Every farm needs poultry, right? We have a small flock of chickens and a few guinea fowl. Our approximately 30 birds spend much of their day on pasture and in our apple orchards, so their eggs and meat are extra tasty. We raise them to put eggs and poultry on our own table. However, the poultry also help to improve our property by eating bugs we don’t want around, and our pastures by doing what chickens do: scratching. Since we hatch our own replacements, we sometimes offer hatching eggs or chicks. Contact us to obtain hatching eggs or chicks.
We live in Ohio, so of course we had to raise the Buckeye! We have a small flock of quality Buckeyes descended from champion exhibition lines. This dual-purpose breed has a red pea comb and smallish wattles. This results in a bird that can avoid frostbite in the winter. They have yellow legs and skin, and deep, mahogany red feathers. The roosters weigh about 9 lbs and the hens about 6.5 lbs, so they make a good table bird. The hens produce 150-200 medium-sized, brown eggs each year, resulting in lots of tasty omelettes for us. Mrs. Nettie Metcalf of Warren, Ohio developed the Buckeye in the late 19th century and was adopted by the American Poultry Association in 1904. The Livestock Conservancy includes Buckeyes on the “Watch” list and Slow Food USA catalogues them in the Ark of Taste.
White Guinea Fowl
Our flock of guineas has a job to do. They hunt and devour spiders, ticks, grasshoppers, slugs, and even snakes. This results in a safer place for our animals and for us, and a more productive garden. As bonuses, they serve as an incredibly loud alarm system to warn our chickens of danger from hawks or other predators, and they produce eggs that have the richest, most deeply orange yolks you can imagine.
A Place for Hybrids
We keep a few hybrid chickens in our laying flock for a couple of reasons. Their presence allows us to maintain egg production while we are saving Buckeye eggs for hatching. We also enjoy a variety of colors in the egg basket, so we like to have some Easter Eggers and various dark egg laying birds as well. Hybrid poultry are a great addition to any farm.