Emma gets her chickens

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Photos by Shirley Murtha

Emma ushers some of her hens into their newly built coop.

Emma Hoyt, the partner of Holcomb Farm’s Farmer Joe O’Grady, has always had a fondness for chickens. She brought two of her own to Granby when the couple moved into the farmhouse on Simsbury Road. She gradually added a few more, but with no real protection, most of them were nabbed by hungry foxes. Not about to give up her dream, a couple of years ago she acquired a wagon that would be the foundation of the coop, and this year, a CSA member built a substantial hen house on top of that wagon.

Emma got her flock of 50 Barred Plymouth Rock chickens in early March, which turned out to be lucky timing, because soon after the pandemic hit, chickens became rather scarce. It seemed that many people, confined at home for the first time, thought it would be cool to raise their own brood and have fresh eggs.

In early August, the girls started laying; about a dozen or so a day. Production will increase as time goes on, and Emma expects to be able to market the eggs in the farm store shortly.

This hen is doing a bit of crowing, having just laid a lovely egg,