We have chicken eggs

available for sale.  

We do have eggs available at this time.  Please call ahead for availability 269-692-2328.

 

Chicken eggs... $3.00 a dozen

Sustainable Poultry Management

 

When we first started with chickens, we determined we wanted a sustainable system to produce both meat and eggs.  When we added turkeys later on, we followed the same model.

 

First of all, certain breeds of chickens have been developed for the commercial egg and meat industry.  These breeds are available at local hatcheries for you to raise, but since they were specifically bred for commercial, industrial production, you will find they will not be able to breed naturally and reproduce to keep your system going without buying new chicks to replenish your flock.

 

We did our research before starting with poultry.  Our main resource was "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens", which I still think is the best resource for sustainable chicken raising.  Based on our research we chose to raise a dual-purpose or "old fashioned" breed of chicken.  There are several choices, we chose Buff Orpingtons for several reasons, one of which was a calm temperment.

 

Initially we bought 50 chicks directly from the hatchery.  We bought them "straight-run", which means as hatched - approximately 50-50 male and female.  This is the most sustainable way because people want only females for egg laying breeds and only males for meat birds and the rest get routinely destroyed at hatcheries.

 

We raised them all together until the pullets (young hens) began to lay around 5 - 6 months.  At that point we saved out what we considered the best roosters based on temperament and whatever we wanted in our flock - enough for one rooster for around 8 hens, which for us was four roosters.  The rest we separated out and raised until they seemed large enough for butchering, around 8 months.  We don't do our own butchering. It has been increasingly difficult to find processors to do our small amounts of birds.  We are currently planning on using an Amish farm in northern Indiana for our next batch.

 

Each spring we either hatch our own eggs or buy 25 replacement chicks from the hatchery,  We use the same breed, and again straight run.  We use the same method with the males.  We put leg bands on the hens to designate what year they were hatched - color coded.  When the hens are three years old, we take that whole group to the butcher, along with roosters of that age (except for an occasional special rooster that gets to live out his natural life with us).  Yes, we also have had a few special pet hens and we also keep banty chickens as essentially pets.

 

Our turkeys are heritage breed birds that can naturally reproduce and lay eggs.  We have hatched replacement turkeys and have also found that older turkeys do not get tough like older chickens, so it really doesn't matter how old they are when they are butchered.

 

It has been our experience that you have to cook older chicken differently, but after you learn how, we have been able to have all the chicken we want and all the eggs, with plenty left over to sell, without ever raising meat birds or production laying hens.  Cooking tips will be found under our "cooking" tab.

Starting spring of 2020 we began to order 25 extra roosters of the same variety as our straight run chicks to give us more meat birds for the freezer.  This worked well for our sustainable system. In 2020 we only kept two roosters for our flock to give our hens a break. We had to have some friends help us butcher because it was impossible to find a processor to do our birds in the fall of 2020.

2021 by Abbott Farms. Proudly created with Wix.com