Fall Special

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Fall is in the air. It’s October and the temps here in Mississippi have finally started to cool off. With that we are announcing our fall special.

Any order over $250 qualifies for free shipping. When adding items to your cart and the total is $250 or more the option for free shipping will appear. Simply choose the free shipping option and your shipping is on us.

This offer will not last forever so get your orders placed before it’s gone.

Frames for two new chicken tractors complete

Chicken tractor frames

Chicken tractor frames

Here is a picture of the two newest tractor frames on the farm. While we still have some traditional coops, we are transitioning to mobile tractors. It does require more daily work due to the fact the chickens are in a different place every day and hauling feed and water to them is a chore. However, they are much happier being on fresh grass and bugs every day versus the barren dirt runs a traditional coop provides.

 

 

Here are some updated pics of the completed tractors and their new occupants.

Finished Chicken Tractor

Finished Chicken Tractors

Chicken Tractors In The Field

Chicken Tractors In The Field

Chicken In Chicken Tractor

Chicken In Chicken Tractor

We will be busy for the rest of the spring making quite a few more of these tractors. If anyone is interested in a rough plan let us know and we will send it to you.

Spring 2015 is 90% sold out!

2015  has started off with a bang.  Traffic to our web site has been 4 times more last year!   Which also means emails. phone calls, and orders have also been significantly more as well.   As of today February 27th we have sold out of most of our breeds through the rest of spring.   We still have deliveries available for June and beyond but there are not any delivery dates available until then.

Here is a run down of what is currently available.

Partridge Barthuhners – Eggs and chicks currently available.

Isbar – Eggs 3 weeks out, chicks not available.

Augsburger – 3 chicks available now and then sold out.

Cream legbar – sold out.

Bielefelder – sold out.

Gold laced orpington –  chicks are 5-6 weeks out.

Mottled orpington – chicks 5-6 weeks out.

Isabel orpington – sold out

Crele orpington – possibly available in late April.

Tolbunt Polish – sold out ( hens not currently laying) Once they start we have 3 weeks worth of orders to fill then they will be available again.

All other orpington colors – sold out or not currently laying.

Thank you to everyone who has helped get 2015 started off at a record pace.

 

 

 

 

The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming! English Orpingtons Have Invaded.

Omega Hills Farm has been invaded by English Orpingtons! We have several colors of 100% English Orpington flocks we are growing out for the 2015 season. Below are some chicks of the colors we will be offering.
Not all of our colors are in the picture. Missing are the:

  •  Mottled
  • Jubilee
  • Gold Laced
  • Crele
  • Partridge

 

This spring will be exciting for sure.

orpington-chicks

Why keep chickens? – 10 reasons to get you to keep pet chickens in your backyard today

Keeping chickens as pets can be a wonderful and often rewarding experience for you and your family.  Do you live in the city and are looking at getting chickens, but are just a little bit unsure whether it is right for you?

Well, here are 10 fantastic reasons to help convince you.

 

1. You don’t have to live in the country to keep chickens.

You don’t need as much space as you might think to keep chickens. As long as they are free to roam around and have access to warmth, shade, fresh water and vegetation to rummage around in, they don’t mind too much about not having a large space.

 

2. You’ll have a plentiful supply of fresh eggs.

Depending on how many hens you get, a supply of fresh eggs is generally assured. You might even end up with a surplus like many hen owners and be able to make some money by selling excess eggs to friends!

(ps. You might want to start collecting those empty egg cartons now!)

 

3. The eggs that you get will be fresher and healthier than anything you can buy in the supermarket.

Ask anyone who has ever had hens and they will tell you the same thing. The quality of the fresh eggs and the bright golden yellow color of the yolks from backyard hens is completely different from the stale orange yolks of supermarket eggs. The fresher the eggs, the healthier and tastier they are for you. It has been scientifically proven that fresh eggs are lower in cholesterol and higher in omega-3 fatty acids than old and less fresh eggs.

 

4. Chickens can be good pets and are easy to look after.

Compared to more conventional pets such as cats, dogs and fish, chickens are very easy to look after. For one, the cost of food is substantially cheaper. Furthermore, chickens are relatively independent and don’t require much looking after or any supervision. As long as you feed the chickens and put them back in their coop at the end of the day, they will be live just fine.

 

5. They are very child friendly as long as you choose the right breed.

Chickens are surprisingly child friendly and pose no more danger to a child than a cat, rabbit or dog. Hens aren’t known to attack humans and are generally fine minding their own business and pecking away at grass.

 

6. Chickens can add greater meaning to your life.

Like a lot of pets, just coming home to a flock of hens can make you feel that just bit special. That’s not even mentioning the feeling that you get when collecting the eggs each morning.

