Where To Buy Chickens? Searching For Local Farms and Breeders

Between March and May and I managed to buy a total of 12 chickens. I bought them in groups of 3’s because I figured it’s easier for the chickens to adjust if they have a group of friends with them. I have one hen, Shadow. The two other chickens I bought her with ran away and now Shadow, is always by herself and doesn’t really spend much time with the rest of the flock. (For the first week, she even stood by the fence for hours at a time waiting for her friends to come back)

So in March when we first finished our coop, I looked all over for local places that had chickens for sale. People pointed me towards Tractor Supply, but they only sold baby chicks. And it was pretty much the same for most places, baby chicks only (it was Easter).


But baby chick are way too much work, requires extra supplies, and well it takes forever before they start laying eggs.

Adult chickens, however are much harder to find. I bought two sets of chickens off of Craig’s List. I had to check Craig’s List almost daily before I found chickens for sale in my area. One set of chickens I bought from a local farm, Brodhecker Farm that I knew sold baby chicks seasonally, but just happened to have some adult chickens for sale that were almost laying age.

The newest set I bought from the Backyard Chickens forum. There’s a lot of baby chicks and fertilized eggs for sale in the forums, but occasionally you’ll see some adults on there. The three I bought were from a breeder that mostly sells chicks, but occasionally sells pullets if she has some left over.

When purchasing hens, I tried to take note of the conditions they were keeping the chickens in, how much space they had, that kind of thing. And in general, when introducing a new chicken to a flock, especially an older chicken, you want to keep them quarantined for about a month before letting them come in contact with the pre-established chickens. But because all my chickens were fairly new, I wasn’t too concerned with biosecurity.

And I think I’m done with buying chickens for the year. The Sussex County Poultry Show was a few weeks ago, so I think they temptation has passed! Next year, I plan to just wait for a broody hen, and then buy some fertilized eggs for them to hatch. With baby chicks, biosecurity is less of a concern and you don’t have to worry about chickens introducing diseases to your flock.


My First Broody Hen

So one of my hens (Shadow) has been broody for about a week. She sits in her nest box all day and all night.


I previously had a problem with chickens sleeping in the nest box while they weren’t broody, but after a week or two of me picking them up and placing them on the roost at night that seemed to correct the behavior.

When I looked up signs and symptoms of broody hens though, the typical behavior seems to be a purring noise (nope), and aggressive behavior when you approach (also nope). After a few days she did start puffing up a bit when I tried to move her to collect eggs.


Shadow is also one of my more gentler chickens so I think that might be why she may not be displaying typical broody behavior.

But the reason I’m pretty sure it’s broodiness, is because when the other chickens slept in the nest box, they would leave a pile of poop for me to clean out in the morning. But Shadow spends all day and night in there and it’s been poop free.

So originally, I wanted to buy breeds of chickens that were known to go broody, because I wanted use them to hatch eggs, and raise chicks and not have to worry about that myself. But since I just bought three chickens (which makes ten total), Matt has put me on a chicken buying ban for the rest of the year!

And I’m hoping to figure out their brood schedule, so that by next year, It’ll be easier to figure out when they’re broody and I can buy some fertilized eggs right away.

Hen Pecked! Introducing New Pullets to the Flock

We’ve only started keeping chickens in March, but Im already addicted! It seems like I’m adding to my flock every week and we’ve never had any problems. Whenever I buy new chickens, I keep them in a carrier and put them in front of the coop during the day, so the other chickens can get familiar with the new arrivals. That night, I stick them in the coop and usually try to watch over them the next morning just to make sure the transition went smoothly. Easy peasy!

However about two weeks ago, I bought three new chickens. They were young pullets only about 6-8 weeks old. I had a feeling that with their small size out wouldn’t be so easy. Things seemed alright that night in the coop, however the next morning, the smallest of the pullets had a bald spot that wasn’t there the day before. (Her feathers are already starting to grow back in)


Most of the research I’ve read suggests removing the chickens if the pecking leads to bleeding. Her injury wasn’t that bad, but I was worried, mostly because of the size of the patch and the small size of the pullet. So I immediately got some fencing, and set up a run for the little ones.


