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Posts tagged ‘Eggs’

New Feature: Favorites

We’ve added a ‘Favorite’ feature to Eggzy! With this new feature you will be able to collect and save egg stands to your account, enabling  a system of short-cuts to access those saved flocks whenever you want without having to do a zip code search each time.

Favorites can be identified by a small icon of a badge (or ribbon). The icon is either grey or gold depending on the selection state; grey if unselected, and gold when selected.

Unselected     Selected

The grey Favorite icon can be seen by all who visit the site but can only be selected (made gold) by logged in Eggzy members. The new Favorites feature exists in three places across the site so you can easily identify those flocks you buy from, sell to, or simply admire:

  1. All egg stands listing/search pages
  2. On each egg stand
  3. In a new ‘Favorites’ section within member hub pages under ‘Activity’

'Favorites' is located on the Egg Stand listing pages.

Favorites' is also on each Egg Stand page next to the Flock name.

There is also a new ‘Favorites’ section within your hub under ‘Activity'.

We will be detailing the new Favorites feature in the Help section, in the meantime, please contact us with any questions, bug reports or suggestions that you may have.

We appreciate hearing from our members, your feedback serves to inform and guide the site features and our priorities.

Regards,
Eggzy Team

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.

Thinking of Starting a Flock of Your Own?

Easter is right around the corner and most pet and feed stores – as well as many hardware and farm-supply stores – will be selling the cutest little baby chicks you’ve ever seen in your life. So cute in fact, that you just might be tempted to buy one or six and start a flock of your own.

And while caring for chickens is a pretty straightforward task, it’s still a commitment that deserves some serious thought and consideration. As it turns out, Mark (Eggzy co-founder and my hubby), is teaching a two-day class on what it takes to start a flock of your own. We decided to share his outline here, and while we’ve had to edit out quite a bit, it’s still a good overview for beginners.

As always, we welcome your feedback and input and if you think we missed anything major that a newbie should know please do drop us a line or post a comment below.

First things first, do you even know if you can keep a flock of your own – does your town and/or city allow chickens? Hopefully the answer is yes, but check with your local authority, there may be ordinances you need to follow. Sadly, there is no single national service that lists all pro-chicken municipalities but urbanchickens.org does keep a current list of ordinance laws.

Next you have to ask yourself why you want to keep chickens. Answering that question will help to guide several other decisions down the road, like what kind of chickens you want and how many you should get. We think one of the best reasons for keeping chickens are those healthy and delicious eggs that they produce, but there’s also services they provide such as bug control and the creation of excellent fertilizer, to name a few.

Choosing which breeds to start with depends on your purpose for wanting to keep chickens, as well as your location and/or climate zone. Since most folks we know keep chickens for their eggs (and not their meat or for heritage conservation), we’ll assume that eggs are also your primary reason for wanting a flock. And unless you’re ordering your chicks from a hatchery, chicks for sale at local retailers would probably already be vetted for regional appropriateness – note some birds are considered hardier for cold weather than others. You can also refer to our breeds guide and resources page for additional breed information.

When deciding how many chickens to have in your flock, keep in mind that even the most prolific breeds produce no more than one egg every 25 hours. So if your family eats 1 doz. eggs a week, you need enough birds to lay 1 doz. a week. The general rule of thumb in terms of productivity is:

  • 2 commercial layers (~6 eggs/wk/bird) or
  • 3 heritage breed layers (~4 eggs/wk/bird)

 

Lastly, if you are starting with baby chicks, you’ll need to keep them indoors, in a safe and warm environment for between 4 to 6 weeks of age. You’ll need; feeders & waterers,  and, if starting baby chicks, a brooder, a heat lamp & thermometer, and safe bedding material. All this can probably be purchased at the same place you buy your baby chicks, if not, again check out our resources page for a list of hatcheries and suppliers. We recommend that you plan for the chicks before you bring them home … think of it as a nursery for the chickies.

Once you have them, you’ll need to feed them starter feed up until about 4 weeks old, then grower/developer feed once they are pullets, which is 5 to 18 weeks old. And make sure to check on them daily and give them lots of fresh water. This stage is the hardest part of having a flock of your own; we’ve planned weekends and spring breaks around new chicks, but then again they are just so cute, who would want to leave their side anyway?

And if all of this just sounds way too overwhelming to you, can always rent some chicks to give the family a fun Easter peep experience before making a full-blown commitment of your own.

Recipe no 8: Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are easy, fast, delicious and bite sized. They are great for lunch, snacks, appetizers and parties; and like the classic egg salad, deviled eggs can be made dead simple or gussied up with personal style and/or cultural flair. In all honesty, I’ve never met a deviled egg I didn’t like.

The basic recipe for deviled eggs is simple, here are the main ingredients:

  • Farm fresh eggs
  • Favorite brand mayonnaise
  • Mustard (I prefer Colman’s Dry Mustard)
  • Salt & pepper

 

Listed below of some of the more interesting variations of deviled egg recipes that I’ve found. Try a few and tell us what you think.