Earth Haven Farm
Earth Haven Farm BLOG
September 2020

Raising Baby Chicks

Not only are our chickens FREE RANGE, but we also allow our flock to reproduce naturally, meaning that eggs are selected to remain in the nesting box.

A hen that has natural brooding tendencies will soon take up the task of sitting on the eggs and claiming them as her own. She will become very protective of her eggs.

Chick in Egg21 days after the hen begins to sit on the eggs, the chicks will begin to hatch. The mother will naturally select the healthiest of her brood to survive.

Within a day they will be running around, learning all about what it means to be a chicken. Once out into the barnyard with the main flock they will still remain close to their mother.

At night she will return to the coup and roost with her chicks tucked under her wings. Within a week to two weeks they will be independent and start venturing further from their mother and exploring their environment.

As time goes on the chicks become more and more independent. Roosters and hens will easily become distinguished. (Roosters are fancier, with plumed tails frequent crowing) The new hens will not start laying eggs until they are 18-20 weeks old.

Yes it does cost a lot to feed baby chicks the first year that they do not produce eggs.

A good laying hen can lay eggs up to ten years, but most hens will decline in their egg production after two years of age.

Culling the flock and allowing new chicks to replenish the flock is a must to keep things healthy and productive.

Raising free-range chickens is not recommended for producers that want to make a lot of money as chickens will lay their eggs in all kinds of places except the coop.  They are also more susceptible to predators, especially baby chicks at all stages.

Predators may include foxes, coyotes, hawks, owls, weasels, mink, fishers, skunks, raccoons and yes even the beloved farm dog or cat.


Mother Hen and Chicks

Mother hen attentive with newborn chicks in nesting box.

One Week Old Chicks

Day old chicks hatched from an incubator group together for warmth and companionship.

Mother Hen and Chicks

Mother Hen teaches chicks how to scratch and forage in the safety of the coop aviary.

Mother Hen taking her chicks outdoors to forage.

Mother Hen brings her babies inside the coop at night.

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Farm Fresh Eggs

Have you ever compared a home-grown, farm fresh egg with an egg from a big chain supermarket? Naturally raised chickens produce yolks that are a deep orange-yellow and taste like the old fashioned farm eggs your Grandma used to make in the mornings!

Farm Fresh Egg Yolks
Our eggs are 'non-graded' meaning that they are not sorted by size, weight, shape or colour at a certified grading station.  Because they are 'non-graded', we can only sell our eggs direct from the farm.
We will sort some of our eggs by colours and that is simply because some customers have that preference. However, a carton of eggs will vary from small to extra-large and you may even get a double yolk in the mix. What a treat!
Once eggs are collected, cleaned and dried, they are packaged into egg cartons and labelled with the date they were collected. Eggs here at the farm are stored in the refrigerator until they are purchased from the farm.
It is recommended that you store your eggs in your refrigerator. You don't have to store eggs in the refrigerator, but they will last longer this way. Eggs are good for one month after the date of collection when stored in the fridge. Actually they are good for a few weeks after this, and best used for baking or hard boiling.
Use the float test to check egg freshness: fill a bowl with water and place eggs in it. An egg that floats has too big an air pocket inside the shell; the contents have evaporated too much and it's likely spoiled. Compost it. You can also use a strong light to see how much air space is inside an egg; this is called candling.
"Candling" an egg is the process of holding a light or candle near the egg to see the inner contents. It is used to see whether the egg is fertile or not. Looking at the color, shape and opacity of the egg contents can help a farmer determine whether there is a chick inside or not.
We do keep a rooster or two in our flock which means that our eggs are "fertilized".  We collect eggs on a daily basis, wash and refrigerate to ensure that you do not get a yucky surprise when you crack one open.
Coloured Eggs
You can go into any grocery store and buy white eggs, and many stores carry brown eggs.
But what if you really want green eggs and ham?
Green Eggs
Well you would have to know someone that raises Ameraucana Chickens, and we have just that breed of chicken.
Our hens lay eggs in a variety of shell colours from turquoise to pale-green to pinkish-tan to burnt-orange.
The insides are all the same as white or brown eggs: delicious!

Egg Yolk

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