We are proud to provide an alternative to commercial warehouse broiler production for our customers in Humboldt County. We curently raise about 1500 broilers a year and aim to expand in 2013. We purchase day- old chicks from Freedom Ranger Hatchery, whose French Freedom Ranger breeding stock produces slow growing, robust broilers that thrive in organic, pasture based management systems like our own. We move chicks from our brooder at 2 to 4 weeks of age, depending on the season, to portable Salatin-style chicken tractors that scoot across our pastures, moving at least once daily. These portable shelters keep our young (and vulnerable!) birds safe from predators and sheltered from extreme weather, while enabling us to percisely control where the fertility's going on our pastures. The chickens have access to fresh ground daily, where they scratch, forage for grubs and seeds, stretch and sun themselves, and dust bathe in the warmer summer months. Our healthy and contented birds make for some of the best eatin' ever!
In addition to fresh pasture and clean water, our broilers receive free access to certified organic feed.
We slaughter and process all of our birds ourselves, on the farm, under a federal exemption PL 90-492. We use a mobile poultry processing facility, the Abattoir, that we helped design and build with our friends at the Humboldt Poultry Cooperative. You can buy our chicken direct from the farm by appointment or at our local farmers' markets - including whole broilers, wings, legs & thighs, breasts, airline breasts, tenders, meaty bones for stock, livers, gizzards, and chicken feet.
In 2012 we added a small laying flock of 60 hens and their guardian rooster, Thomas Jefferson. Our hens free-range in a mobile paddock, following our cattle and sheep. We provide a certified organic laying feed, but our hens provide for much of their own nutrition by foraging for seeds, bugs, and pasture. In addition, we supplement with our home-grown grains, sprouted for maximum digestibility, as well as kefir and whey during the milking season.
We keep our nest boxes very clean, lining them daily with fresh pine shavings or buckwheat hulls (a by-product of our buckwheat flour). As a result our eggs require only minimal spot cleaning and most of their natural protective layer remains intact. We currently sell out of eggs weekly, so freshness is never a concern for our customers!
We do not use any artifical light or climate control to increase egg production, nor do we force simultaneous molting - all standard practices in conventional, warehouse production. Instead we embrace the seasonal rhythms of nature and accept fluctuations in production during the colder and hotter months of the year. We believe our customers understand the true value of an egg produced in a holistic system which views each hen as more than just a machine. Good husbandry means a healthy, un-medicated flock free to express the fullness of their chicken-ness, and delicious, nutrient dense eggs for us and our customers.
Our hens live in a moveable hen house we affectionately call the "poop coop". While we love that the layers fertilize our pasture as they forage and scratch, the manure we collect in our mobile coop is a key ingredient in our on-farm composting program.
Our eggs are available direct from our farm and at our stall at local Farmers' Markets.