen and eggs as the hatching date nears. Watch for any signs of distress or complications.
  3. Prepare a Brooder: Set up a brooder (a warm, safe space for the chicks) in case you need to intervene or if the hen rejects any chicks. It should have a heat source, like a heat lamp, and be kept at around 95°F (35°C) for the first week, gradually decreasing the temperature as the chicks grow.

Helping with Hatching

When the time comes for the eggs to hatch, your broody hen will likely know what to do, but here are some tips to ensure everything goes smoothly:

  1. Minimize Disturbance: Avoid handling the eggs or disturbing the nest during hatching. Let the hen and chicks settle naturally.
  2. Provide Chick Feed: Once the chicks start hatching, offer chick starter feed and water in shallow dishes to prevent drowning. Ensure the dishes are accessible to the tiny chicks.
  3. Observe the Process: Keep an eye on the hatching process but from a distance. Intervene only if absolutely necessary, such as if a chick is struggling to hatch and is in danger.

Post-Hatch Care

After the chicks have hatched, there are several steps to ensure they and the broody hen are well cared for:

  1. Bonding Time: Allow the hen and her chicks to bond. She will keep them warm and teach them how to eat and drink.
  2. Safety and Comfort: Ensure the brooder or nesting area is safe from predators and other chickens. The space should be clean, dry, and warm.
  3. Monitor Health: Watch for any signs of illness or distress in the chicks. Ensure they are all eating, drinking, and growing well.

Caring for a broody chicken and her baby chicks requires attention, preparation, and ongoing care. By providing a safe environment, ensuring the hen’s health, and supporting the hatching process, you can enjoy the rewarding experience of watching a mother hen raise her chicks. Remember, every hen and situation is unique, so be prepared to adapt and provide the best care possible for your feathered friends.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your broody chicken and her chicks thrive, leading to a happy and healthy floc

alchemist_farmHow to Properly Care for a Broody Chicken and Ensure She Can Take Care of Her Baby Chicks
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The most striking chicken in the world

Are you looking to add a touch of elegance to your backyard flock? Look no further than the Double Silver Laced Barnevelder. This stunning chicken breed is known for its striking appearance, friendly demeanor, and exceptional egg-laying abilities. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of Double Silver Laced Barnevelders and discover what makes them such a beloved addition to any poultry enthusiast’s flock.

Are all Barnevelder double laced?

While the Barnevelder breed is known for its double-laced plumage pattern, not all Barnevelders exhibit this trait. The Double Silver Laced variety, however, features a distinct double-laced pattern of silver and black feathers that sets them apart from other Barnevelder varieties. This eye-catching plumage adds to the breed’s allure and makes them a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers.

How much does a Barnevelder cost?

The cost of a Barnevelder can vary depending on factors such as age, pedigree, and the reputation of the breeder. On average, a Double Silver Laced Barnevelder chick may cost anywhere from $5 to $40, while adult birds can range from $15 to $60 or more. While they may be slightly more expensive than some other breeds, their beauty, temperament, and egg-laying capabilities make them a worthwhile investment for many poultry enthusiasts.

What color eggs do double laced Barnevelders lay?

One of the standout features of Double Silver Laced Barnevelders is their curious and sweet disposition and their show stopping beauty which makes them favorite among backyard egg enthusiasts. Additionally, Barnevelders are known to be prolific layers, providing a steady supply of eggs throughout the year.

Choosing Your Double Silver Laced Barnevelder

If you’re considering adding Double Silver Laced Barnevelders to your flock, you’re in for a treat. Not only are these chickens beautiful to look at, but they also have a friendly and docile temperament that makes them a joy to keep. Whether you’re a seasoned chicken keeper or new to backyard poultry, Double Silver Laced Barnevelders are sure to become fast favorites in your flock.

Double Silver Laced Barnevelders are truly a breed apart, with their stunning plumage, friendly disposition, and exceptional egg-laying abilities. Whether you’re drawn to their beauty, their eggs, or their charming personalities, these chickens have something to offer for every poultry enthusiast. Consider adding Double Silver Laced Barnevelders to your flock today and experience the joy of raising these magnificent birds firsthand.

