Colockum Hillside Farm Artisan Eggs ($6/dozen)
What makes our eggs Artisan eggs? To start with, our eggs are beautiful! Each carton contains a smile-inducing blend of shapes, colors, shades, and patterns that cannot be found in any carton of eggs you would buy at a retail store. And when you crack the eggs open, their yolks are a deep golden orange, and the whites are firm, not runny.
Additionally, we raise our chickens with careful attention to their health, nutrition, and comfort. Our chickens are cheerful chickens because we treat them with kindness and respect. We believe that when our hens are happy and unstressed, they produce more and tastier eggs.
We raise our chickens on pasture. From March through November, our chickens are housed in portable coops that we move frequently so the chickens always have access to fresh forage, and our land does not become overgrazed. The hens spend from dusk to dawn scratching and pecking for shoots, leaves, and insects in the pristine shrub steppe.
In winter, the frozen ground makes grazing difficult, but we do the next best thing we can for our hens. We house them on deep litter in clear plastic hoop house that maximizes light and absorbs heat during the day. The deep litter composts over time, and the composting action warms the air in the hoop house from the ground up. We add fresh straw weekly to keep things smelling fresh and pleasant. And scratching through the composting straw provides entertainment for the chickens.
While the chickens have daily access to pasture from their winter quarters, not much grows when it is freezing outside. Often, the chickens choose not to leave their cozy digs until the weather is nicer. To make up for the lack of forage, we supplement their diet with organic veggie scraps, sprouted Non-GMO wheat berries, USDA-certified organic scratch grains, freeze dried insect larvae, and occasionally wild venison scraps. We return the hens to pasture as soon as we can in the spring.
Finally, to optimize the nutrition of our chickens and the eggs they lay, we feed our hens USDA certified organic feed from a local WA state family run mill. We have been very impressed with this mill’s integrity, attention to detail, and willingness to work with a small farm like our own. Their feed is fresh, high quality, and thoughtfully sourced.