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Homestead Gold

Raising poultry is a surefire way to keep your homestead fed and an opportunity to bring in a few extra dollars. With the price of everything going up, having access to your own meat and eggs is a good investment. Many areas have been passing new rules, allowing even those who live in the city to raise chickens; giving most of us an opportunity to better feed our families. Be sure to check with your local authorities before starting out though.

At Grey Dog Maple Farm, our birds are raised for egg production. We currently have a mix of brown to light brown eggs with some “Easter eggers” maturing soon. These eggs will be blue, green, or red, but we don’t know what color until the bird lays their first egg. These birds will only lay one color though, so if it’s blue, that’s what color that bird will always lay. We thought it would be fun for our boys and are looking forward to seeing what we get.

With prices going up, request for our eggs have gone up too. We currently have nine hens old enough to lay with another ten maturing sometime this fall. A normal day usually brings us five to six eggs. A good day is seven to eight. Most days, I eat three eggs for breakfast. That leaves us two to three eggs a day for sale. Sometimes others at our home will have eggs too, decreasing the daily count. It may take longer for us to have enough to sell, but we’re also feeding our family instead of buying something from a store to do so. Most weeks, we have two to three dozen by then end of the week for sale. If we have a lot of requests, I’ll skip breakfast to make up what’s needed.

We made a promise during syrup season that we wouldn’t raise our prices this year and have kept our word. One dozen of our cage free eggs is $2.50. Our chickens are not fed from a conveyor belt or stacked thousands to a barn. They eat real bugs from our pasture, are fed the best feed and get to play with our goats. They all have names too. Our oldest has come up with some pretty unique ones. There’s Lucky Lovey, Fluster, and Nickels to name a few.

The title of this blog is Homestead Gold, but that gold doesn’t always come in the form of actual money. The food we’re getting and the happy times our sons have with these birds is worth more than the dollars we make by selling eggs. Something else that’s often overlooked is all of the fertilizer we get for our garden. Chicken manure is in high demand and a huge money maker for the commercial farms. Why buy fertilizer from a store when you can produce it yourself?

Raising poultry is an easy way to bring homegrown protein into your family’s diet and an opportunity for you to make a few extra bucks each week. If you’re not ready to try raising them yourself, we may have a dozen eggs for local pick up…

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