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Old Church Eggery from Mechanicsville, VA
Old Church Eggery

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Farm Name: Old Church Eggery

Year Farm Established: 2009

Location: Mechanicsville, VA

Years I’ve been farming: 5 years

Animals I raise: Chickens, Millie, our Jersey Cow. We had two guinea hogs, but now we have sausage!

Crops I grow: Heirloom pole beans, salad greens, peas, summer and winter squash, fruit trees, pumpkins

Hobbies I enjoy: Baking fresh bread, planning home improvements with my husband, and watching our chickens grow.

Club/Associations memberships: Virginia State Beekeepers Association, Virginia Poultry Breeders Association

The proudest moment on my farm: Thus far, the day one of my pullets laid her first egg- an itty bitty thing!

Pets: Megaforce, my husband's donkey

Farm Motto: CLXDLX (My license plates)
That's the name of our chicken coop- Clucks Deluxe!


Farm Blog
DescriptionDate & TimeEditDelete
  In an effort to improve our website for our visitors, we will be changing some of our service providers. We do not expect to experience any technical difficulties. However, if you are unable to access our website, please be assured it will be temporary as we transition to the new service. 10/19/2013 12:00.00 AM  
  Pasture management
This weekend will be an exciting one. We're renting a mini excavator to clear some of the scrubby land around our existing pasture to expand the grazing opportunities for Millie and Megaforce! We've been slowly working our way into the woods and have managed to remove a lot of the undergrowth. Now it's time to get rid of the trees. Our entire property was cleared about 15 years ago (long before we bought it) so there are lots of smallish trees that have grown up since. It will make a major difference in the looks of our farm to say the least!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

02/09/2012 06:36.34 AM Report This Comment  
  Eggs in the incubator again
Hooray! It's hatching time once again. In the incubator now (and due to hatch the 16th) are some Wheaten Marans and some Jersey Giant eggs. My fingers are crossed for a good hatch.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

02/07/2012 01:23.44 PM Report This Comment  
  The Barn is Almost Done!
After about 15 months in the making, our barn is just about done, red paint, white trim, and all! We still need to cut a hay drop and put up a ladder but boy oh boy is it exciting to see it when we come down the driveway!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

01/19/2012 11:16.51 AM Report This Comment  
  Fall- the time for planting and planning
The dog days are summer are but a distant memory now. Fall is the best time to plant perennials and trees in my area, so I'm keeping busy with my nursery area in the garden. I sprouted a number of perennials from seed and I want them to get acclimated to our soil, temperatures, and rainfall so I've put them out in the designated raised garden bed. Hopefully by spring they will be ready to go their permanent locations in the yard!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

10/05/2011 08:36.15 AM Report This Comment  
  If you’re not already getting your bimonthly issues of Hobby Farms, you’re missing out on articles including livestock husbandry, sustainable agriculture and crop growth, equipment purchasing, successful small farms and agricultural events. Whether you are a newcomer or an experienced hobby farmer articles address the core information needed to succeed, but also delves into advanced how-to information. Every issue informs, educates and inspires readers to farm for pleasure or profit. Subscribe today -- 1 year (6 issues) as low as $15.00. 06/01/2011 01:07.18 PM  
  Time for some new pictures!
I uploaded a few new-ish pictures of what's been happening around the farm over the last few months.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

04/13/2011 05:33.55 AM Report This Comment  
  Chick update!
Well, my first batch of eggs was a smashing success. 10 Australorps and 2 Jersey Giant eggs from my own stock went into the incubator in late January and that's just what came out. Hooray! My second batch that went in a few days later didn't fare quite so well. I had 16 Marans eggs and 7 Australorps eggs. That hatch result was just 2 Marans and 5 Australorps. I'm pretty pleased with the two Marans that did hatch, though one is missing a toenail on one toe. Ah well, she won't be going to any shows with that fault! I say she in hopes that both the chicks that hatched will wind up hens. The Marans Club of France shows a method of wing-feather sexing day-old chicks and they looked like pullets to me!!!

http://marans.eu/sexage.htm#genetiq

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

02/21/2011 07:27.19 AM Report This Comment  
  Spring is coming!
So, it may be only mid-January, but spring and all its glory are right around the corner. That said, I've started some of my perennial seeds already in my newly-constructed grow-light rolling rack. Strawberry seedlings and sage are up with some flowers struggling through as well. In a few more weeks I'll get the tomato seeds in the soil.

