Moving Coops - Who we are a business and family!
We are a homesteading large family, living on the boreal forest! We have 14 children, yes you heard that right. We are that kind of crazy! I prefer to think of it as a good crazy. Molds and shapes us everyday. So much always happening, so much creativity always busting at the seems. Even if at times as a mother it drives me crazy, I love seeing all their individualism and differeent strengths.
We together learn more each year with growing food, taking care of animals and foraging. It important to us to have clean whole natural foods and learn how to care for oneself.
We got into chickens years ago as one more way to know what is going into our food and be able to control what is fed to our chickens and such. Quickly, we fell in love with their funny antics and their personable ways. We loved the colors of both the birds and eggs we got which made it fun for the kids to collect eggs. As it is always excting to see who has laid what. And also to show friends and family our colorful egg basket. In order to have enough for our own use it only made sense to have a incubator and hatcher.
And being we love people, and the well being of all people and have a desire for everyone to experience life to the fullest we often share what we have learned through time on eating, herbs, foraging, preserving, canning and making your own sauces and salves and more. Well that also extended to being able to offer quality heritage chicks. We ship in many many hatching eggs from quality flocks to establish our own flock. Over the years we have raised a huge amount of different breeds. And have always been so happy to be able to then share and offer them in Saskatchewan. Shipped hatching eggs go through a lot to get here and many dont make it because shipping is so hard on them and in recent years, the shipping system seems to be even harder. Thus it takes many shippments at a huge expense to aquire a decent flock. Add into that we do not breed everything that hatches. We cull what doesn't make the cut. The good thing is the culls still have massive use for us, what doesnt go into the breeding pen goes into the table egg pen for our eating eggs. And as you can imagine we eat a lot of eggs being a large family. Often we are still short.
Once our flock is establish we hatch out chicks weekly for you our residents in Saskatchewan. Over the years, we have loved every breed, but in rescent years we decided to simplify to 3 main breeds, so we can concentrate on the quality of them even further and on the other homesteading activities we have going on the farm. Also we have simplified to what we found truly truly worked for our family needs and for the crazy up and down climate of Saskatchewan. Many breeds sound great under their description, but perform different when they come to our harsher climate. Some decisions were really hard as there are a numer of chicken breed we do like for here but we just decided all around our favorite duo purpose was the Light & Coronation Sussex, thus our main breed. Very good layer, good carcass, great mama, so personable and calm. And striking black and white contrast. Easy to clean for processing time of males or females if you dont need more layers. ( There was some very close 2nds of a few breeds)
Also the breeds that produce and dont take to long to grow, as our seasons are short here. Also need for good layers, as feed costs have gone up so much, and infunstructure expenses, and heat, carbon tax. So we want something that is beautiful to our eyes, but also produces and has good temperment. Needs to be able to be around children. Also wanted to stay to pretty colored eggs, so needed a good layer of colored eggs and preferred large eggs at that thus the Legbar. And of course our Cross the Olive Eggers & New Funky Blue layers. (ask us about these Funky Blues)
We will likely retire our Olive Egger next year to the Table egg pen, as we have a Surprise breed for you next year is shipping and hatching goes well. And we want to stick to three breeds, thus will likely retire our Olive eggers.
****** Also incredible important to us is what we feed to our chickens, for their health, and also to assist in the best health possible of their offspring. Good nutrition equals health or ability to adapt to stressors when they do come.
We have change our feeding styles over the years, but for the last many years, we have used mostly organic feed. We have Orgainc grain feed ration that we roll ourselves in the mix mill, we add a special formulated vitamin, mineral, probiotic supplement to ration and kelp is also added. Also at certain intervals we add apple cider vinegar, oregeno and other important herbs and other natural treats and foraged herbs and weeds. Of course calcium and proper size grit is very important for digestion. And of this year we are now adding crab meal and zeolite to our rations. We do put a lot into our birds to assure health and comfort. We dont cut corners as we believe not only wanting quality for ourselves as that is our passion to live in health but also we want to offer that to you the best we are able.
Now in saying that chicks are chicks and no matter what at times some just die for no real reason, that is natural in the bird world. BUT ALSO So many things come into play, feed, quality of feed, stressors, shock, and drafts. To cold or to hot, or up and down severel times in temp can take them out. Sometimes they go down fast and sometimes it takes time. Please make sure your set up for your little fluffy butts. Monitor temps, even for trip home, dont let them chill or dont put so close to heat they cook. You will see if you visit our facebook page we travel with heat in that car and even in winter we assure for sure the temperature is right, often meaning we ourselves our wearing tank tops untill chicks are delivered.