Boot Camp for Hens

First night going into eggmobile

It’s training time for our  hens! Michael and I have spent the last four nights working with the hens training them for their eggmobile. It’s quite a process. We move them from the hoop house into crates, then load them into the eggmobile in the dark. They are a bit fussy along the way but who can blame them? They’re moving into their new home, it’s an adjustment.

After their first night in the eggmobile they spend the following day, all day inside. Twenty four  hours in there gets them familiar with the nest boxes, the food and where they sleep. Getting used to the ramp is always a little tricky.

Their first day inside the eggmobile was sunny, warm and perfect. Monday was also  a gorgeous spring day and they were so pleased to get out into their element. This is a joyous scene to witness. They creep down the ramp with curiosity and then leap into the grass. They are astonished to be so free!

Catching hens at dusk

The next three nights we are on duty ensuring that they go into the eggmobile at dusk before predators take notice of them. Michael and have to put most of them in the first night, (great exercise). Catching and carrying 455 hens will make you sweat! The second night almost half of them have it figured out and walk up the ramp on their own. We shall see how the third night goes, tonight. Slowly but surely they are figuring it out. The weather has been very accommodating which we appreciate.

This work I discovered DMSO for poultry skin ailments and chopped garlic as a natural antibiotic for their immunity. I put the garlic along with their egg shells in the food processor so that the have an oyster shell texture, very fine. They ate it up! Next, I’m onto homeopathy solutions for the flock. I’m researching different books on this topic. I like the simplicity of homeopathy. Nothing is more satisfying to our girls however, then to be outside free-range. I can assure you of this.

Pineapple upside down cake

Buxton Farm has a lot of hunters. Nice guys who have been hunting this land for years. We are learning a lot from these old timers.  Mary, the wife of one of the hunters  made us this delicious cake last week. It was divine.

Winter has brought us rest indeed but those work pants from last year are mighty snug! Some of us had a bountiful winter break, baking and tasting all kinds of new goodies while restoring  last year’s injuries.  You can bet Buxton will whip us into back into shape in no time at all!

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About Grace

Grace and her husband Michael manage Buxton a Polyface satellite farm. Her first passion is to align with radiant health. She knows intimately that when you have your health you can do anything. Next, her passion for vibrant healthy food and beautiful landscapes along with her interest in permaculture influenced Grace's decision to align with the Polyface farming model. With 20 years of experience in the healing arts, she feels growing food and pasture raising animals is one of the greatest healers and a true source of personal empowerment. It's been said, "if you're not living on the edge your taking up too much space." Grace lives joyfully on the "leading edge" surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the appalachian mountains where her and Michael steward 1000 acres with profound appreciation."

3 Responses to Boot Camp for Hens

  1. Sheri Salatin says:

    And it’s not even raining this year!! The joke at Polyface is that every year when we have to train the hens, it pours buckets and everyone gets wet and muddy. Not so far this year. Woohoo! 🙂

  2. Carla says:

    This is really a question. I wondered if you have any tricks in hard boiling brown eggs, making them easier to peel. I know you need to let them “age” a little. I keep mine in the fridg for at least a wk, then hard boil. I’ve tried everything but they are usually hard to peel and I end up losing part of the egg to the shell. Help!
    I love the website & everything you do there… we’re taking baby steps and reading Joel’s books! Love them!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Carla,
      Instead of aging them in the fridge, age them on the counter. It works better. Just let them sit out overnight or 24 hours.