I also put up some wooden boards I had lying around, so that they had a shady place to hide.


It’s been a little about two and a half weeks of them staying in the run during the days, and going into the coop with the rest of the flock at night and everyone has been getting along.

They seem ready to integrate with the rest of the flock (trying to run out in the morning instead of going into their designated area), but I think I’ll keep them separated for a few more weeks, at least until they’re closer in size to the older chickens.


How To Keep Goats Out Of Your Chicken Feed

When we first got our chickens a few months ago, we were so excited. But after a while we noticed we weren’t getting nearly as much eggs as you would expect from seven chickens. We were getting just over a dozen a week. In the beginning I thought that maybe the stress of being moved temporarily affected their laying, until I caught Remus eating up all of their feed. So began our months long journey to set up a chicken feeding system that the goats wouldn’t be able to get into.

First we set up a chicken feeder made up of 4 inch pvc pipe, thinking the the opening would be too narrow for the goats to fit their mouths into.. wrong! So after seeing the goats ability to get into the feeder, we just kept it closed during the day and open it at night when it was time to lock them into the coop. But since it was right before bed, I feared they weren’t getting enough food.

So step two, I removed the 4 inch pvc pipe and replaced it with a 3 inch pvc pipe, the smallest they had at Home Depot.


Unfortunately 3 inches still didn’t cut it.

At this point, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. No matter what I did, the goats could gobble up their food way faster than the chickens could.

Then I realized I could utilize the chicken run that Matt started building last year and never finished. It was just a wood frame, but I put the feeder inside the run and covered the run in wire. I cut a couple of 5 in x 9 in holes which I figured would be just big enough for the chickens to fit through.


Except, Remus, ever the escape artist managed to fit through the tiny holes.

At this point, I wasn’t sure that there was any hole big enough for a chicken but too small for a goat! I tried a slightly smaller hole at 5 in x 8 in and that seemed to do the trick. Remus was able stick his head through pretty far, but not able to completely climb in like before.

Now the chickens have access to their feed more consistently and we’re getting about 6 eggs a day. Unfortunately I have caught feral cats eating their feed, but there’s nothing I could do to keep cats out, and at least they’re not going after the chickens!


We’re Now Selling Chicken Eggs

We have enough extra eggs, that we are now selling our fresh organic pasture raised chicken eggs.


Eggs are unwashed, so you can leave them on the counter at room temperature or refrigerate them. Unwashed eggs typically lasts at least two weeks unrefrigerated on the counter, and three months if refrigerated.

Our Ladies are fed Organic Layer Pellets and have free range on about an acre of property for bugs and grass/greens. We have many many different breeds, so you’ll get eggs of all colors! Blue, Brown, and Pink.

Studies have shown that Chickens that are fed Organic feed and and given free range to green pasture, produce eggs that offer way more bang-for-your buck nutrition-wise!
1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene

Prices are:
18 count $10.00
Dozen $7.00

For a bi-weekly subscription, prices are:
18 count $9.00
Dozen $6.00

For a weekly subscription, prices are:
18 count $8.00
Dozen $5.00

Subscription slots are limited and must be paid a month in advance. Please email at info@selenefarms.com First come, first serve on available pick up days – delivery may be available in Warren or Sussex Counties.

Spring Up!

Winter sure went by quickly! There seemed to be so much to get done before spring, but not enough time.
I started seeds for my vegetable garden (fingers crossed).


I set up raised beds against the house for an herb garden using wood pallets.


We planted three fruit trees (apple, plum, and peach), but it’ll probably be at least a few years before they bear fruit.

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We unfortunately lost two goats (Ellie and Romulus) and gained a cashmere goat named Vanilla.



And we finished up the chicken coop, and bought nine chickens (but lost 2).

