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Welcome back friends of Full Quiver Farm!

2005 Season

This past year was one filled with many blessings and challenges. Through it all, we continue to trust in our Provider for His direction and mercy.
This was our first year with the all-new Suffolk Farmers Market. It was a great success in that we found many of you there at the market. We're planning on returning this year, and can't wait to see how everyone is doing. Our biggest challenge was trying to keep from selling out of our famous Country Brown Eggs. This year we hope to solve this with a whole new batch of pullets. (A pullet is a hen under a year old). We ordered 120 this fall and they should be ready to start laying in earnest by the time the Farmers Market gears up. It takes pullets about 21 weeks before they lay that first egg. After that they'll average one a day for most of the season, until the days get shorter in the fall.

Morgan, our oldest (13yrs), is taking on the eggs as her enterprise this year. She tended them most of last year, and is ready to do everything this year. She's excited about it and would love to talk to you about them at our booth at the market.

Broilers will continue to be our centerpiece product this year. We will continue to have monthly farm pickup days (see schedule). Please remember to pre-order for the pickup days. As usual, we'll have broilers available at the farmers market. Some of you will remember that severe heat was a problem two years ago and partly due to our low shelter design. Our new portable "hoop" shelter design this past year took care of this problem by venting heat upward and encouraging good air-flow.

Lilly, the cow.
This winter we added a family dairy cow, Lilly. You just can't beat an ice cold glass of milk that you personally extracted from your own cow just a few hours earlier. Just make sure and wash it down with some of Katie's (12yrs) home-made brownies! Lilly has quite a personality. She is the source of many humorous stories. Here's one from shortly after we got her… We were getting her used to coming into the milk parlor in the morning and evening. This is before we learned that cows don't like change. They like everything to be in the same place and everything done in the same order, at the same time. We went out to the pasture to fetch her, and didn't realize that someone had left a green garden hose running right across in front of the door to the milk parlor. She was walking along and suddenly jerked to a stop, staring at the hose, as if to say, "well, what do I do now?" I knew that if I tried to move the hose that it would startle her even more. We were finally able to coax her timidly in. Unfortunately, Bess, our family dog, decided to come sniffing about her hind feet, when wham! Fast as lightening, out flashed a kick that caught the dog right in the head. To say the least, everyone was quite nervous after this. (Bessie the dog was fine, by the way). As I remember it, this was one of the few evenings that Lilly kicked over the milk about halfway through. So we learned our lesson, don't leave hoses laying around, and Bessie the dog tucks her tail whenever Lilly comes around. Lilly has turned out to be a great milker and has a great disposition, as long as things stay predictable. She gives around 5 gallons a day. We've got real cream for our coffee and delicious butter. We're about to try our hand at cheese making. We'll let you know how that goes.

Right now we're not offering milk, although we're looking into it. Please let us know if you would be interested. If we did, it would be contract based, so there would be a commitment required. We would also need to work out pick-up logistics. All this is in the planning stages right now so we'd love your input.

Full Quiver Farm Fun Facts

Did you know...
The average hen will lay between 200 to 300 eggs a year!

Do you need a rooster to get eggs?
You only need a rooster if you want some eggs to hatch!

Can you eat fertilized eggs?
Sure. There's only a single cell in there that's actually fertile. And it won't develop unless it's kept warm by a hen or incubator. Still, we keep the roosters away from the hens we sell from. So all your eggs should be unfertilized.

An egg forms in the hens body over the course of about a week and the shell is not created until the night before she lays it! The shell consists of almost pure calcium carbonate. Since the hen lays about an egg a day, she has about 7 or more eggs in various stages of growth at any point in time. Healthy hens have good solid strong shelled eggs. You may have noticed that our eggs have thicker shells than store bought. Our hens get extra calcium in the form of good green pasture and an oyster shell supplement.

Hens won't sit?
Most of today's breeds of hens have forgotten how to sit on the nest and hatch and raise chicks. This is because almost all commercial chicks available have been artificially incubated. This has been going on for about half a century. The instinct to sit on her eggs has effectively been bred out of the modern layer. A "broody hen" as they are called are hard to find. Several of the older more traditional breeds will still "go broody", as they call it. A broody hen will start sitting on her eggs after she lays them. She will rarely leave the nest and will keep laying until she has about a dozen or so eggs. Then, her body stops producing eggs while she continues to incubate them, carefully turning them and keeping them just the right temperature and humidity for about three weeks. We have a broody hen now and can't wait to see her leading around her baby chicks. After about 21 days, the chicks will begin peeping inside their shell. There is a small air sack inside each egg that helps to get them started. The chicks then begin the long arduous task of pipping to break out of the shell. It's wonderful to watch and can take up to a full 24 hours!

 Getting in touch...
Scott and Alison Wilson
Full Quiver Farm
2801 Manning Road
Suffolk, VA 23434
(757) 539-5324
or email...
Scott Wilson

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