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A Guide to the Best Chicken Hatcheries

Finding Your Feathered Friends: A Guide to the Best Chicken Hatcheries

Are you ready to start your backyard flock but unsure where to find high-quality chicks and chickens? Choosing the right chicken hatchery is crucial for ensuring healthy, happy birds that will thrive in your care. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best chicken hatcheries and where to find them, both locally and online.

Which are the best chicken hatcheries?

When it comes to selecting a chicken hatchery, there are several factors to consider, including reputation, selection, and customer service. Some of the best chicken hatcheries are known for their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Whether you’re looking for rare breeds, heritage breeds, or reliable egg layers, reputable hatcheries like Alchemist Farm offer a wide variety of options to choose from.

Where is a chicken hatchery near me?

If you prefer to purchase chicks locally, you may be wondering, “Where is a chicken hatchery near me?” Fortunately, many regions have local hatcheries or farm supply stores that sell chicks and chickens. These establishments often offer the advantage of being able to see the birds in person before making a purchase. Additionally, buying locally can reduce stress on the birds during transit and support your local economy.

Where to buy chicks and chickens online

For those who prefer the convenience of online shopping, there are plenty of reputable websites where you can buy chicks and chickens online. Websites like Alchemist Farm offer a wide selection of breeds, as well as helpful resources and information for first-time chicken owners. When buying chicks online, be sure to research the hatchery thoroughly, read customer reviews, and inquire about their shipping and handling practices to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

Choosing the Right Hatchery for You

Ultimately, the best chicken hatchery for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for specific breeds, organic options, or simply reliable egg layers, there are hatcheries out there that can meet your needs. By doing your research, asking questions, and choosing a reputable hatchery, you can ensure that your backyard flock gets off to a healthy and happy start.


Finding the right chicken hatchery is an important step in starting your backyard flock. Whether you choose to buy locally or online, be sure to prioritize quality, reputation, and customer service when selecting a hatchery. With the right resources and information at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to raising happy, healthy chickens in no time.

alchemist_farmA Guide to the Best Chicken Hatcheries
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French Blue Copper Marans

The Beauty and Mystique of French Blue Copper Marans Chickens

French Blue Copper Marans chickens are renowned for their striking appearance, docile temperament, and exquisite eggs. With their rich history and unique characteristics, these chickens have captured the hearts of poultry enthusiasts around the world. In this guide, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of French Blue Copper Marans and uncover what makes them such a prized addition to any flock.

Are Blue Popper Marans rare?

Yes, Blue Copper Marans are considered rare compared to other varieties of Marans chickens. Their stunning blue plumage and distinctive copper-colored accents make them a sought-after breed among poultry enthusiasts. While they may be less common than their black copper counterparts, their rarity only adds to their allure for those looking to add a touch of elegance to their flock.

Why are Copper Marans so expensive?

Copper Marans, including both black and blue varieties, are often more expensive than other chicken breeds due to their exceptional egg-laying abilities and unique appearance. Marans chickens are known for laying eggs with dark, chocolate-colored shells, which are highly prized by egg connoisseurs for their rich flavor and nutritional value. Additionally, breeding and maintaining high-quality Marans lines can be labor-intensive and require careful selection to preserve desirable traits, contributing to their higher cost.

What is the temperament of a blue copper Maran chicken?

Blue copper Marans are known for their gentle and friendly temperament, making them an excellent choice for backyard flocks and family pets. These chickens are typically calm and docile, making them easy to handle and interact with. They enjoy foraging in the yard and are known to be good foragers, making them a practical choice for free-range setups.

What is the difference between black copper Maran and blue copper Maran?

The primary difference between Black Copper Marans and Blue Copper Marans lies in their plumage color. While both varieties feature copper-colored accents on their feathers, Black Copper Marans have predominantly black feathers with copper hackles, while Blue Copper Marans display a stunning blue hue with copper markings. Additionally, some breeders believe that blue copper Marans may produce slightly lighter-colored eggs compared to their black copper counterparts.

Choosing Your French Copper Marans

Whether you’re drawn to the timeless elegance of Black Copper Marans or the captivating beauty of Blue Copper Marans, adding these chickens to your flock is sure to bring joy and delight. Their friendly demeanor, exceptional egg quality, and unique appearance make them a valuable addition to any poultry enthusiast’s collection. Consider adding French Blue Copper Marans or French Black Copper Marans to your flock today to experience the beauty and charm of these magnificent birds.

