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Posts from the ‘Featured Members’ Category

Featured Flock Owner: Lord & Lady Hens

 

Member Name: Laura Cavendish
Join Date: March 27, 2012
Egg Stand: Lord & Lady Hens of Northport, Michigan 49670
Website: LordandLadyConstruction.com

Lord and Lady Cavendish are a royal pair of Michiganders … I’m not kidding! They raise birds for eggs and meat, brew their own beer, prepare amazing meals, and they do all this with style, wit and great respect for the planet and mother nature. They are role models of the modern homestead movement and we’re thrilled to have them as members of Eggzy!

Eggzy: Why do you use Eggzy?
L&L Hens: We initially set up our Eggzy stand to have our eggs available online and to let all our friends who like to buy them know if we have any available or not.  It has turned out to be a great resource for us to know just how many eggs our girls are laying, who lays the most and how much their eggs are really costing us overall.  Knowing that we’re spending even less than buying organic eggs from the market or local coop makes it even more satisfying to be raising our own eggs.

Eggzy: Tell us something about yourself.
L&L Hens: Lord & Lady Farm is a part of Lord & Lady Construction LLC (an eco-construction company), which is run by the husband and wife team, Thomas & Laura Cavendish.  The birds are watched over by Thomas (who is from England, hence our name), Laura, daughter, Arya, Laura’s younger brother, Robby and our good friend, Ryan.  We live in the quiet small Northern Michigan farming community of Northport.  We live as organically, healthy and planet friendly as possible, and because we’re not perfect we strive for more every day.

Fancy Girls

Eggzy: How long have you been keeping chickens?
L&L Hens: Thomas had raised chickens before he met Laura a few years ago.  Since we have lived in Northport, Laura has wanted to get chickens, but Thomas kept holding back, mostly due to the smell they create and you therefore have to deal with!  Finally, last year in 2011, Laura succeeded in her wish and got some chickens for her birthday around March.  Since then we’ve never looked back and Thomas has gotten all excited about chickens again!

Eggzy: Why do you keep chickens
L&L Hens: We keep a large variety of birds for a number of purposes.  We started with chickens for eggs.  Because we eat nearly all organic foods, this lead quickly into raising chickens for meat as well, to save money on the cost of organic chicken meat and have a higher quality.  This then lead to turkeys for meat.  This year we have hens, chickens for meat, turkeys for meat, ducks for meat and quail for meat and eggs (males for meat and females for eggs).

Eggzy: How many birds to you have?
L&L Hens: Since we raise birds for meat as well, our numbers fluctuate often, right now we have: 17 laying hens of multiple breeds, 12 rainbow ranger chickens for meat (or as we call them, the fat fats), 10 new hens that are not yet laying, 8 baby chicks that we were sent by accident and do not yet know the sex of, 13 turkeys of multiple varieties, 38 bobwhite quail and 10 ducks of multiple varieties.

Eggzy: What do you feed your birds? Organic? Conventional? Table scraps?
L&L Hens: We feed our birds a mix of all organic ingredients.  Organic feed, organic scratch, organic cracked corn and a WHOLE LOT of organic food scraps from our kitchen.  Laura (our Lady) is an obsessive home cook and is always making a multitude of dishes or preserving flats and flats of in-season fruits and veggies, leaving the girls with loads of tasty treats on a daily basis.

Featured Flock Owner: Walnut Kitchen Homestead

Member Name: The Owl Family
Join Date: December 28, 2011
Egg Stand: “Walnut Kitchen Homestead” of  Scranton KS, 66537
Website: walnutkitchenhomestead.com

They’ve only been raising chickens for little over a year and in that time they’ve gone from 12 to 65 birds (if you count the ducks and guineas!). Read on to learn more about how one family members interest in chickens influenced a lifestyle change for all!

Eggzy: Why do you use Eggzy?
WK Homestead: We use Eggzy to track everything chicken.  This includes: tracking our flock’s egg production, keep notes on how our chicken math is working, the average price per egg, and the age and breed of the chickens we have.  We even try to keep track of which breed is laying.  That isn’t always easy!

Eggzy: Tell us something about yourself?
WK Homestead: Until recently, we lived in a city.  Small yes, but it was a city.  Like many cities, the keeping and raising of poultry was illegal.  However, my daughter became very interested in chickens.  She changed the ordinance regarding fowl, to allow the housing of up to twelve hens or ducks.  It didn’t take long for us to have seventeen (including illegal roosters), and be above the legal limit for chickens .  Because the whole family became interested in farming and agriculture, we found an old farmhouse and moved to a very rural community.  We now have over fifty chickens.

Eggzy: How long have you been keeping chickens?
WK Homestead: Our chicken raising adventure started in March of 2011.  We purchased 12 baby bantams, and due to the fact everyone wanted eggs sooner than later, we soon added 4 adult birds.  That is when we learned about chicken math… only a year and a half ago.

