We care for our poultry the same as our other animals. We provide them with wholesome all-natural foods. They are offered free choice grains, as well as being given access to forage. When available, they are offered weeds and over-ripe produce from the garden. Our birds are happy and healthy. You can taste the difference in every bite.
NEW 2014: Our grain ration is a special mix that puts more Omega-3s in each egg. Up to 3X as much as other farmers' eggs, and 5X as much as store eggs.
Our farm fresh eggs are the biggest, best tasting eggs you have ever tried. We allow our hens to forage for grass and other greens, and this gives us eggs with yolks so deep and rich in color, they are almost orange. Crack one open, and not only will you notice the deep yellow yolk, but you'll also see whites that are firmer than anything you can get at the grocery store. