A variety of breeds of chicken, all suited to a free-range existence, provides us with a colorful egg basket.
Most of our chickens come from a Maryland NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Program) farm committed to raising quality breeding stock in an environmentally sustainable manner. Welsummer chickens originated in the Netherlands; the hens are brown with golden feathers on their necks, laying chocolate-brown eggs, while the roosters have gorgeous reddish neck plumage, large combs, and may be familiar to you as the “Cornelius” rooster in Kellogg’s Cornflakes. Our roosters take good care of their ladies, hustling them into the roosts (hence their names) within the coop at sundown, and protecting them against predators during the day. Ameraucanas are a distinctly American breed; ours have black or gray to white plumage, small combs, and lay blue-green eggs. We also have a cross between the two; this cross (a type of “olive egger”) lays a light olive green egg. Other hens in our flock are red and black sexlinks, laying the more familiar light brown egg. Our egg baskets are very colorful!
Most of our eggs at present are purchased by our co-workers, and we try to deliver eggs weekly to the northern Baltimore area. Let us know if you’d like to be included on our mailing list.
One of our young Welsummer hens (3 months old, not yet laying)
One of our young Welsummer roosters (3 months old), practicing his crowing
One of our young Ameraucana hens (3 months old, not yet laying)
On average, each one of our chickens has access to more than 1,500 square feet of pasture. Compare this to the “five square feet per chicken” advertised on packages of commercial “pasture-raised eggs” in the supermarket!
Young female Welsummer chick (center), flanked by male chicks; note her pronounced “eye liner”
Young male Welsummer chick; both males and females have “chipmunk” stripes on their backs.
Note the less distinct “eye liner” on the male that terminates at the ear.
Young Ameraucana chick (on left)