Frequently asked questions

Chicken FAQ

How do I integrate my new chickens with my existing flock?


There are a lot of different theories about this. We are big believers in communicating with your animals. This might sound crazy, but we've had major success when we sit with our animals and tell them what is going on. That way they know you are in charge, leader of the flock, and are intentionally bringing your new ladies in on purpose! When you bring your chickens home for the first time, you'll need to consider a few things from the chickens perspective. 1. Your existing flock is going to be upset that you've disturbed their homeostasis. 2. The new chickens are going to feel scared and lost. So the question remains - how do you get them all to be best friends? The most ideal situation is to place your new chickens in a small animal crate that they can see through, and put the crate in your run or existing coop and leave! Leave them in the crate for a day or two. This allows your existing flock to meet the new chickens without fighting them, and it lets the new chickens see their new home without freaking out too much. After a few days, we reccomend waiting until it's dark, and then placing your new chickens in the coop to roost/sleep for the night. When you open the door to the coop the next morning, you've got a good chance of all the chickens will be happily living together and won't even notice that there are new roommates in their house. When you open the door, we reccomend staying with your flock for 30-60 minutes. There is chance you'll need to stand-by to break-up potential chickens fights, but if you've waited at least 2-3 days to integrate, you should be in the clear!




Will the chickens I get from LoveBug Farms need a heat lamp?


No, all of the ladies you get from us will be fully feathered and able to move into your coop without a heat lamp. They will come to you feeling comfortable being held, know how to use chicken food/waterers, and be well adjusted to chickens, ducks and geese of all shapes and sizes.




What are you doing with the chicks before I buy them?


While it may seem like we're just playing with chickens all the time, the truth is, it's a lot of work to keep these babies alive and thriving in the beginning of their little lives. Our ladies are loved and handled regularly, which means they'll be more likely to love it when you hold them throughout their life. Just like humans, chickens that are loved and cared for early on in life have an easier time integrating into society. We also treat tons of chicken infant illnesses using mainly natural and home made treatments. We treat things like: pasty butt, leg and neck deformities, early trauma, dehydration, malnutrition. The list goes on. All of the chickens from LoveBug Farm have been vaccinated for Marek's and Coccidiosis




Are your chickens organic and non-gmo?


ES!!! If you're going to eat the eggs from your happy hen, don't you want to know what's in them? All of our practices on the farm are organic, sustainable and regenerative. This includes what we feed ourselves and everyone on the farm. We grow a lot of our own chicken food, we also ferment and sprout various goodies for them throughout the year. The food we buy from the store is always organic and non-gmo. We recommend buying and fermenting the "scratch and peck layer." You can get your starter kit here.




What will my new chickens eat? Do I need to buy them special food?


The chickens you get from LoveBug Farms have been given lots of organic health elixirs during their stay at the farm. They are ready to go home with you and eat adult chicken food. In most cases, they will be ready to eat "layer," they don't need to eat "grower" chicken food. They can eat compost and veggies. They love grubs and other healthy treats! If they are under 4 months, you will need to buy chick food or "grower." We love to soak raw, non-GMO soybeans for a day or two. Sprouted soybeans are a protein rich snack! We've worked hard to not only love these ladies, but we've increased their ability to thrive in adulthood by increasing their gut microbiomes and immunity response systems. We recommend buying "Scratch and Peck" organic layer and fermenting it! More info on that here!




How do I choose which chicken to buy?


If you're not sure what breed of chicken to get, please reach out to us! We are happy to talk about your specific chicken needs. We'll chat about your household, yard space, and what you're looking for in a flock. We are happy to informally advise you about your backyard flock. If you need more than 'the basics' we offer chicken consulting!




Do I need to quarantine before mixing flocks?


Some chicken people will tell you to always, 100% of the time, quarantine any new animals for 2 weeks (7-30 days) before you integrate them with the existing flock. This means keeping new birds separate (either with an animal crate or your run), and your clothes/shoes/germs separate from the flocks during this time. This is reccomended if you're not sure what kind of bacteria your new chickens have been around. There's no harm in going through a quarantine period, and you can keep the chickens in a crate for awhile (depending how many you have) if you don't have a run or some way to separate them. We have a strict bio-security program at LoveBug Farms. We go to great lengths to keep our coops and chickens healthy, happy, and clean. We are happy to share santizing methods, feel free to ask. There's a lot of great info on this at the happy chicken coop!