 

7. You know where your food is coming from.

These days, with the increasing commercial farming methods, many people are wanting to simplify their food sources and know where their food is coming from. And what could be more local and reliable than the hen house in your backyard!

 

8. You’ll save on food waste.

Chickens will eat most fruit, vegetable and table scraps that would otherwise be composted or thrown away, saving on your waste bill and bringing the cost of feeding your pets down.

 

9. Chickens can teach you and your children to be responsible.

Having to feed a family pet can help teach you or your children vital responsibility skills. Chickens are generally easier to feed than cats or dogs in terms of preparing their food, and as an added bonus you can collect the love of your labor (the eggs) while you are feeding them!

 

10. Chickens can help control backyard pests and weeds.

Do you have a problem with bugs or weeds in your backyard? Are you sick of using pesticides and want an organic solution to your problems? Chickens absolutely LOVE picking at worms and bugs. And that sounds like a win-win situation to me.

 

Are you convinced to go out and get your own chickens today?

Or do you know of any other reasons to keep chickens as pets in your backyard?

Tornado! **Updated 5/5/14**

On Monday a tornado ripped trough the farm. There has been extensive damage to the farm and our homes. We are without power and expect it to be out for several days possibly up to a week. I’m posting this from my phone charged by our generator.

Thankfully everyone is safe and sound. We had no casualties on the farm. All shipments for this week have been delayed until next week. Please bear with us while we get back up and running.

** Updated 5/5/14 **

I am sad to report that we did indeed have casualties on the farm from the tornado. We lost all of our chicks that hatched the week prior on April 24th. They were just a few days old when the storm hit and the loss of power meant we could not keep the brooder heaters running. We do have a generator, but it was being shared between house and barn and was just not enough to keep them warm in the cold nights after the storm. Our incubators were without power for roughly 5 hours and then had ride in a truck across the county where they remained for the rest of the week. Last weeks hatch had a little lower hatch rate than normal but those eggs were at around 18 days when the storm hit. The next two weeks will be interesting due to those eggs being much “younger” when the power was lost. Hopefully they will be about normal as well.  We are now back up and running with full power and internet connection but still picking up the pieces and dealing with insurance/contractors to complete repairs.  Thank you for all your thoughts,well wishes, and prayers over the last week.

Needless to say the storm has pushed our delivery schedule back by at least a week and depending on the hatches the next two weeks it could be a little longer. We will do every thing we possibly can to fill your orders as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding while we work to catch up.

Below are some pictures of the damage.

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Tree on power line on Omega Drive

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Picture of tornado about 10 miles before it hit us.

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House about 2000 yards east of our farm

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Church about 1500 yards east of our farm.  Yes the marquee was that before the storm

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Large pine tree on our fence. There are about 20 trees down on our fence around the farm

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Trees hanging on the power line blocking our drive

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Another tree on the power line on Omega Drive

The Tolbunts are coming! The Tolbunts are coming!

That’s right. We are eggcited to announce that one of our additions to the farm for 2014 is Tolbunt Polish chickens. We have managed to acquire our breeding flock that consists of genetics from three different lines. Our flock comes from a mix of Greenfire Farms, Bare Necessities and Green Acres lines. We also have a mix of smooth and frizzle. We believe our mix of lines will give you the best genetic diversity available.

Below are a couple of pictures of our new chicks. We expect to have eggs and chicks available late summer.

tolbunt-polish-chicks3

tolbunt-polish-chick2

We have many other new additions coming this year so keep checking back.

10 Ways to Get Your Chicken Addiction Under Control

Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to look out into the backyard to make sure everything is okay? Sure, maybe a lot of people do this, worried about prowlers, whether the dog was tied up or just want to check on the weather and see if the windows are closed, but do you do it because you are concerned about the chickens in your chicken coop? Believe it or not, many people are going through the exact same thing as you. They have been raising chickens on their own and have quickly developed chicken addiction, something that happens quite easily to people who start raising the birds. Here are 10 ways to get your chicken addiction under control and try to get your life back.

