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How Seehafer Shores Mini Farm Started

Hello fellow animal lover! My name is Kris and my partner of 7 years (fiancé of 3) is Michael. We met in 2007 at an aerospace company where Michael has worked for 20 years and I have worked for almost 15 years. We are both truly grateful to work where we do, with the people that we do, doing what we do.

Just as rewarding for us is the work we do out in "the country ". In 2008, we moved out to a somewhat rural area of Northern Virginia. We bought a unique little cottage (2-stories, 800 sq ft) on an acre that needed a lot of TLC. Michael is a superstar handyman and woodworking hobbyist. I am an eager learner. Together, we made some major renovations to our house and yard over the years. It's insane to think about how many trips we've made to the local Home Depots!

It wasn't until 2011 or so that our place was functionally complete enough that we could focus our energy on other hobbies. For Michael, that meant building furniture and woodworking side-jobs for friends and family. For me that meant I could finally start my own little flock of chickens! I have always loved everything farm-related, poultry and sheep in particular. Growing up in the suburbs, I unfortunately never had a chance to raise poultry. It officially began in the Spring of 2012 with four chicks from Great Country Farm's "Rent-a-Peep" program. Thankfully, I didn't have to give them back. They all got names and turned into beautiful, friendly hens. And the eggs were amazing! I was hooked. Over the years, I learned about "chicken math" and the flock continued to grow.

I've raised a number of chicken breeds. A few of my favorites include Silkies, Cochins, Buff Orpingtons, and the (beautiful) Naked Neck Turkens. I get a lot of joy from breeding and raising the Silkies and Cochins. The hens are terrific brooders and attentive to their young. And there is nothing more heart-warming than watching the baby chicks follow mom around and scratch for bugs on a warm Spring day.

In the Winter of 2013, we settled on a property off the Chesapeake Bay that has a good chunk of land for the mini farm. Surrounded by sea oats and right on the water, we felt it was appropriate to name our property 'Seehafer Shores' in honor of my late grandparents. Seehafer is my family's name and is German for sea oats. Michael & I have been doing all the construction (with the exception of utility installations) and are hoping to get our occupancy permit this summer. It's exhausting but so rewarding to build your home yourself!

In 2015 I expanded the flock to include waterfowl. The resident ducks are a sassy Cayuga "Puddles", a large chatty Pekin "Iggy", and a sweet Welsh Harlequin "Peanut". The Welsh Harlequin is a critically endangered duck breed that I would like to raise more of in the future. They are consistently great layers, very calm natured, and a beautiful addition to the mini farm.

This year I am adding two Toulouse goslings to the mix. "Mimi" and "Lucy" will fly cross-country from Metzer Farm next month. For anyone considering raising waterfowl, I highly recommend checking out Metzer Farm. I also highly recommend reading up on the requirements of any livestock before bringing them into your lives. I added my favorite pet poultry and waterfowl books to our 'Resources' page.

At present we are trying to take our mini farm to the next level - our very own family owned and operated business, Seehafer Shores Mini Farm! As the "home of happy pet poultry & waterfowl" we will be breeding, raising, and selling the beautiful Silkie and bantam Cochin chicken breeds (and occasionally Silkie/Cochin crosses) to hobby farmers and animal lovers like yourselves. Check out the "Silkies" link at the top of our webpage or go directly to SeehaferShoresSilkies.com for more information. After we complete construction on our new place, we will begin raising and selling Welsh Harlequin ducklings t0 those of you looking to preserve this beautiful breed. We also want your feedback on what products you love but wish were better and what problems you have raising your pet livestock where no good solutions seem to exist. As engineers, we would love to focus on creating or improving products that can help our community. If/when you think of something please leave us feedback in our 'About You' page.

Thank you for visiting our website! If you are interested in pet livestock and life on the mini farm, check back often. You can also stay connected by finding us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Hope to hear from you soon! Cheers!

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