Meet the Animals!
While some of you have visited the farm before, others have never gotten to meet our lovely animals! Here at CCF we have several different species of animals. We have various breeds of hens, meat bird chickens, turkeys, and swine. This post is meant to be informational and comprehensive in detailing the specific varieties of animals we choose to raise on our farm, how these animals fit into our farm environment, and how each animal species provides for our farm customers.
Each fall we order a batch of three different types of laying hen chicks including Barred Rock hens, Leghorn hens, and Rhode Island Red hens. We order all of our laying hens as day old chicks from a hatchery in Pennsylvania, and they are conveniently mailed to the local post office right here in Olmstedville! All of these breeds provide us with delicious eggs that are ready to be consumed by our shareholders and other customers. All three of these layer breeds are heritage chickens (breeds that have been around for hundreds of years). Heritage breeds are known to be very durable as they can withstand the unpredictable, and sometimes harsh weather, that the Adirondacks are known for. With short and often harsh seasons, we've found these layers to be a great fit on our farm. In addition, these breeds are very high egg layers, and all are capable of laying year around with the proper housing and care.
At CCF we order one batch of these birds per year during the late summer and we keep them for two years. We typically purchase 45 - 50 birds per batch. With two batches of birds on the farm at a time (year old and two year old layers), on a daily basis, our birds typically lay somewhere between 55 - 70 eggs.
Purpose: Tasty brown eggs and their meat has delicious flavor.
Physical description: Plump hens with a red gobble and comb.
Color: Yellow skin with black and white speckled feathers.
Number of eggs per year: 220-280 eggs per year.
Fun facts: Barred hens belong to the “Plymouth Rock” family of hens.
Number of Barred Rock hens on the farm: 25
|Barred Rock Hen|
Purpose: Laying large white eggs!
Physical description: White birds with thin necks and a red gobble and comb.
Number of eggs per year: 280-320 eggs per year
Fun facts: Leghorns have an impressive ‘feed to egg’ ratio, meaning that they are very cost effective birds to invest in.
Number of Leghorn hens on the farm: 22
Rhode Island Reds
Purpose: Renowned brown eggs and tasty meat too!
Physical description: Rusty red chicks that become dark reddish brown birds.
Number of eggs per year: 200-300 eggs per year.
Fun facts: First bred in Rhode Island in the 20th century.
Number of Barred Rock hens on the farm: 10Rhode Island Reds
Meat Bird Chickens
As the name suggests, meat birds are mainly raised for their juicy meat. Their main job on the farm is to eat so that they can get plump and ready to be slaughtered. At CCF we order and raise two batches of meat birds per season; one batch in the spring and another batch in the fall. We raise approximately 36 - 42 birds per batch. Like the laying hens, we mail order these birds as day old chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery, and each batch we will raise for about 9 weeks until they are ready to go to market. The dressed birds will weigh approximately 6 - 8 pounds.
Cornish Cross Meat Bird Chicken
Purpose: Producing meat for grocery stores, farms (like CCF) and other meat distribution outlets.
Physical description: Fat, white birds with red combs and red gobbles.
Longevity/market weight: approximately 9 weeks on the farm and 6-8 pounds dressed.
Fun facts: They cannot fly, meaning that they are easy to wrangle and corral with low fencing.
Number of Cornish Cross Meat Birds on the farm: 41Day old meat bird chicks after arrival on farm
- Large Broad Breasted White Turkeys
Purpose: Lean meat.
Physical description: Pearly white birds with red combs and gobbles.
Longevity/market weight: 14-40 lbs. depending on sex of bird
Fun facts: The baby Large Broad turkeys are typically yellow in color. The turkeys are very curious and have fun personalities.
Number of Large Broad Breasted White Turkeys on the farm: 7
We receive our turkeys each season by mail order and will raise them for approximately 5 months. They typically dress out around 20 pounds.
|Broad Breasted White Turkey|
At CCF we purchase our piglets in April. We typically raise 10 pigs per season and will have them for 5 months before sending them to market in the fall. We always have two processing dates for our pigs. The first batch of pigs are usually processed mid September while the second batch is processed later in the month. Each spring we try to source piglets as locally as possible, but acquiring good piglets can sometimes be tricky. With high demand and few farms that raise pigs to breed, the piglet market is often competitive. The past few years most of our piglets have come from farms out of Vermont.
Berkshire/Duroc cross piglets
Purpose: Provide large quantities of fresh pork to our consumers. All the pig manure is composted and used for our organic growing production
Physical description: Large, fast growing, and efficient.
Longevity/market weight: Can get up to 600 lbs. (ours are closer to 230 lbs. at market weight)
Fun facts: Pigs are known to be the smartest animal on any farm
Number of Berkshire/Duroc Cross piglets on the farm:10
|2021 Pigs in a pile|