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Wise Acre Farm Building a Flock, One Hen at a Time Lessons from an Egg Farmer by Tanya Seibold

When Twelve Became One Thousand First, there were twelve on four acres. And before the next thirty had even arrived, they upped their order to sixty. Then shortly after that…500 more chickens arrived. It happened that quickly. Today, with a flock topping out at around 1,000 Heritage and Hybrid hens, and spanning over 15-acres of prime Sonoma County pastureland, local chicken farmer and owner Bryan Boyd and girlfriend Raina Brolan have grown Wise Acre Farm in Windsor, California into one of the most interesting and fastest-growing sustainable eggs farms in wine country. When the couple decided to make egg farming a full-time business back in January of 2012, the learning curve was steep, Bryan shares openly.

“Starting out, we really had no idea what breeds were the best as far as egg production and temperament goes, so there was a lot of figuringit-out as we went along. I was in a perpetual mode of learning…cramming in as much information as I could about the different breeds, their food supplies, types of mobile coop constructions- you name it, I was reading about it or talking with someone about how we could make this way of life viable… finding ways to run the business as efficiently as possible.” After considerable research, he landed on the two breeds they primarily raise on the farm today. The first is a hybrid of two Heritage lines called the Sex Link (Rhode Island Red rooster crossed with a Barred Rock hen) and the second, the Araucanas (originating in Chile, yet some claim as America’s own). The Sex Links, known for being consistent and prolific layers, produce those wonderfully dark brown speckled eggs and are, by and large, pretty easygoing as far as chickens

Photography by Leigh Wachter go. The Araucanas, who also get along fairly well with the other girls in the coop, are most notable for laying those gorgeous, pastel-blue and Instagram-worthy eggs, now synonymous with any neighborhood farmer’s market across the country. A critical factor for Bryan and Raina when choosing their flock was of course the quantity of egg production possible, but

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Profile for Wine Country Lifestyle

Wine Country Lifestyle, Geyser Peak, Summer 2016  

Summer Issue, here we come! This issue is fully customized for Geyser Peak Winery. Articles include topics on the Dry Creek Valley, French...

Wine Country Lifestyle, Geyser Peak, Summer 2016  

Summer Issue, here we come! This issue is fully customized for Geyser Peak Winery. Articles include topics on the Dry Creek Valley, French...

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