Welcome to Verde Farm in Huntington, West Virginia. Miniature donkeys, Kunekune pigs, chickens, ducks, and peacocks...oh, and all of our cats and dogs say hello! We sell Kunekune's, various breeds of Bantams, and Muscovies. We also rent Verde Cottage to vacationers and will begin hosting weddings in 2011. We open the farm to Sunday afternoon tours spring through fall and by special request. Come join us.
Small in stature, but large in personality, the Bantam is one of the oldest domestic animals and the miniature of the chicken family. Some Bantams were bred as a small variety of a standard size chicken, and true bantmas are small and always have been. The breed has many varieties--from Silkies, Sebrights, Rosecombs, Polish, and Beligans to mixed breeds. And, they are quite hardy, requiring little special care. Its brilliant plummage, and almost tame disposition have certainly added a splash of color and a sense of peace to life on the farm.
It is difficult to imagine how different the place would look and sound without them because there is nothing quite like the sound and sight of content chickens. A Bantam chicken at Verde Farm pretty much spends its day looking for food, free ranging, a task they do amid group rivalries and courship rituals. We've spent many hours watching the roosters and hens jockeying for position in the pecking order.
Not only are Bantams good for the soul-- their eggs are also good for the heart. Compared with commerical industry eggs, the eggs our free range chickens lay are loaded with two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta carotene, and two times more vitamin A. They also contain a third less cholesterol and a quarter less saturated fat, according to USDA data.
The yolk and taste of the tiny eggs, are much richer than industry eggs. Because they are about one-half the size of standard chicken eggs, we simply double them when a recipe calls for fresh eggs. However, some of the smallest varieties, such as rosecombs, produce extra small eggs that amaze children, and when fried suprise any guest. At any rate, our eggs are wonderful because here at Verde we work hard to create a peaceful, stress free environment for our chickens. In other words, our eggs are the best because our chickens are the happiest chickens in the whole USA.
How interesting that the Muscovy duck isn't really a duck! Originally from the South American rainforests the Muscovy is considered a tree perching waterfowl. Although it isn't a "duck", it certainly looks like one and has many wonderful qualities making it perfect for your backyard flock. Muscovies are quackless and make a slight puffing sound. They eat flies and bugs and multiple studies show they can reduce the fly population alone by 90%! What an excellent 'green' solution to chemical fly sprays!
Domestic Muscovies are bred in many wonderful colors from black, white, brown, lilac, blue, silver and white. Patterns vary from striped, pied, barred, rippled and bibbed. Most develop bright red masks, called caruncles on their face as juveniles. Although strange to see at first, once you grow to love this bird the caruncles make them even more beautiful and interesting.
Muscovies have a distinct personality and come waddling to the sound of your dinner call. As they walk, their tails swish from side to side, bringing a big smile to your face. Muscovy mothers are wonderful. They will sit and hatch chicken eggs if you put them in their nest. They teach their young to forage early on and there is nothing cuter than watching them teach ducklings to swim.