May 19, 2017

My New Girlfriends...

Live Well Acres Chickens
I recently learned that we had a new source for local farm eggs right around our country block. I got spoiled by our Florida neighbors, Stacey and her daughter, Jenn's eggs, and needed to find a Wisconsin source. On Saturday, Handsome and I went to meet our neighbors and purchase some of their eggs.

Live Well Acres Chickens

When we arrived, we were impressed by the accommodations for their chickens...a repurposed trailer! We drove up the drive and introduced ourselves to Mike Sabel. His wife, Jenni, had just left to run errands, but Mike was happy to tell us about their operation and the chickens.

He told us he removed the floor from the trailer and put in a base that would allow their droppings to pass through onto the pasture. He said they move the trailer up to three times within the large enclosure, and then they move the whole enclosure up the hill for new pasture for them to explore and forage.

Live Well Acres Barred Red Chickens

As we chatted, the hens were happily pecking at seeds and insects. They made sweet clucking noises that made me smile. They are truly contented chickens.

Mike told me they're the Barred Red variety, and that there are two different age groups within the enclosure. They're about six months apart, and one group has leg bands so he can tell the age groups apart.

A Curious Hen

As I took photos, one of the hens came over to say hello. She was more curious than the others, who came over, but not as close. She talked as she stood there, too. I love those soft, quiet chicken vocalizations.

Eggs From Live Well Acres

We came home with two dozen eggs, in varying shades of brown. The girls are pretty consistent in egg size, and the eggs have slightly thicker shells than store-bought. I intend to hold the shells aside to add to our (near) future compost pile. 

I only have to decide where to place it, and the best way to accomplish it. Should I choose a commercially made compost bin that I can turn with a handle, or make one of those more rustic models from wood pallets? Then there's the matter of whether or not one version might invite "critters", which I definitely don't want. But I digress...

Eggs Comparison - L-R: Store vs Farm Fresh Egg Yolks

Back in 2016, I did a little "store vs home grown egg yolks" unofficial study, to show the difference. (I posted this image on my FaceBook page.) I placed the yolks side-by-side in one of my clear prep bowls. The egg I purchased at the store had a cloudy albumen while the home grown was clear. 

Also, the egg from the store was light yellow, while the home grown egg was a rich, golden color. Further research revealed that the darker the yolk, the more nutritious it is. I know they definitely taste richer. As far as we're concerned, the home grown varieties are definitely the winners, and worth buying at a slightly higher cost ($3.00 per dozen) from the farm. Support local, right?

Mike & Jenni Sabel's Business Card
This is Mike and Jenni's business card. I especially like the line at the bottom. "Everybody should know where their food comes from." As a hunter safety instructor, I taught this particular line to each of my students over ten years'-worth of classes. I think it's something everyone takes for granted.

We told Mike we'll definitely be repeat customers. I'm looking forward to seeing my new Barred Red girlfriends again. I'm also looking forward to creating delicious meals and pastries courtesy of his and Jenni's chickens. It's another way that our lives are enriched by living here at the farm.

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C Reeder PhxAz said...

I pay $3 per dozen for grocery store eggs here so it would be so cool to get "real" eggs fresh from a farm for the same price. And a visit with those girls and their adorable house!!!

Createology said...

We discovered the difference between store bought eggs and fresh farm eggs when we were in Paris. The color and richness and flavor was amazing and spoiled us for only farm fresh eggs. You are fortunate to have a local source so close. Your new Girlfriends are very FUN!

suz said...

thank you for showing us your wonderful new home and how you are settling in - I haven't had "fresh" eggs in ages and realized that I don't live that far from a farm where I could get them...need to add that to my list!

heartsease54 said...

What a cool idea for a chicken coop, I'll have to pass that along to my egg producing neighbors. I bet it is a real rodeo when coop moving day comes around. Nothing like farm fresh.

Kris said...

Fun, fun post, Donna!! We buy local when we can too!!


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