Step right up and meet the newest members of the Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards family – the Pippin Chicks! All eyes are on the 12 hens living in our custom-made chicken coop; not only are they adorable, but they’ve become important contributors to Pippin Hill Farm’s sustainable ecosystem, producing over 60 eggs per week. Here’s everything you need to know about the Pippin Chickens.
The chickens came to us as pullets (juvenile chickens) from Chris Morton, the “Chicken Man”, in Dyke, Virginia, on the border of Albemarle and Green County. In addition to breeding chickens, Chris raises his own chickens and sells their fresh eggs on his farm. At Pippin Hill, we have three different breeds of chickens:
1. Barred Plymouth Rock – black & white “barred” feathers
2. Buff Orpington – beautiful golden buff color
3. Rhode Island Red – dark rust color
Pippin Hill Farm is located on the site of an old fairground, and to pay homage to these roots, we named each of our chickens after the county fair. The roster includes Ferris, Twinkie, Gravitron, Tornado, Fried Oreo, Butternut, and more!
All of our chickens were chosen for their friendly & docile nature, cold hardiness, and their excellent egg production. The 12 hens produce around 5 dozen brown-colored eggs each week; in line with our vineyard-to-table philosophy, Chef Ian Rynecki uses these eggs in the Pippin Hill kitchen. In turn, the chickens are fed meat and vegetable scraps from the kitchen, creating the ideal sustainable cycle. The flock also munches on wheat- and soy-free multi-grain feed from New Country Organics – only the best for our #PippinChicks.
The chickens live in a custom-made coop built by Shenandoah Sheds; it was designed to look like a miniature version of the Pippin Hill Granary. Learn more about our coop and get some tips on building your own coop here.
Our chickens are free range, which means they can roam freely outdoors in an electric pen area. Raising chickens free range is said to have numerous benefits, allowing the chickens a more active, natural lifestyle and even producing healthier eggs. While our chickens roam free, it’s important that we keep them safe from any predators. We use electric wire fencing as well as numerous natural tactics to protect our chickens and their eggs from raccoons, foxes, hawks, snakes, and other threats. Read more about how we ward off predators in this article.
Visit Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards this summer to meet our #PippinChicks!