Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gearing up for Gilmanor!

First, I must apologize for neglecting the blog. I've been so wrapped up in spring planning and hatches. But of course now, one of the busiest weeks of the year on the farm, I've decided to come back. Why is this week so crazy? Saturday is the great Gilmanor Swap as many of you know, and with lists made and crates clean all that's left is a few baths, loading food and treats, and of course the birds! I love telling people about this swap who have never been.. you can see their eyes light up as you continue talking about the 100 or so vendors, the great rare oddities that can be found around every corner, the fantastic hand-made goods and of course the amazing chickens, kittens, puppies, goats, mini horses, sheep, finches, pea fowl.. the list goes on and on. So like everyone else, I'm incredibly excited for Saturday to arrive!

I will have mostly youngsters at this swap, but will also have several POL pullets as well as a few adult birds. Youngsters from 1-6 weeks include lavender orpingtons, silver penciled rocks, partridge rocks, olive eggers, easter eggers, a few black copper marans as well as wheaten ameraucanas, plus several other fun birds. I have someone coming to inspect my lovely group of Swedish Flower Hens very early (2 POL pullets and 4 roos), but if they decide not to purchase them I will be making them available to the public.

Please look for my blue tent with the Shady Lane Farm banner and stop by to say hi! We plan to start setting up at 6:30 and will be ready to sell at 7am.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our 2012 Breeds: Hatching eggs and chicks

Well 2012 has finally rolled around, and plans are well underway for a fantastic year at SLF. Birds are divided into their breeding groups and hatching eggs will be collected starting in a few weeks. Fertility is being confirmed daily and I'm very excited to start hatching! I will be setting the first group of eggs around February 1st and will have chicks available starting March 1st. If you are interested in hatching eggs or chicks, please email me at sue_m_simon@yahoo.com and I will put you on our lists. Because we are not a hatchery and are subject to the whims of mother nature, I will certainly do my best to accommodate specific requests for delivery dates, but can't guarantee an exact date for when your eggs or chicks will be ready. I will certainly be happy to give you an estimate as to when your order will be ready. When I have hatching eggs just about ready for you, payment is preferred via PayPal, and eggs will either be shipped USPS, or I can do my best to meet you locally and will accept cash at that time. Shipping for hatching eggs will be $12 for 1/2 dozen priority with tracking, $16 for 1 dozen with tracking, and express will be $25. If you'd like to do a mix/match for hatching eggs, please contact me for pricing.

For chick orders, payment is due upon placement of order. Chicks can be delivered to swaps, or I can meet you locally for pick up. At this time were are not shipping chicks, pending our NPIP certification. Please note: Chicks are sold as straight run only. Some of our breeds, including the Salmon Faverolles and Wheaten Ameraucanas can be sexed at a few weeks of age because of feather color. If we have any juveniles at the farm that can be sexed, they will be listed here for sale.

As always with hatching eggs, we can't guarantee your hatch rate due to factors beyond our control once the eggs leave our hands. This is especially true for shipped eggs, as with the post office they are subject to rough handling, x-ray, less than ideal temperatures, etc. However, I take extreme care in shipping hatching eggs: each egg is wrapped in a piece of paper towel and then wrapped in small bubble wrap, which is then placed carefully in a box which is lined by large bubble wrap and filled with packing peanuts. Extras are included whenever possible for shipped eggs. I will be happy to discuss my incubation techniques if requested to help you have the best hatch possible!

Our first sale will be 3/31 at the Montpelier Feed and Seed in Montpelier, VA. We will also be attending the Mount Olympus Berry Farm sale in Caroline County, VA on 4/21, and of course at Gilmanor Farm in Glen Allen, VA, which takes place in mid-May.

Also, News Flash! The SLF website is in the works and will be live at the end of January. Ordering will not take place on the web site, but you will be able to see pictures of all of our breeders as well as of the farm, and even some of the horses!

Here are our hatching egg and chick prices for 2012:

Welsummers: Chicks $6, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $15, 1 doz $25
Black Copper Marans: Chicks $7, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $15, 1 doz $25
Barred Olive Eggers: Chicks $6, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $15, 1 doz $25
Partridge Rock: Chicks $6, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $18
Silver Penciled Rock: Chicks $6, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $18
Lavender Orpington: Chicks $9, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $25, 1 doz $40
Wheaten Ameraucana: Chicks $8, Hatching eggs 1/2 doz $25

Breeder's choice hatching eggs: These will all be purebred hatching eggs, but the hens decide on the extras we have each week! I'll guarantee at least 3 different breeds, and as many as 7. $20/doz.

Buff Bantam Brahmas and Salmon Faverolles (LF) won't be available until mid-summer so we have some time to build up our own stock.