As many of you know we raise our chickens on pasture, here are a few details…
We receive the chicks when they are 24 hours old. They need to be kept warm so we have special brooders. The chicks are moved to pasture at two and half weeks old. After that their shelter is moved every day to a fresh spot in the paddock.
Many customers enjoy watching the pens as they move up and down the hills as the summer months go by. This continuous rotation allows the grass a chance to rest after the heavy manure application from the broilers–the benefits of which can be clearly seen a month after they have moved by the lush green grass growing there!
The vitamins in the grass allow for a healthier chicken which does not require antibiotics to survive. A study by Barbara Gorski showed that when compared to confinement chickens, broilers raised on pasture had less fat, fewer calories, more vitamin A, more omega-3s.
Legally, in Missouri, we are able to process chicken on the farm and sell it. This gives a major benefit to the chicken and the consumer. The chickens are handled carefully to minimize stress. Our processing is done to maximize cleanliness (in a way large processors can’t), leaving our chicken “squeaky clean”. Unlike industry, our chickens don’t need a bleach bath.
We continue to expand the number we raise each year but are having trouble keeping enough in the freezers. We encourage you to consider the amount your family will use and reserve it. This allows us to do a better job estimating the number we need to raise.
Broilers are not curious as laying hens are–they are far to practical for that. Their lifespan is short and they focus on eating whether it is grass, bugs, or feed.
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