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Farm Fresh Eggs

Jayson built our first chicken coop in 2016. We started with a small flock of 6 chickens. Over the years through experience, knowledge, and chicken math, our flock has grown slightly. We started with the goal of being able to have our own fresh eggs and have since been able to supply said fresh eggs to family, friends and neighbours. Alannahs particular interest is in creating an egg basket full of beautiful rainbow eggs. Careful thought and consideration has and continues to into the choices we make while adding chickens to our flock. 

As our flock has grown, so as our passion for raising happy, healthy chickens. This year we will be executing plans to add a larger flock of  pasture raised, free range laying hens. We take pride in being able to offer farm fresh eggs from our farm gate.

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Our very first chicken coop. It taught us a lot about design, function and practicality. It's no longer around but it's an important part of our story

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The Inspiration

 

In 2020 Alannah came across a post advertising Rhode Island Red laying hens for sale. Jayson had this breed on our chicken ‘wish list’ because of the qualities they would add to our flock. There was a simple stock google photo of a chicken along with contact information as well as a price of $4/hen $3/hen if purchasing in quantities of 50 or more, so obviously they had many chickens to sell. To add a little perspective it’s not uncommon for day old, unsexed chicks to be sold for $10 each (which is a reasonable price).

 

Upon a little research we discovered that these hens would be coming from a relatively local egg farm. We knew there was a good chance they may not be in the greatest shape. The night before we picked our hens up we browsed through the farms website. These are ‘free roam’ hens, which is very appealing to the public on an egg carton in the grocery store. What is it that you picture when you think of a ‘free roam’ hen? This farm in particular even shares they ‘became a leader in the improved standards of animal welfare by converting our entire farm into lose housing.’

 

Upon arrival to pick up the hens we had purchased, Jayson asked the woman why they were getting rid of so many hens. She openly told us that these hens are ‘moulting’ and it’s not justifiable to keep them around because of decreased egg production during a moult, so the hens are ‘unloaded’. Given 'the times' that spring, these chickens were offered for sale to the public because usual options were  not available at that time. I've seen our chickens moult multiple times and I can honestly say they’ve never looked like this.

These hens had likely never seen sunlight, blue sky or grass and have lived in an over crowded barn their entire lives. This is what happens in a commercial egg laying facility. These hens were fed, watered and cared for the way any commercial animal is, this is not neglect it is a business, and I’m sure this farm meets and exceeds all requirements and regulations.

At that time, eggs from this particular farm are sold locally for upwards of $7 a dozen which has likely increased since then.

We are nowhere close to  being experts,  we  don’t have a PhD in chicken tending and it would be laughable if we said we knew an ounce about agriculture. We have the utmost respect for farmers and I think the world would be a better place if more of us had their ambition and drive.

We simply want you to think about where your food is coming from. Maybe next time you need eggs consider visiting the farm down the road with the hand painted ‘farm fresh eggs’ sign nailed to their mailbox. 

These pictures were taken on the day these hens arrived home to Turtle Herd Acres. They spent 1 month in quarantine and then joined the rest of our flock

Colour returned to their combs and wattles, their feathers grew back and they continued to lay eggs daily. They ended up being some of our favourite flock members. 

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The Plan

If efforts to move towards pasture rotation practices and creating an environment for happy, healthy hens- this spring, Turtle Herd Acres will be adding an additional 30-40 laying hens who will be pasture raised and free range. Using electric netting allowing them to be easily moved across our pastures, a mobile coop and our favourite poultry guardian, these hens will spend their days foraging bugs and grasses in the warm sunshine. Although small in numbers, these happy healthy hens will play a key role in making our dreams a reality. Keep an eye to see our plan come to life and our new flock arrives.

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Un-washed farm fresh eggs can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Pre-washed eggs should always be stored in the refrigerator. When in doubt refrigerate.

Storing Farm Fresh Eggs

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Well in chocolate cake, of course! We strongly believe that eggs are proof you can be anything you want in life.

How Are Eggs Best Served?

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Our Farm Fresh Eggs are available for reservation and/or pick-up at our farm gate. Eggs will always be un-washed unless otherwise requested

How To Purchase Our Eggs

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