Most people who traverse along Route 22 and beyond most likely have not heard of Johnderosa Farms on Petticoat Lane over in Clinton Township, NJ. (Their “address” has an Annandale, NJ location – but they’re technically in Clinton – see map at the bottom of this post).
And it’s not surprising – because all it basically is (to the passerby), is a roadside cubby hole that sells a few things. Most importantly – farm fresh eggs.
They also offer birdhouses that were made from trees that were fallen on the property during Hurricane Sandy.
Various assortments of small plants are also available at certain points in the year (spring, I believe).
To most people who don’t care to look beyond, they will just enjoy locally-produced eggs at a (very) fair price – which is entirely understandable. But for us, we like to find out what they’re all about!
Johnderosa Farms is a bit more than just eggs. They are avid chicken farmers. But first, the eggs they do sell are special – and cannot be found anywhere else around here at least.
Arkansas Blue Egglayers. Yes – blue eggs that we’ve bought – and they taste phenomenal.
Here’s a bit they said about them.
University of Arkansas Blue Egglayers at Johnderosa Farms
(Purchased in 2013 from one of the original recipients)
“Like many of you, I love the many different breeds of chickens out there… with so many “cool” looking varieties to chose from it is easy to want one of each. Ultimately though, for me, it is really all about the eggs. I find blue eggs are especially appealing and when I heard about a new breed of chickens that produced commercial quantities of pure blue eggs several years ago, I had to check into them.
This breed was reportedly developed about 5 years ago by a Doctor at the University of Arkansas using high production commercial leghorns and Arucanas. The “high production” leghorns used were rumored to be from a line that is not available to the general public but no one I’ve spoken to really knows for sure.
The idea was to create a highly productive blue egglayer for commercial purposes. There is some evidence that this project was either commissioned by Whiting hatchery or that some of these birds made it into their product line. The current “Whiting True Blue” egglayers being sold by Murry McMurry hatcheries do include some birds that look very similar, if not identical to this breed.
Once the project was completed at the University of Arkansas, a small number of eggs were released locally to anyone who was interested in raising this interesting breed. I was able to get a dozen eggs from one of the original recipients and have been evaluating them ever since.
The birds themselves are small in stature (mine are borderline between bantam and large fowl in size) and exhibit traits that can be tied back to the birds used to develop them. The colors are blue, black and splash. Their skin color is yellow with some of the darker birds showing some black/slate on their shanks.
I breed for yellow legs in my birds. Their combs are what I call sloppy pea combs and pretty consistent from bird to bird. Their form is decidedly skewed towards their leghorn heritage. My hens often grow spurs which were a surprise but in doing some research, I have heard that Arucana hens often grow spurs as well.
The egg color is PURE pale blue with no hint of green at all. This is very rare in my experience and is an excellent attribute of this breed. Egg size is right at the large size and is excellent in relation to the size of the birds.
They are light feeders and produce large quantities of eggs. In fact, they are the best layers I currently have in my flock.
The hens are a little on the flighty side but some of my calmest, friendliest hens have been from this flock. They are non-aggressive to other breeds of chickens but seem to do well in mixed flocks despite their small size. The roosters have been completely non-aggressive to people so far and I often let spare males free range in my backyard. I have never had one so much as posture aggressively to anyone. They are often curious and seem to follow you around just to hang out.
Overall, my University of Arkansas Blue Egglayers has proven to be one of my favorite breeds of chickens, perfect for backyard flocks and potentially even for situations were high productivity and excellent feed conversion is essential for egg producers. I highly recommend this breed.”
More than just one kind of chicken – Rare Breed Chickens
We haven’t spoken to them (yet) but they have more chicken action than just the blue eggs!
As you can see from the sign above – they produce many kinds of chickens which are for sale. They have Silver Double Laced Barnevelders, Bielefelders, Black Copper Marans, 55 Flowery Hens, Lavender Ameraucanas and Olive Eggers – besides their “production” Blue Egglayers we detailed above.
They sell chicks – and you can also order custom hatches.
You can email John at firstname.lastname@example.org – or via phone (908)377-8126 for prices and availability.
But wait, there’s more at Johnderosa Farms in Clinton, NJ!
Besides the chickens (and the available birdhouses) Johnderosa Farms has another specialty: Hybrid American Chinese Chestnut Seedlings. These apparently are the PREFERRED trees for many forms of wildlife – whether you want to simply watch the animals – or to attract them for hunting purposes.
Read more about this year’s “bumper crop” below.
Hybrid American Chinese Chestnut Seedlings at Johnderosa Farms
2018 is shaping up to be a great year for my crop of hybrid American Chinese Chestnut Seedlings. They currently range in size from 24-40″+ and some will top out at 54-60″ by the end of the growing season.
I work hard to produce the best Hybrid American Chinese Chestnut seedlings on the market and the results speak for themselves. All my seedlings are specially grown to produce Dense Root Systems for easier transplanting; Fast establishment and RAPID growth.
My seed orchard is managed for blight resistance, early production, and rapid growth. My trees range from very American Chestnut forms, with long narrow leaves, timber type growth and smaller nuts to more Chinese looking forms with large broad leathery leaves, larger nuts, and more rounded growth. Nuts ripen over about 6 weeks here depending on the tree. This auction features hybrids that will most likely fall in-between American and Chinese forms with most seeds coming from a very early bearing tree with a more modest growth pattern.
Here is what you should expect from these seedlings:
- Strong Blight Resistance! All seeds selected from trees showing NO signs of blight.
- Rapid Growth. Trees can put on more than 5 feet of growth per season under ideal conditions. Typical growth should produce 3 to 5 feet per year.
- Rapid Production! These seedlings should begin to bear in 3 to 5 years after planting out in the field, even earlier with proper care. I’ve had some seedlings produce flowers in 1 year after planting with some pampering.
- Great Root Systems! All seedlings will be root pruned during the growing process, producing strong fibrous roots ensuring not only a strong start, but benefits going forward throughout the life of the tree.
These attributes combine to make these hybrid American Chestnuts the Ultimate Wildlife Tree since Deer, Bears, and Turkeys prefer chestnuts over ALL other mast crops.
They are the perfect choice for hunting clubs, landowners, and wildlife enthusiasts. They are easy to grow and produce nuts faster than any other mast trees
I have about 300 seedlings left for sale so please contact me if you are interested:
$15 for 24″ Seedlings
$20 for 36″ Seedlings
You’ll love the eggs – but be fascinated by the rest!
Frankly, we love the eggs at Johnderosa Farms enough all by themselves. If that was all they had going, they’d still be an A+++ hit for us. We absolutely love all local egg producers!
Sometimes you have to be quick to get eggs from some of them – but luckily there are others around, so we never really run out of eggs, thankfully enough.
Note that egg prices VARY WIDELY between producers. We’ve seen some as high as $6 a dozen which is a bit over the top. The most we typically will pay is $4 for extra large. But Johnderosa charges $3 for large – and often has some dozens with slightly smaller eggs included for only $2 a dozen. He’s very honest when it comes to pricing them appropriately.
In the end, the eggs, as well as the other interesting aspects of Johnderosa Farms, makes them a truly unique part of this area of Route 22.
Here’s a map where they’re located – and his email again if you want to get in contact: email@example.com – or via phone (908)377-8126 (or if you are the type that uses that “Fbook” thing – click here.)