Pasture Raised Poultry
What type of chickens do we have?
- We raise layer hens and broiler chickens. The layer hens are a mix of many breeds that lay tan, brown, green, and blue eggs. The broiler chickens are cornish cross. We chose this type of broiler for its abundance of meat.
- We raise broad breasted white turkeys. We also chose this type for its abundance of meat.
Where do our chicks come from?
Around the middle of March we schedule an order of chicks to arrive at our farm. Most of these chicks are meat chickens. Sometimes we order replacement egg layers of a variety of breeds. We order them from a hatchery online. They are shipped out at one day old. They usually take a couple of days to arrive at the post office. The chicks arrive happy and healthy and we put them in our brooder for three to four weeks.
What is a brooder?
A brooder is a place where the chicks can stay warm under heat lamps. We can monitor their temperature and well being closely. When they have grown out their feathers, they can then be transferred out to pasture.
Where are the birds raised?
- Our broiler chickens and turkeys are raised out on pasture in poultry tractors. The poultry tractor is a structure that provides protection from predators. It also provides shelter from the sun, wind, and rain. It has an open bottom so the birds are on grass all of the time. It also has open sides so that they get lots of airflow and sunshine.
- We pull the tractor on to fresh grass everyday. This provides a clean area for the chickens and turkeys to be on. It also provides fresh grass and bugs for them to forage daily. While they are moving along and nourishing themselves, they are leaving waste behind that is fertilizing the pasture. Besides grass, bugs, grubs, and seeds; our poultry are given a non-GMO grain mix that we grow on our farm.
- Pasture-raised turkeys are much healthier compared to their factory farmed counterparts, as they spend their days roaming freely, able to forage around and eat a wide variety of plants, bugs and worms. Free-roaming is also an important part of poultry development and raising healthy turkeys – naturally exercising the turkey's muscles results in firm, flavorful meat full of nutrients like protein, zinc and B vitamins.