Windy Island Acres
Owner(s): Suzan Touchette
Address: 63 Soap St., Dayville, CT
Phone: 508 245-5415
- What chicken breed(s) do you raise?Buff Orpington, Austrolorp, Spitzhauben, Delaware, Wyandottes, Brabanters
- Why did you choose those breed(s), and are you satisfied with their performance?A nice colorful flock! Yes, the ladies give more eggs than we expected!
- Which breed’s eggs did you send in to be tested?Spitzhauben, Austrolorp, Buff O, Wyandotte
- How many laying hens do you have? 8
- In what year of laying are the hens? They were born in May of 2006.
- Approximately how many eggs do they lay per hen, per month? Please include seasonal variations. 20/month during prime season. About half that during winter and extreme heat.
- What, if any, measures do you take to extend the egg production season?They do get some supplemental lighting.
- What kind(s) of supplemental feed do you use? Please be as specific as possible, including the brand name or farm where you get your feed. I feed a mix of whole wheat, oats, cracked corn, millet, field peas, sunflower seeds, kelp, brewers yeast, DE and oyster shell.
- If you have kept confined hens, can you estimate how much less feed hens raised on pasture consume? I don’t ever confine them completely, but I do know they eat about 3 times as much in the winter when there’s only snow on the ground.
- Tell us about the living and ranging conditions of your hens. For example, what kind of pens do you have? Did you build them yourself? Do you use moveable pens? If so, how often do you move the birds to fresh pasture? What is the approximate size of the area on which your chickens are free to range and forage on a given day? Are there any specific plants in the pasture that you know your birds eat? The ladies have an enclosed coop for overnighting in, about 8 sq ft per bird. Attached to that is a large covered run they can hang out in in inclement weather. Attached to that is a large chain-link fenced yard they are free to roam around in from 5-6 in the morning until about 2 in the afternoon. I then let them out to roam whereever they please until 6-7 at night. The covered run is 10-by-20 feet. The fenced yard is 40-by-50 feet and the “free to roam” area is 6+ acres with woods in back. Every imaginable weed grows in this place; I can identify clovers, buckwheat, plantain, dandelions and such, but I won’t even venture a guess what the rest of it is. There are also loads of wild grapes, and I do believe the girls like my flower garden. :(
- How would you characterize the area in which you live—urban, suburban or rural? Are there any local regulations you had to meet to be able to raise chickens? We are rural turning suburban. I work on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. :)
- Have you had problems with predators, and how have you solved them?Coons, fox, hawks. The fencing seems to have worked for the foxes and made the hawks nervous. The rooster from this batch is very good at watching for hawks while his ladies eat. Our last rooster used to hide in the middle of the hens!! The coons died of lead poisoning after exhaustive attempts of top wire, buried wire, live wire, etc.
- Do you sell your eggs? If so, where and for how much?
I sell a couple of dozen a week for $2.50 per dozen; $3.00 if a carton isn’t provided.
- Can you estimate how much you earn per year, per bird? No. I’m not in this for a profit. I’m in it for the joy chickens bring and healthful eggs. I’m pretty sure sitting on the porch watching the ladies is better than any therapy a psychiatrist could provide, so you can add $100+ per hour to that :)
- What do you think are the main reasons customers choose your eggs? (flavor, nutrition, more humane conditions, etc.) One of my customers calls himself “the old farmer.” He remembers what real eggs are supposed to taste like, and says mine do! From the cartons the customers provide, I’m guessing humane condition is also important to them. I haven’t the heart to tell them what “free range” really means on those egg cartons, but they KNOW what my free-range means!
- Do you have any notable comments from customers that you can share with us? Are there any customers whose contact information you can give us so we can talk directly with them about why they choose your eggs? N/A
- Many of you have expressed dismay at our using the term “free-range eggs,” because of the way that language has been tarnished by certain producers whose birds really have no access to fresh pasture. Are you aware of any of these “industrial free-range” farms in your area? If so, please provide us with as much information about the producer as possible.N/A
- Feel free to share any additional comments with us.
NUTRITION TEST RESULTS
- On what date were your egg samples shipped to the lab?6/3/07
- Please confirm that we have recorded your test results accurately. If your report shows different values, please indicate that by making a note on the correct line below.
Cholesterol: 271 mg
Omega-3: 520 mg
Vitamin E: 9 IU