Our first flock of hens, Saphire Gems, were ordered and 25 arrived in February 2021. Then in March 2021, my sister-in-law gifted us a Rhoad Island Red rooster and three older hens. With these, we incubated some of the eggs and have first four chickens that we hatched on our farm June 2021. Our Saphire Gems also have started laying eggs in June of 2021.

Between the meat chicken runs, the hens have been able to graze the apple orchard with the help of the chicken tractor for protection. We are hoping by allowing the hens to graze the apple orchard, we will have less flies in our apple crop this fall.

Four-month-old Sapphire Gem hen climbing the ole’ apple tree..

Sapphire Gems arriving at Froghill Country Farms 2/2021

Sapphire Gems Growing Up

Rhode Island

Red Rooster and Hens

Hatching our own chickens…

My first attempt in April/May with the incubator was a failure. Waited 22 days and beyond… nothing hatched. So I built up the courage to gather more eggs and try again. To my complete surprise around the date they were set to hatch, I heard a “peep” coming from the box. I was amazed to find holes in two eggs! Two days later, came two more holes. Our first chicken hatched and became a cheerleader for the rest to hatch. Hatching chickens is NOT like the cartoons you see on TV where the chicken cracks open the egg all fluffy. The egg hatching process can take up to 1-2 days. The temptation to help them is overwhelming. I had to step away from the incubator and drive into town for a peanut butter shake to calm my nerves. Then, I came back with my shake to slowly sip and watch the slow action of the chicken hatching. Once hatched, the chicken as to dry out and gain strength. This too is hard to watch. New born chicks seem to flop, flop and flop. Another 12 hours pass, and then they turn into pretty new born chicks!