On the critter front, some Marans hatching eggs should be coming soon. I'm hoping to have better success this go round than I did last spring. I've also got some Ameraucana chicks coming in May from chickhatchery.com. The blue eggs are such a hit with my customers that I need to keep the numbers up!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

01/19/2011 11:23.38 AM Report This Comment  
  Millie and the pigs
Millie, the Jersey cow, moved in to our farm a few weeks ago. In anticipation of all the milk, we bought two Guinea Hog piglets. They're quite the characters and I really never thought pigs had such personalities! Millie's playing mom to the donkey giving him loads of cow-licky face washes. Cute.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

10/05/2010 06:09.12 AM Report This Comment  
  Fencing going up
Ooh, it's an exciting week at our house. At long last, our pasture fencing is going up so we can finally move the donkey to our house and get my cow. I'll be going to visit her at her current residence this weekend so we can get acquainted. So, if I have sore forearms next week, it will be from the milking practice!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

07/27/2010 04:05.56 AM Report This Comment  
  Congats!
Congrats and good luck on your new hatch!

Come visit me, Moravian Farm.

07/26/2010 04:47.42 AM Report This Comment  
  New Peeps
A successful hatch of Rhode Island Reds took place last week- hooray! Given how badly the ranks in the coop are faring, I thought it was time to hatch up some replacements. These are my first purebred batch of chicks from my own chickens, so I am really excited to see how they turn out.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

07/21/2010 05:15.24 AM Report This Comment  
  Losses
Sorry for your losses!

Come visit me, Moravian Farm.

07/05/2010 06:36.36 AM Report This Comment  
  Heatstroke
So, I learned the hard way about heatstroke. I lost 5 chickens last week because our temperatures stayed in the upper 90s and 100s for nearly a week. My chickens had plenty of shade, but the air was so still and humid that a good number died anyway. I've found that a simple three-sided pallet structure topped with plywood gives them a shaded but breezy area in their chicken run so that they don't pile up on top of each other in the coop. Keep cool, everyone!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

07/02/2010 10:02.16 AM Report This Comment  
  Chickens
I am just getting started with my hobby farm. So right now I have only three Chickens, 1 Rhode Island Red Rooster, 1 Golden Phoenix Hen, and 1 Buff Naked Neck Hen. I lost some to my neighbors dog, so that is what is left. I am planning on getting some more in a couple weeks. I think I am going to order some Ameracaunas and a Cuckoo Maran rooster so I can Breed for olive eggers!
Good Luck with your poultry projects!

Come visit me, Moravian Farm.

06/07/2010 02:06.19 PM Report This Comment  
  New Farm Picture
I couldn't resist! It looks like Mr. Megaforce is giving my husband a hug back. What a good donkey.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

06/04/2010 11:06.51 AM Report This Comment  
  Building a chicken tractor
With such chick success this spring, more space is needed! I've made a 4x6 chicken tractor that's an A-frame shape but would love to have some input on other designs. What have you tried? Any suggestions for keeping it lightweight enough to move easily?

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

05/03/2010 09:28.42 AM Report This Comment  
  New Garden Beds are in
Over the course of the last week we've installed 3 4 x 12 raised garden beds in the back yard. We've got three more to go and then we'll have it nice and symmetrical for now. Most of the seedlings in the house are just about ready to go out. I think I'll give them another week or two with the peppers not going out until at least the first week of May. Some cooler weather has come through the last few nights so I don't want to lose my hard-earned plants! We dug up 4 wild asparagus plants from alongside the road. I'd been eyeing them since fall and now they're out of the right of way and into my yard. VDOT bush-hogged everything down to the ground in November so I had to wait 'til now to spot them again. Woohoo!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

04/12/2010 12:44.02 PM Report This Comment  
  Peep Count
So, here are the results from a weekend of hatching:
14 Jersey Giants, 13 fertile at one week: 12 Chicks!!!
3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 fertile at one week: 2 Chicks!
1 Mystery Egg, 1 fertile at one week: No chick

I cracked open the three that did not hatch and from the look of things, the buff orpington probably puttered out one day before hatching. It was totally formed with just a tiny glob of yolk left to absorb. The Jersey Giant dud was slightly less developed and my mystery eggs was sort of just a bloody glob the size of a kidney bean. Eww. But what an overall success!!! The chicks are super cute and they came in time for Easter.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

