Archive for the ‘Eggs’ Category

Thanksgiving turkeys 2016

24 Jul

We’ll be starting to take reservations for Thanksgiving turkeys in the next few weeks, but we wanted to take a few minutes to let you know what’s going on at the farm.

Sometime in August, we should start getting eggs from our young pullets.  Hatched on our farm from eggs purchased from heritage breeders across the country, we’ve added breeds including Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben, Araucana, Ameraucana, Lavender Orpington, Red Dorking, Cream Legbar, Dark Cornish, Blue Copper Marans, Black Copper Marans and Naked Neck.  These breeds offer a rainbow of egg colors from white to cream to pink to tan to medium brown to cocoa brown as well as shades of pale blue, aqua, green and olive.  And whenever you hatch eggs, you hatch cockerels as well as hens.  I have young cockerels ready to join your flock, grace your yard with a joyful crow every morning, or join you at the dinner table.

For the first time ever, all turkeys that will be sold for Thanksgiving will be from eggs laid by birds raised here on the farm.  In the past we’ve ordered poults from hatcheries and from breeders (too inconsistent, quality issues, not always shipped on schedule) as well as from eggs shipped in from heritage turkey breeders (USPS is the only shipper of hatching eggs, and they sometimes have a very rough trip).  Hatching our own eggs from our own hens has resulted in a really nice batch of young hens and toms, and we have a few that are big enough to harvest now if you want a summertime turkey dinner or just to freeze until you are ready.

All of these turkeys are heritage turkeys.  These are Narragansett, Oregon Gray, Bronze, Golden Narragansett and Red Bronze that we’ve been carefully selecting and breeding to produce big, healthy, active turkeys.  They are meaty birds with the rich and wonderful flavor of the heritage turkey.  The largest young toms should tip the scales at around 30-35 pounds if grown out until Thanksgiving.  Since we had continuous small hatches from February through June, we will have turkeys to fit every size from 7 to 30 pounds.


Spring is here!

16 Mar

Spring is here. We’ve started hatching our 2016 turkeys, and will have chicks hatching starting next week. We will be replacing our current layer flock with breeds such as Black Copper Marans, Lavender Orpington, Appenzeller Spitzhauben, Sulmtaler, Crested Legbar, Cuckoo Marans, Araucana, Ameraucana, Olive Egger and Easter Egger for a more colorful egg selection. Stay tuned for chick pics!  We have fresh eggs daily.20160220_210507[2]


No more self-serve eggs

23 Oct

Effective Monday, October 27, we will no longer be offering self-serve eggs.  We will, however, still be selling eggs.

If the egg sign is up, we have eggs to sell.  Please pull up to the garage, walk down the path to the long covered porch, and come to the egg sign at the window.

If the egg sign is not up, we have no eggs to sell.  Please try again another time.


Our hens are back in business!

16 Feb

With the lengthening days and brighter sun (including reflection from our plentiful snow), our hens are now laying at good rates. We’re gathering six to seven dozen large brown eggs a day. Counts will continue to go up as spring approaches.

Just a reminder, if the temperature is below 18 degrees, eggs freeze quickly so we can’t leave them out for long.

Our Narragansett turkey couple has started laying eggs. I have a few early eggs in the incubator for fertility testing, and if all goes well we will start to set eggs for our Thanksgiving harvest birds in the next couple of weeks. Watch for photos and news of our own Walnut Hill Narragansett Turkeys!

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Finally! Some eggs again!

30 Dec

Greetings, all.

After feeding and nursing 150 survivors of the Malamute massacre, we are finally getting a few eggs out of our hens. We are up to 2 1/2 dozen a day. We do expect production to creep up until all the hens who will recover have started to lay. It’s been a very expensive couple of months for Walnut Hill Farm.

We will be attending a court hearing on January 9th where the dog’s owner will be up on charges of Dog at Large. Unfortunately the owner claims no responsibility for the damages to our hens and turkeys, or the loss of production. Please support your local farmers, it’s a hard battle to stay afloat.

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NEW!!! Egg subscriptions available

06 Oct

Greetings, friends! Our 150 new layers are here, and have started laying their rather small eggs. Please be patient as they learn to lay larger eggs.

As we have reduced the number of layers from 400 to 175 to make room for raising more turkeys and broiler chickens, we are unable to meet the demands of our many egg customers who stop by daily.

To alleviate disappointments, we are going to change to a subscription based model. We will offer weekly or biweekly subscriptions that will guarantee a number of eggs to subscribers. We will have a limited number of subscriptions so that we can guarantee availability, as we know that many of you drive a considerable distance for our fresh eggs.

We’re still fleshing out details, but please let us know if you are interested in becoming a subscriber. We won’t be able to have all day, every day hours as it will require coming to the house for eggs, but if you let us know what hours would be best for you, we will do our best to accommodate as we set up a pickup schedule that will cover at least a few morning and evening hours. We will be converting to subscription over the next few weeks, and self serve sales will end once all eggs are accounted for.

We will also be offering broiler and roaster chickens. Currently we are raising a batch of Cornish x Rock hybrids, the very meaty birds seen in the grocery cases. Raised on better food and for a couple weeks longer, with enough space to run around, these birds taste better than their commercial versions. These are working out very well in our revised coop space, so we plan to raise a few small batches a year, about 25 birds at a time. They do not tolerate cold weather, so we expect to raise about 3 batches a year. They will be sold processed and whole like our turkeys, and should weigh about 5-6 lbs each after processing. We have a few available for sale in the batch that will be processed on November 11. Please let us know if you are interested.

In 2014 we will also be breeding heritage turkeys. I have a trio (one tom and two hens) of the beautiful heritage Narragansett breed. These birds are on the verge of extinction but are well worthy of preservation. If all goes well I hope to raise not only enough poults for the Thanksgiving birds, but also to keep those of the best conformation and type for breeding purposes, and to sell surplus quality poults to others.

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