Monthly Archives: May 2012

Broilers in the Brooder

For the past week we have been caring for 100 Cornish Cross broiler chicks.  They will be in the brooder for a couple more weeks and then moved to pasture.  It is amazing how fast they grow compared to laying hens.  Once the broilers are moved to pasture they will be moved to fresh grass everyday.  These chickens will be able to be outside doing what chickens like to do while getting fresh air and sunshine; not cramped in a dark, dirty CAFO.  I think it’s crazy that for a chicken to be labeled free range by the USDA, there only needs to be a door for the chickens to have access to the outside.  For the most part, the chickens never even go outside!  This is the crazy!  Even though broiler chickens are not meant to live a long life they should still be raised in a way that lets them express their “chickeness”.  Chickens were created to eat grass, bugs, and worms.  While we do supplement our pastured broilers with feed enriched with good stuff like kelp and probiotics (we do not give our chickens routine antibiotics or vaccinations) they will get a lot of their nutritional requirements from pasture that has not been treated with chemical fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides.

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Don’t put your eggs in one basket.

I have always said that diversity makes everything more interesting. Diversity on a farm is VERY interesting. We have been building mobile coops for pastured broilers, finishing the hen house for our free range girls, planting vegetables and cut flowers, inspecting honeybee hives and designing a roosting place for pastured turkeys. I guess you could say that we have been busy as bees. Hopefully all of our hard work will pay off and we will have a great food to offer our community.

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