“Having access to your own food is priceless,” says Emily Loflin, a self-proclaimed chicken enthusiast based in Northern California who shares her poultry adventures to the world via the Ems Eggers Instagram account.
Loflin’s farming journey escalated during the early era of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We were homesteading more than ever and we realized the importance of becoming self sustainable,” says Loflin, who adds that originally she and her husband “wanted to teach our children to be responsible humans and to love and nurture living things such as animals as well as plants.”
Taking a break from tending to the chicks, we spoke to Loflin about her early inspiration to begin a hobby farm and the range of chicken personalities. We also touched on dark chocolate paint eggs.
It’s All About the Eggs
“The original appeal for chickens was honestly eggs!” says Loflin, when asked why poultry became such a focus of the Ems Eggers homestead.
“My husband and children built the cutest little coop out of scrap-wood around the property, and we picked up four or five chicks,” she continues. “Raising them taught the kids responsibility. Feeding them, cleaning the coop and collecting eggs was the ultimate reward.”
Read more: Do hens need roosters to lay eggs?
A Beautiful Egg Rainbow
Loflin adds that her interest in chickens really bloomed during the pandemic, when she and her family were spending more time than ever homesteading.
“We had the best garden we’ve ever had, and I really started researching chickens,” she explains. “I became super interested in all the different breeds and egg colors, and decided I wanted to have our own beautiful egg rainbow.”
During this time, Loflin adds that late night research sessions helped to hone her poultry chops and expand her knowledge of specific breeds and egg-hatching techniques. “This is when I knew I had a real passion for chickens and their beautiful eggs,” she says.
The Flock Breeds Personality
Looking over her flock, Loflin says she’s noticed distinct personalities emerging.
“Our Delaware hen Daisy was always so pushy and greedy and had to be first to all the feed bowls and treats,” she says. “Daisy would follow me and almost pester me until I’d offer her something. Then there’s Val, our first Easter Egger—so curious and not pushy, but she always seemed interested and intrigued by what was going on.”
Dark Chocolate Paint Eggs
“I truly am in awe [of] the beauty of nature and all the amazing colors a chicken can lay,” says Loflin as she considers the range of egg colors her peep produces. “I love the blues and dark olives and speckles and even the lovely pastels or eggs with heavy blooms that make them look grey or purple!”
Pressed to pick a current favorite shade of egg, Loflin selects “the dark rich red and chocolate colors of Black Copper Marans.” She adds that at times the eggs resemble “dark chocolate paint coming out of a texture spray gun and covering the egg shell in a rich dark red speckled coat. It’s amazing.”
Go for It!
If you’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of adding some chicks to your own homestead, Loflin says don’t hesitate.
“Just say go for it!” she enthuses. “Don’t be afraid. It’s a win-win with chickens. They’re entertaining, beautiful, easy and give you eggs! Just always get more than you think you need or want because you’ll wish you had in the end!”
Follow Ems Eggers on Instagram.