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The Friendliest Chicken Breeds

 Feathered Friends: Choosing the Friendliest Chicken Breeds for Your Flock

Are you considering adding chickens to your backyard but want to ensure they’ll be friendly and sociable companions? Choosing the right breed can make all the difference when it comes to raising chickens that are not only productive but also enjoyable to interact with. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the friendliest chicken breeds that are known for their gentle dispositions and affectionate nature.

1. What is the friendliest breed of chicken?

When it comes to friendly chicken breeds, the Moss Egger stands out as one of the top choices. These delightful chickens are known for their outgoing personalities and love to interact with their human caretakers. Whether you’re feeding them treats from your hand or simply spending time in the backyard, Moss Eggers are sure to brighten your day with their cheerful demeanor.

2. What kind of chickens like to be held?

If you’re looking for chickens that enjoy being held and cuddled, Bantam Cochins are an excellent option. These fluffy little birds are often referred to as “lap chickens” due to their love of human attention. Whether you’re sitting on the porch or relaxing in the backyard, Bantam Cochins are always eager to hop into your lap for some quality bonding time.

3. What is the best chicken to keep as a pet?

For those seeking a chicken that doubles as a beloved pet, the German Bielefelder fits the bill perfectly. These gentle giants are known for their docile nature and affectionate demeanor, making them ideal companions for families with children or anyone looking for a feathered friend to share their space with.

4. What is the most family-friendly chicken?

When it comes to family-friendly chickens, the Moss Egger once again takes the spotlight. These sociable birds are great with children and enjoy being part of family activities. Whether it’s helping with gardening chores or participating in backyard picnics, Moss Eggers are always eager to be involved and make wonderful additions to any family flock.

Choosing Your Feathered Friends

When selecting chicken breeds for your flock, it’s essential to consider not only their egg-laying abilities but also their temperament and personality. By choosing breeds known for their friendliness and sociability, you can ensure that your backyard chickens will not only provide you with fresh eggs but also with endless joy and companionship.

alchemist_farmThe Friendliest Chicken Breeds
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Colorful Egg Layers

Colorful Egg Layers: The Most Vibrant Chickens for Your Flock

Are you looking to add a pop of color to your egg basket? While traditional white and brown eggs are classic staples, some chicken breeds lay eggs in a dazzling array of hues, from deep blues to rich browns and even olive greens. In this guide, we’ll explore the world of colorful egg layers and answer some burning questions about which chickens lay the most vibrant eggs.

1. What chicken breed lays the Greenest eggs?

One of the most sought-after breeds for their striking dark green eggs is the Moss Egger These chickens are prized for their beautiful feathers and their ability to produce eggs with a deep green hue. Adding a Moss Egger Chickens to your flock is sure to elevate your egg basket to new heights of beauty.

2. What is the rarest color chicken egg?

While blue and green eggs may garner a lot of attention, one of the rarest colors for chicken eggs is a true chocolate brown. These rich, mahogany-colored eggs are laid by breeds such as the French Black Copper Marans and French Blue Copper Marans With their stunning dark plumage and ability to lay these rare gems, Marans chickens are sure to be a standout addition to any backyard flock.

3. What chicken lays cream-colored eggs?

For those who prefer a softer, more subtle hue, cream-colored eggs are a delightful choice. The Double Silver laced Barnevelder is known for its creamy-colored eggs, which add a touch of elegance to any breakfast table. These charming chickens also boast a friendly disposition and make excellent additions to family flocks.

4. What chicken lays Speckled eggs?

If you’re searching for eggs that are speckled and pretty as a picture, look no further than the Heritage Welsummers. These delightful chickens lay eggs in various shades of brown, sometimes appearing light purple with their intricate speckling pattern over the top. With their striking appearance and prolific egg-laying abilities, Welsummer chickens are sure to capture the hearts of backyard chicken enthusiasts.

Choosing Your Colorful Egg Layers

When selecting chickens for your flock, consider the variety of egg colors you’d like to collect. Whether you prefer the bold blues of the French Black Copper Marans or the delicate pinks of the Moss Egger Chick, there’s a colorful egg layer to suit every taste. By adding a diverse array of breeds to your flock, you can create a stunning egg basket that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious.

alchemist_farmColorful Egg Layers
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How many chickens do you need for a family of four?

