Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Companions For The Gardens-chickens love gardens.

Sage Hill is adding chickens to our list of spring projects....I'm excited, hubby is groaning...he is not 100% in love with chickens, doesn't eat eggs, and mostly hates the idea of building yet another structure:) That's just life on the farm....he will be just fine once he gets involved !

Anyway...on to the good you know that all domestic chickens can be genetically traced to Gallus Gallus....the red jungle fowl, a bird that still runs wild in Southeast Asia.

Chickens were domesticated over 8,000 years ago and they are the closest living relative to's that for a gene badge !

I've been turned on to "Welsummers" by another Tennessee farm family...

The Welsummer is named after the village of Welsum in Holland although the breed was originally developed in the area along the river Ysel to the north of Deventer, Holland at about the same time as the Barnevelders (1900-1913). The Dutch bred it from the partridge Cochin, partridge Wyandotte and partridge Leghorn, the Barnevelder and Rhode Island Red. It was first imported into this country in 1928 for its large brown egg. The Welsummer is a large, upright, active bird with a broad back, full breast and large full tail. They head has a single comb, medium wattles, almond shaped ear lobes and a strong, short beak. They have yellow legs which fade to pale yellow in summer and reddish bay eyes.


Welsummers lay lovely large eggs and the dark brown pigment can actually be rubbed off as it is added at the end of the egg laying sequence. They do go broody but not usually until late Spring but are not particularly good mothers. Chicks are strong and are easily sexed as females have much darker head and back markings than males. They lay fewer eggs during the winter. They are friendly, easily handled birds which love to free range and forage for food but can also be kept in runs quite happily. They are productive for 3 years of their 9 year lifespan.

Sage Hill does not plan to breed, so no problem with setting hens and baby chicks.

Hens do not need roosters to produce eggs......

I'm looking at other breeds also, maybe a collection of a few different breeds that are compatiable.

Chickens provide fresh eggs which provide good nutrition to our diet, a natural insect guard for the gardens, and a natural fertilize to help process the compost to a richer and healthier growing medium.

What's not to love ???

What's happening in your spring season .....
Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms

1 comment:

Bess Blanco said...

Thanks for the tips! I am getting so excited about my chickens I'll be aquiring this fall, and doing the research to be ready!