Baby chicks are the cutest thing ever. They are somewhat therapeutic to watch as they flit and fluff and flop all around and act like big grown up chickens. They are curious and if hand held while being raised make for such sweetness and personality.
When we begin a new flock of this little fluff butts, we always purchase the egg laying chicks. We have enjoyed our Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, Araucanas/Ameraucanas (blue and green egg layers) and Red Sexlinks.
If you have been the lucky recipient of our eggs, you've experienced brown eggs and blue eggs and green eggs and most times a bright yellow yolk.
We pride ourselves in taking the best care we can of our chickens. They provide so very much for us. Just the nutrition of an egg - knowing what the chicken was fed (no soy, no gmo feed, lots of garden greens and fruits, alfalfa, oats, wheat, and raw goats milk) is satisfying. We use misters in the hot summer to try to keep our girls cool.
That's all the fun, upside of raising chickens. The down side is the cost. We just purchased 52 baby chicks. Those baby chicks cost almost $4 a piece. Their feed is another couple of hundred dollars - NOT for the time it takes for them to lay an egg, but for about the next 2-3 weeks. They are hungry little fluff butts. We keep heat lamps on at night until they get all their feathers.
The other part of raising baby chicks into happy, egg producing hens is the protection and housing. It costs. This year, Jent (Joy's husband) is in the process of building a small but efficient modular hen house for us. This new one will be easy to clean and easy to collect eggs and have a good amount of hen boxes for the girls to not be crowded.
So, when we charge what we do for a dozen of our eggs - most of our farm guests don't blink an eye. . . at least $8 a dozen - because they know - that we are luck to break even on the cost of what I've mentioned above. What's not included in that cost is cleaning hen boxes, taking care of any girls that get overheated, loss of hens from predators (a few years ago we had a bob cat work her way into the tiniest hole ever and take out 75 of our 80 hens - in a morning. It was horrible, to say the least. We NO longer use chicken wire - but a strong welded wire. Protecting our girls is a top priority.
On Another Note . . . Your Gift List
We are gearing up for holiday caramels being given as gifts and want to let you know that per-orders might be needed this year. We already have begun the Pr-Order list.
Because of all the local shops carrying our caramels - we rarely have much of a fresh supply here at the farm. So, IF you're giving our caramels as gifts this year (and you have to ask, "Why not?") then think about those on your list that you want to give to - and we're happy to ship for you - with a cute goat post card and a personal note from you. My husband is so great at all those notes.
You place that order - tell us WHEN YOU WANT THE CARAMELS MAILED TO YOU OR YOUR GIFT RECIPIENT and we will make sure they are made fresh! HERE is the link to our CARAMEL SHOP. If you live in the Phoenix Valley and want to save on shipping - HERE is the link to our local shops carrying our caramels.
And, don't forget - our FarmShop is open Thursday mornings from 9-11:30 am. Hope to see you soon! Lylah