We hold about 700 Golden Comets for laying eggs. Throughout the season, they are pastured in movable chicken coops. In the winter, the chickens are kept in one of the greenhouses because their sensitive feet do not like to step onto the snow. On pasture, they LOVE finding bugs, worms, grass and other good forages and also what the cows have deposited! Their diet is supplemented with organic grain or food from the farm. Every day the chickens are moved. This prevents an over-fertilization of the soils because chicken manure is highly concentrated. A couple of days after being moved, the grass behind them starts to get a real burst of dark green! This eventually becomes wonderful food for our cows! Because of the pasturing, our eggs have a bright yellow yolk and taste delicious! After two years, the chickens’ egg production drops dramatically and they will get slaughtered as stewing hens.
We selected a special breed, the Freedom Ranger, broiler chickens. They are known for being a more robust, stronger bird and are easier to handle. These broilers are slower growing and are ready for slaughter in eleven weeks. Similar to the laying hens, they get rotated around the pastures enjoying the outdoors! It should be noted that slaughter takes place on the farm.
The geese are the freest birds we have. If they are not hanging out on the river, their duty is to chase away any predators from the chickens. Sometimes they hatch little goslings in the spring!