Eggzy: Why do you keep chickens (For eggs, for meat, for show, as pets, etc.)?
WK Homestead: We keep chickens to amuse ourselves with their personalities (teaching them to perch on our shoulders, watching them fly across the cow pasture), keep our refrigerator stocked with eggs, and to have some rooster in the freezer when one gets old (or mean).

Eggzy: How many birds to you have?
WK Homestead: We only have fifty chickens, but when you include the ducks and guineas we have a total of about sixty five.

Eggzy: What do you feed your birds? Organic? Conventional? Table scraps?
WK Homestead: Our birds get a home-mixed whole grain natural food supplemented with table scraps, whatever bugs they find in the yard, grass, the pretty flowers, mulberrys,  oyster shells, and grit.

Eggzy: How do you raise your birds, are they pastured?
WK Homestead: All of our chickens are pastured.  They are let out as soon as we wake up, and have access to anywhere they choose to go.  Everyone asks us how we keep them out of the road.  It is a community thing, the old chickens teach the new ones, and those teach their babies.

Eggzy: Do you have a favorite breed?
WK Homestead: All of our family members have a different breed that we love.  My son’s preference is the silkie bantam.  My daughter loves the Belgian d’Uccle.  My husband likes ones that lay large, preferably double yoked eggs, and I find that I am partial to Easter Eggers and Dorkings.

Eggzy: Do you name your chickens?
WK Homestead: Yes, every single one of our birds has a name. It is a precarious thing naming birds. The farm mascot is Uffie, a black sikie hen. She runs everyone and currently is now the proud mom of 1 chick. All other chickens are currently staying far away from her.

Eggzy: Do you sell your eggs?
WK Homestead: We will sell our eggs to anyone who wants to buy them. They are located in a self-serve fridge on the front porch.

Eggzy: Do you cull birds from your flock?
WK Homestead: We cull and eat our birds for various reasons. If we have too many roosters, want to have a chicken dinner, or one is sick. There are a few chickens that have been deemed worthy of living a full life on the farm. Most are on some sort of breed/cull cycle.

Eggzy: Do you have any advice, tips or insights you would like to share?
WK Homestead: When purchasing your first flock, join a website called BackYardChickens.com. This is an invaluable resource for help to get started and continue to raise a healthy, happy flock. 2. Build a bigger coop than you can think you can fill up. Chickens multiply, sometimes faster than rabbits. 3. Watch out for mites. They come in on hay and are hard to get rid of. 4. If you get a guinea, raise it with you flock from the start. 5. If possible, let your chickens free-range. They eat so many bugs, that there is a noticeable decrease in the ant, slug, spider, beetle, chigger, flea, tick, and caterpillar population. 5. Buy breeds that interest you, and that will be fun to watch and grow.

Featured Flock Owner: Home Girls

Member Name: Stephen Price
Join Date: October 13, 2011
Egg Stand: “Home Girls” of Riverview, FL 33569

If you’ve ever been to our feedback page then you are sure to be familiar with Stephen. Hands down, he is our most active and vocal member, and we are all the better for his participation. Make sure to watch the video and read the full article, he’s an interesting person with a lot to say. Thanks for all your help Stephen!

Eggzy: Why do you use Eggzy?
Home Girls: Basically I am kind of fanatical about record keeping and was searching for the best method of tracking my chickens and their performance. I found Eggzy through a Google search and liked the beta version that was being offered. I have made many suggestions for software improvements and much to my surprise most of them have been accepted and implemented. I also use Excel for some other data tracking. Ask me a question about my girls and between Eggzy and my Excel data I can answer most anything. Just don’t ask which girl laid which egg. LOL The marketing aspect of Eggzy was a plus and has proven to be the most beneficial part of the site.

Eggzy: Tell us something about yourself?
Home Girls: I am retired from Lockheed Martin and currently teach “Armed Security Officers” (www.mysecuritylicense.com) here in Florida. Living on a 4 acre piece of land has allowed me to explore some less citified adventures. Along with the chickens, we are currently raising bees, rabbits and generally a nice garden. This year I failed at the garden. I guess I was concentrating too much on other endeavors and not nearly enough on tilling and planting the good earth. We will have a nice harvest of honey this fall though.

I have also been designing a new electronic system to help myself and others as they start and expand their own flocks. I hope to have a shippable product late this summer or early fall. I am sure that even if a flock owner does not obtain a device for themselves they will be able to easily see the advantages the system will provide. Keep an eye open for the initial release of my product right here on Eggzy.com.

Featured Flock Owner: Flyaway Farm

Eggzy was formally introduced to California flock owners this winter after a mention in Sunset magazine. That article brought us dozens of new users and flock owners, all of whom helped to fuel Eggzy’s activity over the winter months. In celebration of those newer users, this month’s featured member is Sarah from Berkeley California — where she keeps a plucky flock of 13 hens in her backyard!

Eggzy: What is the name of your Eggzy egg stand?

