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We raise Angora goats, dairy goats, chickens, heritage Black Spanish turkeys and bees. We also have a large organic garden and pumpkin patch each year.
I am care taker of all animals on our farm including milking, shearing, hoof trimming, vaccine administer, milker, assisting in animal births, dehorning, ailment fixer, chin scratcher, hug giver, egg collector, chick and turkey hatcher, feeder, waterer. I can drive a tractor, run a sickle bar blade, a rake, baler, plow, disk and seeder. I'm a mad weeder, planter and gardener, honey harvester, maple tree tapper, hay bale stacker, stall cleaner and fence fixer. I can also cook a mean farm to table meal when the day is done. I document, write and photograph our days on the farm at our blog.
In the past 2 years we’ve added 2 kit-style coops to our chicken yard. When I say kit-style I’m referring to the types of coops that you often find in your feed store or that you can order on Amazon. They usually come in a large box and you have to bolt the panels together […]Read more »
This year we are downsizing certain areas of our farm and really taking some intentional/mindful looks at where we want to go in the future. I feel like, at this point, we’ve tried a lot of things. We’ve raised a lot of different animals and over the years I’ve realized I have favorites and preferences […]Read more »
One of the most common questions I receive over at the Iron Oak Farm blog is “can I breed chickens that are related to each other?” The simple answer to that question is yes! And to be honest, you will most likely have success with a batch of healthy offspring. Breeding chickens can […]Read more »
The more I read about breeding the more I realize I don’t know. And with each tidbit of knowledge I give more and more credit to those who are raising high quality heritage breeds and participating in breeding programs. In my last post, I talked about clan breeding which is a breeding system that allows […]Read more »
If you are a small flock owner who breeds their own chickens, how do you ensure genetic diversity, but also maintain the integrity of your heritage breeds? Jennifer Sartell shares useful tips about “Clan mating.” For the past few years I have been concentrating on raising high quality Buff Orpingtons. When I say “high quality”, […]Read more »
Jennifer Sartell, veteran chicken raiser, walks us through how to effectively use leg bands on your flock. When I first started out with chickens, we had a mixed flock of hatchery birds. Each one was a different breed, each one had a name and a different personality. I loved our little flock. I knew each […]Read more »
No matter the age of the student, there is something to learn in witnessing the hatching process. Whether it’s a toddler in preschool or a senior in High School, the miracle of birth is always a fascinating moment. Heck! I’m 37 and I’ve hatched hundreds of chicks and I’m still learning and seeing new things […]Read more »
One of the first chickens I ever owned was a big Rhode Island Red rooster named…what else? Red! I got him out of a feed bin at the local farm store when I was 14. The fluffy little orange chick turned out to be one of the meanest chickens I’ve ever known to this day. […]Read more »
*Do not feed salt water to chickens!* I was recently complaining to a fellow chicken keeper about the fact that we had just spent $150 at the feed store to buy heated water buckets for the animals, and that’s not including the electricity used to run them all winter. This is not just for our […]Read more »
Egg are Seasonal If you’re new to raising chickens you might not realize that chickens do not naturally lay an egg every day, year-round. In the late summer/early fall you might notice that your hens stop laying altogether. You might also notice that your coop is littered with feathers. This is the seasonal molt […]Read more »