One of our core beliefs is allowing all of our animals to express their natural behaviours. For our chickens this means that they are truly free range. We lock them into their house at night to protect them from predators, but from early morning until sundown they get to go wherever they want through our yard, the woods, the creek and the back of Henry’s pickup (they love that truck).
We have a mixed heritage flock with Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Copper Black Marans, Rhode Island Reds and Americaunas. We raised some of them from chicks, and recently processed and ate most of the cockerels (we are keeping the best roosters to breed from, and also because a good rooster can provide a measure of flock protection- one of the things about letting your birds go wherever they want is that chickens are as delicious to hawks and foxes as they are to us humans!)
Having heritage birds that are able to reproduce naturally, giving us a steady supply of new pullets and cockerels without having to constantly be ordering chicks from a hatchery, helps our flock be more sustainable. Our chickens get a lot of their food from scratching around in the woods and grass (especially in the summer) and are also supplemented with non-GMO feed and some organic grain as a treat. Once our younger chickens really get into their laying stride (right now they’ve just started and are laying adorably tiny eggs) we’ll have eggs available from our farm stand- more details coming soon!