Egg FAQ

Wait, these eggs don't have be refrigerated?


Nope! You can keep our farm fresh eggs on the counter at your place. When chickens lay an egg they naturally have a protective coating, or invisible bloom, that preserves the egg. For this reason, you don't have to refrigerate your eggs if you don't wash them. They'll last several weeks without being refrigerated. This means there might be some poop on your eggs. They are farm fresh, after all. We recommend keeping them on the counter and washing well with soap and water before you crack 'em. Washing the egg before you crack it will reduce it's shelf life. Leaving the protective coating on the egg for as long as possible is the safest!




Are my eggs still good?


If your eggs have been sitting on the counter for a long time, and you're wondering if they're still good before you eat breakfast, you can use the float test to make sure they're still fresh.
1. Submerge your egg in a bowl or cup of cold water. 2. If eggs sink to the bottom of the bowl and lie flat on their sides, they are very fresh. 3. If they are less fresh but still good to eat, they will stand on one end at the bottom. 4. If they float to the surface, they are no longer fresh enough to eat More info on thehappychickencoop.com P.S. I recently tested some eggs that were unwashed, and left in the greenhouse for 3 months. They were perfectly fine. The natural bloom really does preserve the egg.




How many eggs will my chicken lay a year?


Most chickens will lay 200-300 eggs a year depending on their breed. The best way to figure out how many eggs your chicken will lay is ..... google the breed, look at the descriptions of our chickens in the "shop" page, or ask us!
Some chickens are known for laying a lot more eggs, others may be known for looking pretty or helping with your garden.




Do you have chicken and duck eggs?


Yes! We can give you a mix of chicken and duck eggs, or you can request to have all chicken or all duck.





Veggie FAQ

How fresh are your veggies? When are they picked?


We pick veggies 24-48 hours before you pick -up. This means they have the max phytonutrients, macronutrients, and flavor for you and your yummy meal!




What kind of food is in your CSA box?


We promise to provide you with nutrient dense, antioxidant packed veggies that you won't find at the store. Think pineapple tomatillos, collards the size of a dinner plate, black radishes, and purple bok choy, apples, plums, berries and much more!) Seasonal cornucopia of greens - this is our specialty Choy's/Choi's (Pok/Boc/Pac) Tomatoes Peppers Squash Zucchini Pumpkin Celery Radishes
Carrots Herbs (chocolate mint, variety of basils, oregano)




What are your CSA Terms and Conditions?


CSA Policy We are so glad to have you as a member of our farm! We just want to take a moment to highlight a few of the special rights and responsibilities that go along with this relationship. As a LoveBug Farm member, you can expect the following from us: -We will grow a wide variety of vegetables for you using environment- and worker-friendly practices. -We will always deliver our freshest and most beautiful produce to you. -We will communicate clearly about produce availability and delivery, and endeavor to keep our newsletter fun and informative. -As a CSA member, you come first! We value our relationship with you, and will give you our best produce.
In return, we ask the following of you: -We appreciate your timely payments! -Keep in mind that becoming a CSA member is a season-long commitment to support the farm. Refunds are uncommon; however, if for some reason you are unable to finish the season, please get in touch and we will discuss options. -If you have any concerns during the CSA season, please get in touch with us! We want to hear from you, and will try to make it right. -Please understand that by becoming a CSA member, you are sharing some of the risk that's inherent in farming. On occasion, we may experience a crop failure or adverse conditions that lead to harvesting less of a particular crop than we would like. In such cases, crop diversity is our strength! We will do our best to fill out your share with other crops. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a particular crop.




Are my veggies pre-washed?


Short answer: Sometimes.
Long answer: You'll likely find some dirt on some of your veggies. That is a part of eating seasonally and eating fresh food! We are a small farm, and we find that the preserving the veggies and making sure you get the freshest possible produce, is more important than how they look.

PLEASE WASH YOUR PRODUCE BEFORE YOU EAT IT




I don't know what this weird thing is in my box, will you be sending an email with that info?


I will try to send important information about our produce each week. To be frank, we are a farm with 2 employees and we both work full time outside of LoveBug. One day, I will send emails every week with a list of what you'll find in your box.
For now, PLEASE reach out if you have a question. You can text me with a photo of the thing you have a question about. I really want to provide as much information as I can about the produce. For now, my time is limited.