04/05/2010 04:47.58 AM Report This Comment  
  Results week!
Friday's hatch day! We set up the brooder this weekend so that we'll be prepared to move the chicks to their new home...outside of the shell! We also finished all of the framing for the coop expansion project. Now we need chicken wire and a set of hinges to complete the deal.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

03/29/2010 04:44.17 AM Report This Comment  
  Candling the Giants
Well, knock on wood, this could be quite the hatch! We candled the Jersey Giant eggs on Friday and at one week, 13 out of 14 showed blood vessels and a dark spot for the embryo. Hooray! My husband was so excited. We're only halfway there so we'll have to stay calm until next Friday when the hatch will start. Only then will we really see how we've fared! All the same, very very exciting.

14 Jersey Giants- 13 candled ok at 1 week
3 Buff Orpingtons- 3 candled ok at 1 week
1 mystery egg- 1 candled ok at 1 week

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

03/22/2010 09:49.34 AM Report This Comment  
  You were asking about my silver penciled rocks. I don't know anyone that has standards. We don't even have the bantams yet but they should arrive around the first week of April. Thank you for the nice compliments. Appreciate your hills though! Where I am it is nothing but flat.

Come visit me, Worrell Farms.

03/19/2010 08:00.35 AM Report This Comment  
  Hatch
when the eggs are delivered does each egg have date written on it as to how old? Also are the eggs tagged or segregated as to breed. Its funny how the mutt eggs out do the bought eggs...Gotta luv the mutts

Come visit me, Windswept Acres Farm.

03/12/2010 01:24.47 PM Report This Comment  
  Hatch results are in!
12 Marans eggs -> 1 chick (ouch)
3 Australorp eggs -> 1 chick (hmm)
6 Blue Ameraucana eggs -> 4 chicks (better!)
2 mystery eggs from my coop -> 2 mutt chicks (perfect!)

It looks like the trip from coop to incubator is much easier on the fertile eggs than routing through the Post Office. I was really surprised with the relative success of the Ameraucana eggs over the Marans. Maybe they ship better? Anyway, the Jersey Giant eggs came yesterday in the mail, the incubator's all cleaned up and warming, so we should be back on for the next batch of chicks this evening. That will be:

14 Jersey Giant eggs
3 Buff Orpington eggs from my parents' chicken coop

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

03/12/2010 04:58.01 AM Report This Comment  
  Visit
Thanks for the visit the other day.

How has the hatching going, little cheepers running around yet. We don't hatch yet but maybe someday, the little guys are so cute.

You made a comment about the picture of my daughter and I tilling garden. I would suggest keeping a camera close at hand and take lots of animal, bird and family picture. That is one regret that I have, that i did not take the time to record are farmlife in photos.

Good Luck on the hatch and catch you later

dairymon

Come visit me, Windswept Acres Farm.

03/10/2010 11:57.26 AM Report This Comment  
  One week to go!
Just one week until the incubator report. The eggs went in on the 17th and I can't wait to see what will hatch! To keep the eggs from rolling around too much, I put in two "mystery eggs" from the coop. With two different breeds of roosters and 4 breeds of hens laying brown eggs, it could make for a potentially colorful suprise.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

03/02/2010 05:30.16 AM Report This Comment  
  Snow
Hi, just dropped in to see whats happening. I have to agree with you on the snow thing. All though in WIsconsin are snow level is down from the last 2 years, we got 6" yesterday to make Feb. number above avg. I just wish it would end so we can get in the garden an let animals out.

Lets pray for spring & have a good summer

dairymon (Bill)

Come visit me, Windswept Acres Farm.

02/25/2010 11:35.30 AM Report This Comment  
  Give us some Green!
The chickens are getting very tired of all of this snow we've been getting. Each morning when I let them into their run, they scramble around scratching and pecking but to no avail! There's nothing green to be had. All the winter cabbage left over at the farm is under a good foot of snow, too. Looks like chicken mama will have to pick up a head of lettuce from the discount bin at the grocery store!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

02/09/2010 04:37.35 AM Report This Comment  
  Testing, testing, 1 2 3...
So, here's what we'll be incubating this spring upon arrival:
12 Wheaten Marans Eggs
6 Blue Ameraucana Eggs
3 Black Australorp Eggs
(All from Gabbard Hatching Eggs)

12 Jersey Giant Eggs
(from Maria's Jersey Giants)

It'll be at least a few weeks before the batch from Gabbard gets here and the Jersey Giant eggs aren't going to be available until March. I will most certainly provide updates when they come.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

01/12/2010 09:44.43 AM Report This Comment  
  New Year, New Nest box, New Peeps!
The ladies are really "earning their keep" now. I had enough profits from egg sales to buy the materials for a new nest box! My husband dutifully engineered the whole thing while I oversaw contstruction, i.e. handed him nails. The hens have really taken to its off-the-ground position and occasionally roost on the step-up bar to get to it. It keeps the eggs cleaner, too.

