What Does a Chicken House Look Like?

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry

We have three almost identical houses that the laying hens live in and they have a few key features that make them unique. 

First they need a place to lay their eggs everyday. We use community style nesting boxes that are about four feet wide and one foot deep. They have a slanted floor that rolls the eggs to the front of the box where we collect them. The really nice part about these boxes is that the eggs stay really clean and the chickens can’t get to them. Once in a while you can get a hen that likes to eat eggs and not only does that hurt your production numbers but it makes a big mess.

***WONDERING ABOUT OUR CSA? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!***

Another advantage of this style nesting box is that the eggs are easier to collect and much faster. The red flaps on the front give the hens a little privacy and that encourages them to lay in the boxes. 

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

The house is also where the hens get all their food and water. The water will only freeze when the temperature falls in the low 20’s. All the chickens give off enough body heat that keeps it really cozy even in the dead of winter. The red waterers in a bell shape work off a low pressure system that keeps them full of fresh water all the time. Every morning the chickens get about six five gallon buckets full of fresh non-GMO feed. That works out to about a quarter pound of feed per bird per day. The goal is to give them enough so they don’t waste it and that the hens don’t get over weight. Also the feed formulation changes as the birds get older.

We work directly with a poultry nutritionist that comes up with the best formulation for their age and dietary needs.

Another key feature in the chicken house are the lights. Hens require sixteen hours of daylight every day to keep laying. In the summer that isn’t a problem. But come fall and winter when the daylight is shorter we have to supplement light on either side of the day. It doesn’t take much but just enough to keep them laying strong all year long.

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

The basic structure itself is a greenhouse frame that a Mennonite in Penn Yan built for us. It is covered with a single layer of white plastic to help keep it cooler in the summertime. Also in the summer we remove the metal skirts on the lower three feet of the house allowing air circulation on all four sides. It can get hot in the summer so we have added a large fan for cooling. 

Lots of pasture is available year round.

We can rotate fencing around the house giving the chickens fresh grass and letting other sections rest and regrow. We have portable fencing that allows us to move them to new areas as needed.

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

This house has been empty since the end of November and while it was empty we made a few improvements. We installed a new water hydrant because the old one would no longer shut off. No fun having hard well water that wrecks all your plumbing! We rebuilt the door and added metal siding on it so hopefully it will last longer and looks nicer too!

***WONDERING ABOUT OUR CSA? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!***

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

Last, we made a huge door  (5 foot by 10 foot) on the other end that serves a couple different purposes. First it will allow more air circulation in the summer and a nice shaded patio on the hot days. Second it will allow us to back the manure spreader inside so we don’t have to pitch the manure all the way across the house.

We are refilling this house next week with young hens to meet the early springtime demand of eggs. Once Easter hits and the weather gets nicer that demand just grows and grows.

I hope this was helpful and if anyone ever has a question don’t hesitate to ask.

Phillip

***WONDERING ABOUT OUR CSA? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!***

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

Out of Our Eggs? No Problem.

Believe us when we say that we always look forward to seeing each and every one of you on market days. We like to catch up, see what’s going on around town and get any other news and information from our friends. So we don’t want this to sound as if we don’t want to see you weekly! But did you know that our eggs are sold in three other spots?

It’s OK if you didn’t know, but we love that product can be available in a more retail setting. Not only to allow people access to locally raised and grown food, but also let some people know who aren’t fortunate enough to get to the market on a regular basis that we’re out here! We’re proud of what we raise and grow. We want as much of the Rochester area to eat local as they possibly can!

So where else can you find our eggs?

Leo's Bakery and Deli

Leo’s Bakery and Deli

Leo’s web page says it all when you first visit “What’s the best thing about Leo’s? EVERYTHING!” and let us just say that we agree. An incredible bakery, a fantastic deli, and delicious food breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We love that such a great place has room for our eggs. If you have never been there we highly recommend that you check it out. Visit their website here.

Pittsford Dairy Farm

Pittsford Farms Dairy and Bakery

A staple on the east side for years, the Pittsford Farms Dairy has been owned and operated by the Zornow/Corby Family since 1946. And the ice cream is simply amazing! All of the milk used comes from local farmers and the eggs are supplied by us! We’re so happy and proud to be a part of this awesome operation. Visit their website here.

Flour City Bread

Flour City Bread

Located at the Public Market, Flour City Bread is open more days than just when the market is open. They’re open Tuesday – Saturday and they carry our eggs for purchase too! Not only do they focus on local as well, they have the most outstanding breads in the business. Have you tried their croissant? It’s amazing. We love that they’re at the public market and it’s awesome that they’re open every day until 2. Stop in! Visit the website here.