IMG_0500             IMG_0498

How To Find the Right Chicken Coop While On a Budget

Since we’ve moved into the house, I’ve been pretty anxious to get my farm life started. Matt and I decided it would be easiest to start off with getting some chickens, so I’ve spent the past few weeks researching and pricing coops like crazy.

Whenever I want to buy anything, I usually start off with Amazon. They had some fairly cheap coops at around $250 or so, but once I started to read the comments, I realized they were all cheap for a reason. This was pretty much the case for any affordable pre-fabricated chicken coop I looked up.

According to various message boards, a handmade coops seem to be the way to go. Except we can’t really afford one of those sturdy looking Amish coops that go for around $1,000. We found some pretty good used ones on Craig’s List, at good prices, but since we don’t have a truck to transport them, that caused a whole other set of problems.

We were referred to this Amish guy, who I was told makes really good coops and his pricing is half the cost you would see them at the store and even better, he would deliver to our area (for a large fee).

I was pretty excited about finally getting a good, quality, coop, but I still wasn’t too thrilled at the price. I tried to convince Matt that I could build one myself, but he didn’t seem too confident in my skills.

Eventually I came across a used shed on Craig’s List that was previously used for chickens. It was going for just a few hundred and even better he would deliver to us for free!

IMG_0286It didn’t come with a roost or nest boxes, but it’s big enough to fit around 15 or so chickens (just in case I get chicken crazy). It still need’s a lot of work and isn’t chicken ready yet, but I think it was a pretty good deal for the price.

IMG_0287It needs a new floor, we’re planning to use some cheap Linoleum so it’s easy to clean and we won’t have to worry about the wood rotting.

IMG_0289There’s also some gaps that need to be covered to prevent predators from marching in. Matt also wants to paint it and give it a new roof. But all in all, he seems confident that we’ll be ready to get some chickens by next weekend. Yay!

How to Prepare for Pet Chickens

Over the weekend, Matt was kind enough to do some weed whacking in our future chicken enclosure. The goal was to get enough weeds to be able to check that the fence was intact on all sides of the enclosure and to also make room for us to set up the coop.


It might be a bit hard to tell, but there was definite progress! He wasn’t able to check the fence all around, but I’m pretty confident that it’s all intact. The only problem is a gap in the chicken wire by the entrance gate, which is something that can easily be fixed.


And good news, under all those weeds, we found what could be used as a goat shed!


It’s really small, but I think it might be just enough room for two Nigerian Dwarf goats for now. It’ll need a lot of work before we actually get a goat, but it’s definitely better than having to build one from scratch!

Keeping Chicken Safe From Predators – How To Set Up A Safe And Secure Chicken Run

11249152_10100361429185118_5187180756282608667_nHome Sweet Home

The past few weeks has been a blur pf packing and unpacking and we’re not even close to settled in yet. But that hasn’t stopped me from doing some major chicken coop shopping.

Matt thinks we should keep any chickens in a run to keep them safe from predators, but we have two huge enclosures already set up, so I think our future chickens should be able to free range as much as they want during the day.

From what I read, one of the ways to keep free range chickens safe, is to have a rooster in your flock. But being as we’re so new to the neighborhood, I think keeping a rooster right away might be pushing it.

So, my initial plan was to use some sort of baseball netting to cover the enclosure, so we wouldn’t have to worry about hawk attacks. However, I do think, at least for now, that there’s probably enough bushes and tree cover to sufficiently protect the chickens from hawks.


Being that I’m so lazy, I’m hoping the chickens will clear most of the weeds in the enclosure,so I don’t have to do it. Once that happens though, we might need to make sure they have some overhead protections, like the baseball netting.

Other than hawks, my main concern is that we have is a large number of feral cats that like to hang out in our backyard. Because of this, I’m considering making sure the enclosure is covered in Hardware Cloth that’s more likely to keep predators out. Since cat’s are sneaky, it won’t be able to keep them out, but it might make it a big enough hassle for the cats to deter them. Also, it’s probably better to get larger chickens that small cats are less likely to attack, which means no more Bantams.