Since things are going pretty well, my husband also gave me the go ahead to order some hatching eggs of new breeds I'd like to try. They aren't readily available around here, so I'm really excited about it.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

01/08/2010 05:36.43 AM Report This Comment  
  Eggs Eggs Eggs
The birthday peeps have started laying and now we're overrun with pint-sized eggs! It's so exciting to check the coop now.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

12/10/2009 04:49.48 AM Report This Comment  
  Chicken run- complete!
The chickens now have a safe place to run around while we're away from home. I'm pretty sure they enjoy the fresh air and I know I enjoy that they have a covered area to protect from the many, many hawks in our area.

Yesterday I discovered two persimmon trees at the end of the lane. Given half a chance, I think I'll pick up some of the softer fallen fruits for the chickens. I tasted one and it was pretty good.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

09/11/2009 05:43.16 AM Report This Comment  
  Happenings at the Farm
A new chicken run is under construction and at a perfect time, too: the weather is finally getting pleasant enough to want to spend time outside. The State Fair is coming up, too, so we're all looking forward to seeing the animals. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the dairy critter of my dreams :-)

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

09/04/2009 10:28.00 AM Report This Comment  
  Green Eggs
We've now been getting green eggs just about every day for two weeks! The inside of the shells look so blue. I'd love to get some full-blooded Ameraucanas sometime.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

08/31/2009 12:39.11 PM Report This Comment  
  He's here!
The donkey was delivered on Monday evening. He's settling in okay, though he's still very skittish. He hasn't spent much time around people before so we're going to move slowly (in all senses of the phrase) though not TOO slowly- the farrier's got to come out at some point to trim up his hooves and the vet needs to geld him. That'll probably undo some progress, but we'll make up for it. Eventually.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

07/30/2009 07:30.35 AM Report This Comment  
  Adding a donkey to our farm
Well, we finally did it- went shopping for a donkey. We'll be picking him up this weekend. See the pictures!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

07/20/2009 10:25.05 AM Report This Comment  
  Breaking Ground at the New Place
It was a hot and busy weekend, but I've almost recuperated from the hours of breaking up sod and turning over soil in preparation for a new series of garden beds. Though progress is slow, I'm hoping the new garden will be ready for a good dose of manure in the upcoming weeks. My goal is to have the area pretty well-worked by fall so that the soil can just be blanketed with straw and seeded with rye or something over the fall and winter months.

In other news, the chicks are growing rapidly. You can almost hear the little feather-quills (that's what they most resemble at this stage) pushing out the down on their wings. They've been enjoying their outdoor coop during the daytime and throw a big fit every evening when I take them back in the house. Soon enough they'll be outside all of the time! Our kitchen floor will thank us.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

07/01/2009 04:27.48 AM Report This Comment  
  The New Peeps are Here!
They arrived yesterday, a day earlier than planned. Thankfully we had everything we needed already, jut not set up yet :-) They have survived their first day, so it seems the airplane trip wasn't too stressful for them. They're all eating, drinking, and pooping so things must be working. I'll be taking lots of pictures of them as they grow up.

The new coop is almost done. I think we'll finish it this weekend by putting in the nest box, an extra roost, and painting the exterior. Pictures of that will surely crop up, too.

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

06/19/2009 08:46.02 AM Report This Comment  
  New Peeps Pending!
Since tomorrow's my birthday, I placed an order for some chicks to add to the flock. They should arrive at the end of next week. Here's what's coming:
2 Black Australorps pullets
2 Rhode Island Red pullets
2 Barred Rock pullets
2 Ameraucana pullets
1 Barred rock rooster
1 Ameraucana rooster
Woohoo! We'll also be getting a bucket of red barn paint, too. Gotta paint that chicken coop!

Come visit me, Old Church Eggery.

06/08/2009 05:30.14 AM Report This Comment  
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