 Finding the Flock: How Many Chickens Do You Need for a Family of Four?

Are you considering starting your own backyard chicken flock to provide fresh eggs or meat for your family? With the rising interest in self-sustainability and knowing where our food comes from, keeping chickens has become a popular choice for many households. But how many chickens do you really need to keep your family of four supplied with eggs or meat? Let’s explore the numbers.

1. How many chickens does a family of 4 need for eggs?

For a family of four looking to have a steady supply of fresh eggs, a small flock of four to six chickens is generally recommended. This allows each chicken to produce approximately one egg per day on average, providing more than enough eggs to meet the needs of your family while still allowing for occasional breaks in egg-laying.

2. How many chickens do I need for 4 dozen eggs a week?

If your family goes through about four dozen eggs per week, you’ll likely want to aim for a slightly larger flock of around six to eight chickens. This ensures you have enough hens laying consistently to meet your weekly egg needs without putting too much strain on any individual bird.

3. How many chickens should a beginner start with?

For beginners just starting out with backyard chickens, it’s usually best to start small. A beginner-friendly flock size would typically consist of three to four chickens. This allows you to gain experience caring for and managing your chickens without becoming overwhelmed. As you become more comfortable and confident in your chicken-keeping skills, you can always consider expanding your flock.

4. How many whole chickens do I need for 4 people?

If you’re considering raising chickens for meat rather than eggs, the number of chickens you’ll need will depend on your family’s meat consumption and preferences. On average, one whole chicken typically provides enough meat for about four servings. So, for a family of four, you may want to consider raising one chicken per week for a steady supply of fresh, homegrown poultry.

Choosing the Right Breeds

When it comes to selecting chickens for your flock, there are countless breeds to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and qualities. If you’re looking for chickens that are known for their excellent egg-laying abilities, breeds like the French Black Copper Marans or Sage Egger Chick may be good choices.

For those interested in colorful eggs, the Isbar Chick is known for laying eggs with striking shades of blue. And if you’re looking for a versatile breed that excels in both egg production and meat quality, consider the Alchemist Egger Chick.

The ideal number of chickens for a family of four will vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a steady supply of fresh eggs or homegrown meat, starting with a small flock and gradually expanding as needed is a great way to embark on your backyard chicken-keeping journey.

alchemist_farmHow many chickens do you need for a family of four?
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The Beginning of a Cycle

🌱The Beginning of a Cycle🌱
Today is the day we turn on our incubators for the first time in 2024 to start the process of bringing our hatchery out of dormancy. As each incubator hums to life we say a prayer over each egg, every bird, all the humans here on the farm, every person who will be supporting us and every shipment of birds we will be sending out. We give thanks and also ask for protection for us all. We are connected through these little eggs that will turn into chicks in a profound way that words cannot do justice.
This powerful moment for us acknowledges all of the incredible daily work it takes to keep 14 different breeds of chickens happy and healthy. Happy chickens lay strong viable eggs. Those eggs allow us to hatch healthy chicks which are the manifestation of our labors of love. All the positive energy we pour into our land and flocks gets sent out into the world, we hope that you feel it when our chicks arrive to you – they are like little love letters from each us ❤️
While the weather is cold and rainy for us and snowing for most of the United States, our incubators will quietly hum away as they turn the eggs, warm them and provide the perfect humidity for life to form. In 21 days our first hatchlings of 2024 will emerge and we will be hatching weekly there after until October 2024.
Pre-orders for all available hatching dates in 2024 are open on our website. Will you be bringing some of our chicks into your flock this season?

alchemist_farmThe Beginning of a Cycle
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Preparing Your Backyard Chicken Flock for a Cozy Winter: Nutrition, Coop Retrofitting, and Soil Health

As winter approaches, it’s essential to ensure your backyard chicken flock is well-prepared to face the challenges of colder temperatures. With proper care and attention, you can provide your sweet flock with a comfortable and healthy environment throughout the winter months. In this blog, we’ll explore key steps to help you prepare your backyard chickens for winter, focusing on nutrition, coop retrofitting, and the often over looked importance of soil health.