We appreciate everyone’s business and all of our partners and are glad to be a part of the local Rochester food scene.

 

 

Our Top 5 Posts of 2019

Here’s a quick look at our top 5 posts from 2019.

We took a look at how many views they got, how many times they were shared, and comments received. We always appreciate it when we hear how you’re keeping up with us on our website. We all lead such busy lives but it’s important to feel connected to your community and your food!

Plus we couldn’t resist a good end of the year countdown list!

5. The Uncertainty of Farm Life

Things don’t always go as planned, but you always have to keep a level head and do your best.

4. Crop Report (late) July

This one came at the end of July. We love the excitement at the market this time of year. So busy!

3. Crop Report (early) July

The first crop report in July  and starting to head into peak season, we posted what was out, what was new, and put this video clip of Sandi explaining why farming is so important.

2. How to Freeze 10 Ears of Corn

What really amazed us about this post wasn’t the response it got, but rather how many pounds of corn kernels came from just 10 ears

1.When Bad Things Happen to Great People

Re-read this post from Phillip and take perspective on the things that truly matter in life.

 

Happy holidays to everyone out there. We appreciate your friendship, kindness, business, and connection every day and we hope we never take any of that for granted. Everyone that visits with us is an integral part of this farm and raising our children. We are grateful and so excited to ring in the near year with all of you.

A decade is over and a new one is going to begin. We hope for the best for everyone and look forward to another great growing season.

 

 

The Uncertainty of Farm Life

Fisher Hill Farm

Every day is something new on the farm. You never quite know what’s in store for you. Go in with a strong monthly, weekly, or daily plan and those plans can change in the blink of an eye.

It could be anything, too. Truck breaks down, tractor gets stuck, unexpected rain storm washes you out, anything to throw you off your game suddenly can happen. You kind of start to expect the unexpected, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you have to stop what you’re doing to take care of something that you weren’t prepared for.

We’ve always been farmers so we can’t speak from personal experience, but in talking with friends and family it doesn’t seem that much different from any other job out there! Things come up constantly and you are always having to find new ways to make it work.

Life really isn’t much different. Things come out of the blue to throw you off your game all the time. Could be something as simple as a child getting the flu or as serious as someone close to you getting seriously ill. Those things are game changers in one way or the other and there’s no real way you can prepare for something that you don’t ever expect.

All you can do is try and keep your cool, stay centered, and make smart informed decisions as much as possible. The other thing you can do is ask for help. Never feel bad about asking for help when you need it. Too often we try to tackle projects that are just beyond our scope of comprehension and it only makes us more frustrated which never helps to solve any problems.

This is all stemming from us losing water pressure the other day and finding out there was a massive leak that needed to be dug up. Turns out it was a pinhole leak in the plumbing. But, man can that be frustrating. We had to bring someone else in to fix everything up and get the water back on. Never ideal to stop during peak harvest season to fix something you didn’t expect. But that’s life, the uncertainty of farm life!

 

 

 

CSA Save the Dates….and more!

CSA Season is here already! It seems like just yesterday we were setting up our 2019 forms and getting things in order for the summer and here it is! 

If you didn’t get a CSA this year but you have some questions about it we’re here to help answer them. Don’t be afraid to ask away at any of our pickup locations. We hope that your interest means that you’ll go with a CSA next year.

For those of you who have gotten a CSA this year you will be receiving information via email about what will be available on our table as well as pick up spots and times. These are listed below for everyone’s convenience as well:

STARTING PICK UP DATES

Wednesday, June 5, On Farm 4:30pm-6:30pm

Thursday, June 6, Rochester Public Market 7am-12noon

Saturday, June 8, Rochester Public Market 6am-1pm

Sunday, June 9, Brighton Farmers Market 8:30am-12:30pm

Monday, June 10, Thompson Hospital 2:30pm-5:30pm

Tuesday, June 11, Victor Central School 3:30pm-6pm
(Early Childhood School/District Office)

If you are reading this blog and aren’t familiar with our CSA we have one with choice. CSA members come to their pickup location and get to choose what they take home with them. We do not pre-fill baskets or bags. We want you to love what you get and get what you love so you will use it. We never want our product to go to waste and you don’t want to pay for something that you don’t like or won’t use.

For more information click here: https://fisherhillfarm.com/csa/

For more information you can always keep tabs on our blog page. We try to update you as much as possible of what crops are coming up next and what other farm updates we have. We even share some of our favorite farmhouse recipes there too!

Check out our latest blogs:

https://fisherhillfarm.com/2019/04/13/crop-report-first-of-2019/

https://fisherhillfarm.com/2019/04/29/crop-report-onions-are-in-the-ground/

https://fisherhillfarm.com/2019/05/21/our-top-5-quotes-on-farming/