Rhode Island Red, Bantam, Silkie, Polish, Ameraucana
We have about 70 chickens and several different breeds on the farm. Our Chickens are bred for eggs, not meat. Chickens are fully grown at 3-4 months and start laying eggs at 5 months. They can lay one egg a day, but on average they lay about 4 eggs a week. If a chicken eats fruit regularly, it will stop laying eggs. Different breeds lay different colored eggs. While some eggs are colorful, the nutritional properties in the egg are the same, regardless of the color of the shell. Eggs will only grow into a chick if the egg is put in an incubator or the Hen sits on the egg for 21 days. Chickens are omnivores and eat bugs, grain, vegetables and grass. We feed them a grain called layer crumble. Chickens have a lifespan of 5-10 years, however they only lay eggs for 3-4 years.
For the chick holding experience during our Baby Animal Days festival, the chicks we use are under 1 week old. They grow really fast and after about a week they jump and move too much to be used for holding.
Andelin Family Farm sells eggs weekly to our customers. It is so popular there is a waiting list to become an egg customer. A lot of work goes into preparing the eggs for the customer. The chickens need to be fed and watered each day, the eggs collected, washed and candled (candling is a process where we hold the egg up to a very bright flashlight and look for cracks, or other blemishes that make it not suitable to sell). The eggs not suitable to sell are what our family eats!