Our chickens are offered a free choice all natural locally milled grain. They also eat bugs, grass, leaves & seeds that they forage. We provide them with our vegetable scraps as well during the growing season. During the fall we will move them to the vegetable fields so they can forage on any leftover plant material, fertilize our fields and keep the insect population down.
We also supplement our hens with essential oils like oregano oil, cinnamon oil & chili pepper oil as well as unfiltered Organic apple cider vinegar. This supports their immune and digestive systems. We never give our laying hens antibiotics because it isn’t needed. After 5 years of having hens we have never had an instance where we would need to use antibiotics and we work diligently to keep it that way. We also do not use hormones as they are illegal in poultry production in the US.
How we raise our chickens & ducks
Our flock is mostly raised from chicks or ducklings here on the farm. We like to have a mix of breeds for the laying hens. Some are better at foraging, some lay more eggs than others. Mostly we just like to see an array of colorful chickens as opposed to a sea of red chicken clones. What chickens we do not raise here we buy from another local farm where the farmer hand raises them until they are of laying age, when we go pick them up. We keep White leghorns, Easter Eggers, Barred Rocks, Delawares, Black Australorps & Red Sex Links.
Our Ducks are White Layer Ducks similar to a Pekin duck. They have the freedom to go where they please on the farm, this is what free range means to us. We have a small pond at the bottom of one of ours fields and daily they trek down to it to swim, bath and lay on the shore in the sun.
Our laying hens are free range and have access to both pasture and forest. They have the freedom to go where they please on the farm, this is what free range means to us. Most of their day is spent scratching for bugs in the woods. They forage and roll around on the earth, sun bath in the hay shed, or catch some shade in the goat barn.
those aren’t my eggs!
ducks at the pond
How do we protect our chickens from predators?
It isn’t easy! There is a risk with predators. Coyotes, fox, hawks, owls, fishers, weasels and more. When they are young we keep them protected in hoop houses or mobile tractors that are secure from all predators. As they get older chickens are transitioned to a secure coop where we train them to go in at night when most predation happens. During the day they are let out to range. We keep roosters and guinea hens as “alarms” for aerial predators, when they spot a hawk circling the roosters crow and the guinea hens make a loud screeching noise that sends all the chickens and ducks for cover. We have ample areas around for them to seek refuge.
We also have line fences to keep the chickens and ducks from certain areas or from going deep into the woods. They will only range so far from their coop or tractor, so we positions their homes away from areas we deem risky.
Our dog Bayley is also very protective of her chickens and ducks. Senorita & Dominick ,our 2 miniature donkeys, also play a role. They are great at scaring away coyotes and their barn and paddock is at the end of our big field along the wood line. We respect all wildlife and so we take these extra precautions to ensure that we can coexist with the chickens natural predators. Over the years we have had thousands of chickens and ducks at our farm. We have great success with our methods and have lost very few chickens and ducks to predators.
Why Buy our Eggs?
Eggs from free range chickens & ducks contain more vitamin A, Vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids and less fat and cholesterol than conventionally raised caged chickens. Our Eggs are fresh from our farm, collected daily & reach you within a few days of being laid. We use no antibiotics or hormones with our animals. Instead we rely on raising them as nature intended.