Raising Chickens in the Northland

Have you ever wanted to raise chickens?

Raising chickens can be a great way to produce food for your family, and they can provide a lot of entertainment too. But it can sometimes be hard to know where to start and what you need to know. So we have organized this panel discussion of local chicken producers who can share their experience and answer your questions about raising chickens in our region.

Panel Includes:

Laurie Kallinen: Logger’s wife and mother of five grown sons. Poultry enthusiast for 8 years. My favorite things are talking about my mixed breed flock of backyard hens, and sharing the bounty of eggs from “my girls” with the neighbors!

Karen Hamilton has more experience with large livestock such as cattle and horses, but has been a hobbyist chicken tender (pun intended) for over 10 years. A fan of keeping things simple, she loves learning and sharing what she’s learned about her “pretty ladies”.

Honor Schauland has been living and gardening with chickens for close to 15 years. She finds them alternately adorable, entertaining, helpful, annoying, infuriating, and tasty.

Trevor Swoverland and his family raise goats, turkeys, and chickens near Two Harbors. The Swoverland family is relatively new to farming, being nearly five years into their farming adventure.

Kaare Melby has been raising chickens at Finnskogen Farm with his wife Pamela Melby for 7 years. Their farm is located on a historic homestead nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains in Finland, MN, where they also raise turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, and pigs.

Cindy Hale, of Clover Valley Farms, raised 500 meat chickens and 90 laying hens annually between 2005-2014. We also tried our hand at turkeys & ducks. We did on-farm butchering and sold directly to consumers. We spent a lot of time working with MDA to clarify their rules and educate inspectors, so have lots to share!

Celeste Kretschmer Sigmund: My husband and I retired and moved to the area 7 years ago. Since then, we have cleared a small pasture, built a barn, chicken coop and a 15’x23’ greenhouse. I currently have two horses and a small flock of egg layers. I am continuously researching and working towards a more self-sustaining lifestyle which includes plans of growing and harvesting my own fruits and vegetables as well as wildcrafting what our area already provides. It has certainly been an educational 7 years so far!