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

CSA Season Now OPEN!

We have officially begun our CSA season.

Buy now and the price is the same as last year. But hurry! This offer will only last until February 14th!

If you has a CSA with us last year then welcome back! We missed you! We love CSA because it gives us a chance to see you every week and learn how you use our produce, poultry, and eggs and get some new recipes for ourselves!

If you are not familiar with CSA, there’s a rich history to it.

Check this post out that explains where CSA comes from. 

A CSA helps to benefit everyone involved. Check out these amazing reviews from last year!

csa comments 1csa comments 2csa comments 3

Don’t wait, buy it today and save.

Click here for pricing. 

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 Best Chicken Stew You’ll Ever Eat

Best Chicken Stew - Fisher Hill Farm

We’re all in on this chicken stew recipe as you can see by the title. But one taste of this dish and you’ll agree with us. It’s easy to make and best of all you can get (almost) everything from us at the markets we attend. This recipe will easily serve 4 with leftovers.

What You’ll Need:

One Stewing Hen

3 Onions

4 Medium Rutabaga

6 Cloves of garlic

4 Medium Carrots

10 Ribs of Celery

2 tablespoons of AP flour

A few cheese rinds

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

What You’ll Do:

Take the stewing hen out of the package. Not sure what a stewing hen is? Check out our last post HERE. Give it a rinse and then put it in an 8 quart stock pot. Cut the three onions in half and put 3 halves in the pot along with 5 ribs of celery, 2 carrots, 3 cloves of garlic, the cheese rinds and the thyme. You can get these cheese rinds at the market from some of the vendors, or get them from Wegmans. The rinds will add awesome flavor and help add a little fat to the stock.

Local Rutabaga - Fisher Hill Farm
Local Rutabaga – Fisher Hill Farm

Cover the lid and place on medium heat. Forget about this for 3 hours. Occasionally come back to stir because the rinds can rest on the bottom and stick sometimes. After 3 hours, pull the chicken out to cool then strain the remaining liquid and put in another pot. Put this back on the stove with no top on it. Keep it at a simmer continue to reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stew Hen Stew - Fisher Hill Farm
Stew Hen Stew – Fisher Hill Farm

Peel and chop the rest of your veggies and put them in a soup pot like a dutch oven or an 8 quart stock pot. Saute them with 4 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper until they start to sweat. Add the flour and stir to thicken. Add the reserved stock that’s already hot. Reduce the heat down so it’s just barely boiling.

Strip the meat off the chicken. Discard any skin. Rough chop the meat and add it to the soup. Salt and pepper to taste one last time. Keep it warm and serve when you’re ready.