Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.

For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feeling Peckish

We humans of Kopp’s Crops have a serious case of Cabin Fever with a side of Spring Fever.  But we think the chickens are feeling it even more acutely.  After a winter of being cooped up (pun intended) inside, they’re feeling a little peckish.  As in, they’re pecking at each other.  A couple of the hens who fall to the bottom of the proverbial pecking order (yes, a phrase that did indeed originate in the chicken universe) are sporting some feather-free bald spots above their tails.  Hopefully as the weather warms up and they get outside more to stretch their wings, their appetites for each others’ tailfeathers will wane.  If not, some chicken coats may be in order.  Seriously.  You can actually buy peck-proof coats for chickens!    

The pecking really took off a couple of weeks ago, when the weather dropped into the sub-zero, egg-freezing zone.  Our hens stayed comfortable with their thick winter feathers and the collective chicken body heat, but the eggs they laid in the colder corners of the coop didn’t fare so well.  Of the five or six eggs laid each day by our eight hens, we were lucky to retrieve one before they froze and split their shells.  Then all the sudden, those frozen eggs started sporting mysterious, jagged holes.  The hens were pecking at their own eggs, as if they were in some twisted poultry version of the Donner party. 

Fearing the ongoing loss of future omelets, we took a two-pronged approach to exterminate the egg-pecking.  First, we dug out the plastic eggs from the girls’ Easter baskets to use as decoys.  Go ahead, ladies, let’s see you try to peck through that tough plastic!  Then we filled all the pre-pecked real eggs with yellow mustard, which chickens apparently detest.  Yes, dear hens, it may just look like egg yolk, but trust us – it’s kryptonite to you!  It took about five days, but they finally tired of the pecking prevention measures and started leaving the eggs intact, just in time for the winter warm-up that allowed us to once again enjoy fresh (unfrozen) eggs!