Flyaway Farms: It’s called Flyaway Farm. The name is a bit grandiose for the 20×20 run and coop I have in my backyard, but I dream of it being more. I chose the name Flyaway Farm because my first flock of hens had a habit of jumping over our fence into our neighbor’s yard. We kept building it higher, they kept finding new ways to jump it. I’d come home to find them walking down the sidewalk or scratching up garden beds down the street. We finally got our fences high enough.

I’m humbled and delighted to have met people who take their food as seriously as I do. I have customers who plan their Saturday morning around coming to my house to say hi to the hens and pick up their eggs. — www.flyawayfarmfresh.com

Eggzy: Why do you use Eggzy?

Flyaway Farms: I started using Eggzy to get connected with people looking for good eggs. I’ve come to enjoy the production management tools as well

Eggzy: Where are you located?

Flyaway Farms: Berkeley, CA, 94703. I live in a very dense urban neighborhood. Our back yard is bordered by several neighbors, but fortunately all of them seem to like the sound of hens chattering in the morning.

Eggzy: Tell us something about yourself.

Flyaway Farm: My husband and I have a five month old son. I was worried that keeping chickens would lose its allure when I had a baby, but it’s been the opposite…chickens seem easy compared to a newborn! I also work full time for a large advertising agency, which is not as unlike mucking around with a flock of hens as you might expect.

Eggzy: How long have you been keeping chickens?

Flyaway Farms: For about three and a half years. Over that time, I’ve raised five generations of hens. Many of the “girls” from the first flock are still alive and well.

Eggzy: Why do you keep chickens?

Flyaway Farms: I keep chickens for their eggs. I’ve always been fascinated with food production, and hens strike me as the perfect food producer. Unlike an animal raised for meat, a hen produces again and again. And unlike a plant, she’s entertaining! And don’t get me started on the versatility of eggs…they are one of nature’s perfect foods.

Eggzy: How many birds to you have?

Flyaway Farms: I have 13 adult hens and 10 young pullets who should start laying in June

Eggzy: What do you feed your birds? Organic? Conventional? Table scraps?

Flyaway Farms: Organic feed pellets supplemented with scratch, table scraps, and occasional donations of greens from our local grocery store.

Eggzy: How do you raise your birds, are they pastured?

Flyaway Farms: With a couple of exceptions, I have purchased my hens from Ideal Poultry in Texas. They are sent in a box via the US postal service and arrive as 2-day old chicks. The post office thinks its hilarious. Remarkably, all have arrived in good health and have gone on to be wonderful layers and pets. After a few weeks in the garage in an enclosure under a heat lamp, I move them outdoors with the adult hens. Our hens roam freely in a 20×20 fenced yard under a redwood tree. They ate all of the grass and weeds long ago, so they spend most of their day hunting for bugs, scratching in the soil, or preening on the many branch perches.

Eggzy: Do you have a favorite breed?

Flyaway Farms: My two Barred Plymouth Rocks have been the friendliest. They have always been very people-oriented and like being held by visitors. I also love our Americaunas for the beautiful green eggs they lay.

Eggzy: Do you name your chickens?

Flyaway Farms: I did at first, but I gave up long ago. They never came when I called them anyway!

Eggzy: Do you sell your eggs?

Flyaway Farms: Yes, for $6/dozen. Thanks to Eggzy and word of mouth, demand for my eggs far outpaces my supply.

Eggzy: Do you cull birds from your flock?

Flyaway Farms: Berkeley has a town ordinance against roosters — something I respect, since I want to stay in the good graces of my neighbors. Luckily, I’ve had only one wrongly-sexed chicken in all the birds that I’ve raised. At 16 weeks, “she” revealed herself to be a “he” and started crowing. After fortifying ourselves with numerous tutorials and many deep breaths, my husband and I went through the act of slaughtering and butchering that rooster. It was an intense and surprisingly intimate experience to raise and then kill an animal in your charge, and not something I take lightly. Additionally, I had a couple of very loud hens early on that I found other homes for. I don’t have any plans to cull for any other reason, but I know that it’s something every responsible flock owner needs to be prepared to do in case of flock sickness, injury, or old age.

Eggzy: Do you have any advice, tips or insights you would like to share?

Flyaway Farms: For prospective flock owners, know this: there’s a steep learning curve for keeping chickens, but it gets easier over time. Hens anchor you to the rhythm of each day (up at dawn, in at dusk) and of each season (prolific, boastful layers when the days are long, molting and quiet in the fall and winter). Once you’ve eaten an egg from a hen you know, no egg will ever taste as good. But, keeping animals comes with a tremendous responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being, and one clever predatory raccoon can undo all your good intentions as easily as it can open a latch. If you love the idea of fresh local eggs but don’t want to commit to a flock, find someone who already has hens and strike a deal with them. That’s what eggzy is all about. I’m humbled and delighted to have met people who take their food as seriously as I do. I have customers who plan their Saturday morning around coming to my house to say hi to the hens and pick up their eggs. It’s exciting to be on the production end of such a vibrant and sincere food community.