Chickens at the Sonoma Orchid Inn
That's right. To furnish our guests with the best food possible. It was important to us to bring our guests farm fresh eggs to the breakfast table. So we've grown a flock of beautiful chickens. Organic feed and fresh fruits and vegetables supplement their diet from their ranging across the oak and madrone woodland.
Breakfast each morning features home grown eggs from our chickens. Above you can see some of our Aracanas doing a little free-range grazing. Most of the hens keep to the hen-house, but keeping the Aracanas inside the fence defies effort. Their friendly disposition and colorful eggs (green, blue and khaki) make up for their wanderings.
We've added a black and white cochin and a blank and a white star to the rest of the chickens. They are a mix of Rhode Island Red, Wyandotte, Brown sex-link and Red Star. BeBe's the white one, a Leghorn cross and lays consistently. You do not need a rooster for the hens to produce, so our beloved rooster, Thyme, has moved to another farm miles down the road. His country charm of continuous crowing was a little too much starting at three a.m. You might hear the gentle cackle of an egg being announced in the late-mornings, but your rest is assured undisturbed by any roosters.
An added benifit to having chickens is the great way they finish up the fruit scraps from breakfast (no longer going into the trash and land fill) and turn it into nitrogen rich fertilizer for the compost. The orchards and the veggie garden are jumping to life this year.
We get our chickens from Western Farm Supply in Santa Rosa and feed them organic layer pellets as well as the scraps from the kitchen. We recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens as well as Chickens in Your Backyard - a beginner's guide for chicken raising literature. Both Brian and Dana raised chickens as children, so it wasn't much trouble adding our own to the bed & breakfast.