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Welcome       Our Eggs       Our Birds        Photos       Nearby Farms       Contacts and Directions       Old Calendars


 
Our Birds   

 

Breeds

We have a variety of birds which include many different breeds of Chickens and Guinea Fowl.  (Guineas are a delicacy in France and their eggs are not only hard to break but are also finely speckled.)  Different breeds will lay eggs with shell colors varying from white to dark brown and some in shades of green from olive green to light green and even a light blue at times. Inside, they are all the same.  We didn't want to bog this page down by having it load pictures of all the breeds.  Click on the Photos link above to see pictures of our birds.  (The page may take a little more time to load.)

 

How do we care for our birds?

 

Feed and Nutrition

We start new arrivals on a commercial chick starter so they have the right formula and supplements to grow up strong and healthy. We buy feed from a local farmer made from ground grain (mostly corn) to which he adds supplements specifically for chickens. Every day we stop at a local supermarket where we have an arrangement to take off their hands produce that otherwise would be tossed into a landfill because of an expiration date, over-ripeness, or for cosmetic reasons like a bruise in the side of a peach.  We can practically go through the alphabet from Asparagus to Zucchini.  The birds especially like things with seeds in them and go nuts over grapes, sometimes running around with one in their mouth bragging about what they picked out.  Because of all the beta-carotene and other vitamins, our chickens are very well nourished, super-healthy, and our hens always lay eggs with yolks that sometimes seem to be a deep "nuclear" orange.  

 

Water

All-important, the chickens have a never-ending supply of water.  In addition to inside water sources, the birds have access to outside water in shallow containers in the summer. 

 

Summer Care

On hot days we have misters or sprinklers above the outside run to help keep the birds from overheating.  We use greenhouse fans that are thermostatically controlled for those inside.  

 

Winter Care

Although chickens really don’t require a heated environment most of the winter, we have a thermostatically-controlled heater close to their nest box/ roosting area.  In the winter once the ground is covered with snow, they won't go outside.  At that point they also get to run throughout the east greenhouse where they get to bask in natural sunlight and warmth on sunny days.  We push them out of the East Greenhouse once the snow is gone and to the outside so we can use the greenhouse for its originally-intended purpose.

 

Free Range, Cage Free or ...

We found out that Free Range can be cruel.  Out of our first ever tens birds, three were picked off in a matter of days by predators that most likely were able to hide in the cornfield next door.  We immediately put the remaining seven in a greenhouse and built a 32’ x 40’ run outside the greenhouse and covered it with bird mesh so hawks would not attack.  We also have a grassy, fenced in area at least twice that size that they can use during the day.  And when we’re working outside with activity in and out of the barn and all the birds have become used to going in at night to roost, we sometimes do let them free range.  At that point, they know where their food and shelter are, go in at night without prompting, and we close the gate after checking the area.  In the Winter, since they will not go out in the snow, we let them roam the two greenhouses where the sunshine keeps them warm.


Welcome       Our Eggs       Our Birds        Photos       Nearby Farms       Contacts and Directions       Old Calendars


© 2013 OK Corral of the Cheeselands.  All Rights Reserved. 
No photos or other content may be reprinted or copied without permission.  
See the Contacts and Directions page to contact us.