1. Nutrition:

a. Adjusting the Diet: During winter, your chickens will need extra energy to stay warm. You can achieve this by adjusting their diet. Provide them with a high-quality layer feed that is specifically formulated for cold weather. These feeds typically contain more calories to help them maintain body heat.

b. Fresh Water: Ensure that your chickens have access to fresh, unfrozen water at all times. Use heated waterers if you live in areas that freeze easily or check the water source frequently to prevent freezing.

c. Supplemental Feeding: Consider offering supplemental treats like mealworms, protein rich table scraps, scratch grains, or warm oatmeal as occasional treats. These can provide extra calories and help keep the birds active.

2. Coop Retrofitting:

a. Insulation: Insulating your coop is crucial to maintaining a warm environment. You can insulate the walls and ceiling with materials like foam boards or fiberglass insulation that is properly sealed away from the birds if space allows. Ensure that ventilation is still adequate to prevent moisture buildup.

b. Draft Prevention: Seal any gaps or cracks in the coop to prevent drafts. Use weatherstripping and caulk to seal openings around doors and windows. However, maintain proper cross ventilation to prevent moisture accumulation. Sweet windows covered with gopher wire to prevent critters from coming in will do the trick here.

c. Adequate Roosting Space: Chickens roost to keep warm. Provide enough roosting space for all your chickens, allowing them to huddle together for warmth.

d. Deep Litter Method: Consider using the deep litter method in your coop. This involves adding a layer of fresh bedding (such as straw or wood shavings) regularly. The bedding generates heat as it decomposes, providing extra warmth to the coop. This is best done in colder extreme environments.

3. Soil Health:

a. Outdoor Access: While it’s essential to keep your chickens warm in the coop, they also need outdoor access. Make sure they have a dry, snow-free area to roam during the day. Use straw or wood chips to create a path in the run to prevent mud and moisture buildup.

b. Soil Preparation: Before winter, assess the condition of your chicken run. Remove any debris, manure, or wet bedding that could promote disease. Ensure good drainage to prevent puddles and mud. Standing water and mud can promote parasitic worms in the soil to hatch and the birds can eat them causing a host of health issues.

c. Composting: Use the manure and bedding from the coop to create compost. Composting not only reduces waste but also generates heat as it breaks down. You can then use the compost to improve soil health in the spring.

Preparing your backyard chicken flock for winter during this fall season is a rewarding practice that ensures your flocks comfort and health during the colder months. Remember to provide fresh water, adjust their diet, retrofit the coop for warmth, and maintain a healthy outdoor environment. With these measures in place, your chickens will stay happy and healthy all season long!

alchemist_farmPreparing Your Backyard Chicken Flock for a Cozy Winter: Nutrition, Coop Retrofitting, and Soil Health
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Low Egg Production in The Summer Months

As the scorching sun embraces us during these summer days, you might have noticed that our lovely hens seem to be taking a little break from their egg-laying duties. Lower egg production is not a cause to worry, it’s a natural phenomenon during this time of year and here is why:

🔥 Heat Stress: Just like us, chickens can feel the heat too! When temperatures rise, they experience heat stress, which affects their overall health and well-being. When hens get overheated, they divert their energy away from egg production to cope with the heat. Remember, keeping them cool and providing enough shade is essential to keep the egg-laying production going! 🌿💧

🌡️ Hormonal Changes: The longer daylight hours in summer can lead to hormonal fluctuations in our feathered friends. Chickens rely on specific light patterns to regulate their egg-laying cycle, and extended daylight might cause temporary disruptions in their reproductive systems. So, fewer eggs during these months are just part of their natural response to the changing season. 🌞🕰️

🍉 Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Just like hydration and proper nutrition are vital for us during hot weather, they are equally important for our chickens! Providing fresh water and nutrient-rich feed helps maintain their health and may encourage them to lay more eggs once the heat subsides. 🍗🍉

💛 Give Them TLC: Our hens are the heart of our flock, and during these warmer months, they deserve a little extra tender loving care. Frequent checks, a clean coop, and a relaxing environment can go a long way in keeping them happy and reducing the impact of heat stress on their egg-laying abilities. 🏡💕

So, while our egg baskets might be a bit lighter during the summer, let’s embrace this natural cycle and focus on keeping our chickens comfortable and content. They’ll surely reward us with more gorgeous eggs once the cooler breeze of autumn arrives! 🍂🐓

alchemist_farmLow Egg Production in The Summer Months
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