Introduction to Pastured Poultry
We raise chickens for egg production as well as meat. Regardless of the purpose of the bird, we insist on raising them on pasture where they are free to forage all day, enjoy the sunshine, take dirt baths, and generally enjoy doing what chickens are born to do. In addition to whatever they forage for, we provide a diet of non-GMO organic grain that provides appropriate nutrition for the birds based on their purpose. For instance, our laying hens receive a calcium and omega 3 rich diet for strong egg shells and thick creamy yolks, while the meat birds receive a grain bill containing a minimum of 18% protein for excellent meat and plumage production.
Our laying birds are kept inside of a portable electric poultry fence at all times. At night they retire to the comfort and security of their mobile amish built coop. This configuration allows us to move the birds to fresh pasture on a weekly basis so that they enjoy abundant forage, and leave behind excellent nitrogen rich fertilizer to feed the soil.
Why does this matter?
Typical factory farm standards for laying birds state that each bird must be given half of a square foot of space to live out their entire lives. Our birds enjoy about two square feet apiece inside their coop at night and over 100 square feet apiece on pasture every day. They are free to run and flap their wings and they take full advantage of it. We never get tired of watching them run around and enjoy their space!
Our meat birds begin their lives inside our custom built brooder house. This house is equipped with heat lamps to keep them warm while providing 360 degrees of light and ventilation. Once they are fully feathered out, they move out onto pasture into what we call a tractor. This is a device that provides each bird about 2 square feet of living space, 360 degrees of ventilation and natural light, as well as overhead shelter from rain. They are bottomless so the birds live directly on the pasture. The shelter is called a tractor because it is equipped with wheels that allow us to move the birds to a new patch of grass every day. Just as with the hens, these birds are exposed to abundant fresh forage, while leaving behind a nutrient rich fertilizer to help develop the pasture. Our tractor rotation allows us to never run birds over a given area of pasture more than once per year, giving the soil and forage ample time to compost and redevelop for the next group of birds.
We process our meat birds right here on our farm. Rather than trucking our beloved birds off to some cruel factory processor, we do this here to ensure that no part of our process is compromised and we can provide the highest quality product to our customers.
As you can see, we take the care, comfort and management of our flocks very seriously and as a result, they provide us with seriously good products. If you’d like to know more, we are happy to provide tours where you can meet our flocks and see for yourself what kind of impact our management practices have on both the birds and the land. Eggs are almost always in stock on farm and if you’d like to pre-order chicken, you can click here.