WEST KNOLL FARM
Our happy chickens lay healthy eggs!
Free Ranging Flock
Our hens and a few roos love to be let out of their coops in the mornings to spend the day doing what chickens love to do, scratch in the soil, chase bugs, roll in a dust pit or stretch out in the sun. Their days are not spent in fear, panic or stress...unless I am late to throw out a treat. Because they are happy, safe and comfortable they lay us plenty of eggs that we can consume and sell. I check the nesting boxes several times a day and collect the eggs. In the summer, I refill the waters morning and night. In the winter I bust ice out of frozen water containers.
They go to bed in relative peace except for those jockeying for the best roosting spot. Everybody wants to sleep on the top bunk!
Chicks are raised in brooders or with Mama hens. We try to keep their lives natural and carefree.
Chickens are not happy about snow. It takes a lot of motivation to get them outside in that white cold stuff.  Even with treats thrown out for encouragement they stay close to the coop.
A Silver Laced Wyandotte and a Gold Laced Wyandotte at the watering hole.
Sometimes I find eggs in the darndest places!
Black Sex link egg next to a Salmon Faverolle egg.
I love color in the flocks and in the egg baskets.
I often let my hens hatch and raise chicks. This is a Partridge Rock that hatched out Araucana chicks and was a great mother.
Barred Rock below.
These Cuckoo Marans hens (right) are very different from each other but both lay nice brown eggs and work hard to fill the orders.
I love watching the chickens hunting and finding food free ranging all day.
Silver Laced Wyandotte
Our hens are outstanding in their field!
Chickens dig worms! And are always appreciative of any help doing so.
Flowers are beautiful but so is my free range flock.
A Barred Rock enjoying her dust bath.
A Jersey Giant and Welsummer below.
A black sex link hen.
Gertrude gets caught in a candid moment.
A red sex link below. They are amazing layers. We like to call them Sugar Tails.
A Welsummer hen relaxing by the pool.
They thought for sure we made this box for them.
I feel so much better with Jolie on patrol.
Buff Orpington hen below.
They learn the goodness of fresh grass very early!
We give the penned birds as well as the free ranging birds fruit that is in season since we live in farming country and can often get it at discounted prices. It makes the girls happy and the eggs tasty!
I use many breeds here for my free range flock. They lay me pretty eggs and they are pretty to watch on the farm.
I bred some of my own Olive Eggers and they came out all different colors but they are nice layers of gorgeous eggs.
My chickens and Guineas free range together though the Guineas go much further than the chickens. But they get along well and sleep together at night in the same coop.
Spring of 2013 sees Adonis still hanging in there keeping his hens in line and protected. He is getting up in years but still is the boss of the free range flock.
This is the same Partridge Rock pictured above that has raised chicks for me before. This year she is raising Guinea keets as well as chicks from other hens. She had 17 at one time but I sold some early so she got a more manageable brood.
Don't see any chickens? I am amazed. They usually are all around the edge of the woods looking for goodies.
Sometimes they can't find the bugs for all the weeds but at least they have the option of looking for them and not living in a dirt pen. The rich nutrients in grass, soil and bugs makes the farm fresh eggs taste fabulous and make baked goods outstanding!
This Speckled Sussex is a nice addition to the free range flock.
Must be time for supper so I better go feed.
        Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

New free range roo added winter 2012, Pee Wee. A lavender Orpington. Welcome sweet boy!
Sadly I lost my big black Langshans rooster in the 100 degee heat summer of 2012.
Terry didn't want me to get white egg layers but these girls lay well almost all year around, are great foragers and lay big eggs. They are also very comical and seem to be well natured.
Sometimes a hen is just a great mom and you have to let her raise as many as she would like each year. Keets, Frizzles and bantam Cochin all together.
Buff Brahma