Sunday, February 22, 2015

Classic Eggs Benedict Recipe

According to one account, eggs Benedict were first created in 1942 by Lumuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street broker, looking for a cure for his hangover. Whatever the origin, eggs Benedict are our favorite breakfast egg dish and a real luxury.

Cooking eggs Benedict is not difficult but there are lots of steps.  It's probably a recipe you'll want to keep for the weekend when there's a little more time to prep breakfast.

  • 8 Eggs
  • 4 English Muffins
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 8 slices Canadian Bacon (You can substitute sliced ham or even regular bacon if you can't get Canadian bacon)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 diced chives
  • Hollandaise Sauce (see below)
  1. Fill a large skillet about 2/3 full with water.
  2. Add the vinegar to the water and bring it to a low simmer.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, toast the English muffins and set them aside.
  4. Crack the eggs and gently add them to the water. Be carefully not to break the yolks.
  5. Cook the eggs for about 3 minutes. You want them to be runny inside.
  6. When the eggs are done, remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place them on a dish with a paper towel on it to absorb the excess water.
  7. Heat a second skillet till medium hot and cook the Canadian bacon about 1 minute on each side. (Do the same if using ham. If using regular bacon, cook strips completely) Then set them aside.
  8. Lightly butter the English muffins and place each half facing upward on a plate.
  9. Place a slice of bacon on each muffin half.
  10. Place an egg on top of the bacon.
  11. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of Hollandaise sauce on top of each egg and garnish with some chives.
Hollandaise Sauce
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Hollandaise Recipe
  1. Use a double boiler to make the sauce. If you don't have one, place a glass or metal bowl over a pot of boiling water so that the heat from pot warms the bottom of the bowl (You don't want the boiling water to come into contact with the bottom of the bowl or double boiler)
  2. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard into the bowl and whisk together until well combined.
  3. Gradually add the melted butter and continue whisking until it becomes a thick sauce. This usually takes about 2 minutes of continuous whisking.
  4. Turn the water to low to keep the mixture warm. 
  5. Add the Hollandaise to your eggs Benedict when they are prepared and on the plate.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love Chickens Valentines Day Sweepstakes

To celebrate Valentines Day Weekend, we're giving away "I Love Chickens" button to 10 lucky winners.

Just Create A Tweet
To participate, create a tweet with the following elements:

  1.  A reason why you love chickens
  2. Include the hashtag #LoveChickens 
  3. Include the link to this web page ( where we will post a list of entires during the course of the sweepstakes.
Here's a Sample Of A Qualifying Tweet:
I love chickens because they make me laugh. #LoveChickens

Sweepstakes Rules
You can enter as many times as you like.  

Contest begins Saturday Feb 14, 2015 (Valentine's Day) and ends Sunday February 15, 2015 at midnight.

Contest is open to those with mailing addresses in the U.S. or Canada. 

Winners will be announced on Monday February 16 on this web site, the facebook page and via Tweet with the #LoveChickens hashtag.

Winners will be selected at random from a list of those that created tweets that included the above 3 elements in the tweet.

Good luck to all!


Congratulations to twitter account owners:

  • Cindersga
  • Kennarog

Please email us at and let us know your full name and mailing address.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chick Shortage 2015

What’s your opinion?

Our local news is reporting that a chick shortage in the San Francisco bay area is driven by higher commercial egg prices.  (Last year California passed a law that requires that caged hens have increased space and this has in fact increased the price of eggs) 

However, I'm somewhat skeptical of the report.  Backyard eggs aren't necessarily cheaper when you factor in the cost of a coop, equipment and feed.  I think demand for chicks is driven by a general increase in interest in chicken keeping driven by a desire for fresher eggs and more humane treatment of animals. What do you think? 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Good luck to Patriots & Seahawks!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chicken Feed Infographic

For more information about chicken feed, check out our article: Chicks To Chickens. How to Choose Their Feed.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chicks to Chickens: How To Choose Their Feed

Type of Chicken Feed Explained

A chicken's dietary needs changes over time and is also dependent on whether the chicken is a meat breed or egg an egg layer.

Starter Feed
Baby chicks (age 0-6 weeks) need a lots of protein in their diet. So called "starter" feeds are formulated to give rapidly growing chicks the protein they need to develop muscles and feathers. Typically, starter feeds are 20% protein and those starter feeds formulated specifically for meat birds will have protein levels as high as 24%.

Baby chicks need feeds high in protein to grow.

To make it easy for baby chicks to eat, the feed is ground and then formed into small bits called crumbles. Some manufacturers add various medications to the crumbles to prevent the chicks from getting a disease called coccidiosis. Buying a feed with such medications is really a matter of personal preference. We feel medications may be more necessary for commercial operations with thousands of chicks than for small backyard flocks. However, if you decide to buy feed with medication you should stop supplying medicated feed about 2 weeks prior to slaughter or to the star of laying.

Grower Feed
After about week 6, the amount of protein in a chicken's diet is reduced and the feed formulations are called either "grower" or "finisher" feeds depending on whether the chick is destined to be a meat bird (finisher) or an egg layer/dual purpose bird (grower).  

When you go to your local store, you may also see feeds that are called "starter/grower" feeds. These feeds are meant to straddle between starter and grower feed formations and are a good choice if you don't want to switch between types of feeds.

Meat birds are fed finisher formula until slaughter at around 7 weeks old. Egg layers are generally fed grower feed until they reach egg laying age  at 20 weeks. At that point an egg layer's feed formula is adjusted again to give these birds the higher level of calcium that they'll need to produce good eggs. 

Some chicken owners will also briefly switch their flocks feed formulation to something called "developer" or "pullet developer" for a few weeks prior to switching to a layer formula. This type of feed keeps birds lean in the weeks prior to when they begin laying. 

Layer Feed
At 20 weeks, chickens are fully grown and begin to lay eggs. At this point, their need for protein is lower than during their growth period and so feed formulas generally are about 16% protein. However, laying birds need lots of calcium to form strong egg shells. As a result, layer feeds are always formulated with high calcium levels.

Some backyard chicken owners feed their egg laying flocks layer feed that is in the form of crumbles. However, it is more common at this point to switch to pelleted feed. Chickens are less able to scratch the pellets out of their feed containers and so they tend to be more efficient.
The BriteTap Chick feeder's unique shield blocks chicks from
standing on the feed tray and pooping into their food

Update on Bird Flu In California

UC Davis poultry expert calls for backyard flock owners to isolate birds: Video

For more information on what to do to protect your flock, check out our post from earlier this week. Posting