  1.     Avoid the cuteness – it is the cuteness of the chicks that seems to suck in so many people. It can be really difficult to look the other way when you have one of those cute and fuzzy things in the palm of your hand and they start chirping at you, so you need to avoid doing that as often as you can or you will end up with more birds than ever.
  2.    Stay away From Feed Stores – Keeping clear of the feed stores might help you to avoid stockpiling even more, not just feed, but more chickens! It might be hard for you to try to stay away, but remember it is for your own good.
  3.   No more catalogs – Who knew there were so many catalogs associated with raising chickens? Is your mail more catalogs regarding feed, coops and accessories than it is letters or bills? Then it might be time for you to cut back and stop checking out every catalog that comes along.
  4.  Carry pictures of your family – The pictures of your family need to go back into your wallet or purse and not the pictures of the chicks that were just born. If your social media page has more pictures of the chickens than your spouse or kids, you need to try and get things under better control.
  5.  Avoid chicken paraphernalia – Just because it has the picture of a chicken on it does not mean that you need to own it. All of the other things you already own are probably more than enough to open your own store, so put down the chicken pot holders or salt and pepper shakers and move on to something else.
  6.  Enjoy your vacation – When you go away for the weekend or even for the week, there is no reason for you to call home to check on the chickens. Odds are they are not going to answer the phone and talk to you anyway, so go back to your day at the beach and let the chickens be for a few days.
  7.  Use your carpentry skills in other ways – Before the chickens, you barely knew how to handle a hammer and nails and now all of a sudden you are sharper than some of the guys on TV who build houses, but the problem is it is only on the chicken coop! The chickens do not really need luxury accommodations; try using the carpentry skills for your home, the kid’s treehouse or something else.
  8.  Learn another language – Chicken does not really count as knowing a second language, yet you seem to understand exactly what the birds are saying and feeling all the time. That might be a sign that it is time to take up another language that you can use to talk to people, not just chickens.
  9. Remember your family – If you have kids, remember that they are your real kids, not the chickens. If you have found yourself giving the kids dirt baths or haircuts that look suspiciously like the hen brooding in the coop, it might be time to take a break from the birds and spend more time with the family.
  10. Go cold turkey – There was no way that this particular pun could be resisted when making a list like this. Besides, you could never just quit your chicken addiction that way, you love those birds!

A few reasons why your hens aren’t laying any eggs

There are several reasons why your chickens aren’t laying any eggs, ranging from the health of the birds to the time of year.


Several common reasons are listed below.

 

1. Lack of daylight
In order for chickens to lay well and regularly, they need at least 14 hours of daylight. This is something that can’t be avoided in the winter months in many places, and something that you will have to come to accept, unless you find a means of adding artificial lighting.

 

2. Improper nutrition
This problem can be a mix many different things. In order to lay eggs, hens need a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet. The hens might not be given enough food to eat, or they may not be eating the best food for egg laying. It might even be as simple as not having access to a fresh and constant supply of water. Whatever the problem, all possibilities will need to be investigated.

 

3. Disease
Diseases can have an adverse impact on the health of chickens and the cycle of laying eggs. If your hens don’t look as healthy as they used to, you might want to investigate any symptoms that they display. A good resource to start with is The Chicken Health Handbook.

 

4. Stress
If hens are handled too much or become frightened by other animals, they can become stressed. Hens need to feel safe in order to be comfortable enough to lay eggs. You will need to wait until the hens are ready to lay if this is the case with your hens.

 

5. They are laying eggs (just not where they should be laying)
This one may come as a surprise to many hen owners. Sometimes hens choose not to lay in a warm nesting nest box, even if they have done it for a long time. For all you know, there may be a stash of eggs somewhere out of sight in your backyard.
(ps. It is best not to eat these eggs, as you do not know just how long they have been there for)

How we pack eggs for safe shipping

Packing Eggs for Safe Shipping

Packing Eggs for Safe Shipping

You ship eggs???  How do you do that??  Do they not break during shipment?

Those are a few of the many questions we get asked on a regular basis.

Trusting the postal service to treat our packages with care is a scary and somewhat foolish idea.  There are a number of dangers that any package faces during shipment.  However, those dangers pose a greater threat to our fragile shipments of eggs.   None of our customers want to be on the receiving end of a very expensive omelet.  So take a look at the picture to see how we package each shipment to protect the eggs from damage.

 

First we start off with foam that is specially made for shipping eggs.  Each layer of foam holds 9 eggs.  We stack 2 layers in a 6x6x7 box.  There are layers of foam on the top, bottom, and between the eggs.  The box is then sealed up and placed inside a larger 12x12x8 box.

The smaller box is then packed in tight to prevent it from moving around during shipment.  This provide the eggs with 4 layers of protection.  Two layers of cardboard, one layer of foam, and one layer of packing material.  On the outside of the box we label it “Live Animals” and “Fragile Handle With Care”.  We also mark the top so that the eggs will ride in the proper position.

While this has proven to be the safest method for shipping eggs, it does not guarantee  100% safe delivery.  If the box is run over by a forklift or thrown down a flight of stairs or even used as a soccer ball for bored warehouse workers the eggs will break.   And yes we have had a few shipments in the past that appeared to have that happen to them.  In those cases we filed a claim with the post office and had no troubles getting the claims approved.

So next time you are asked how people ship eggs, you can tell them exactly how we do it.

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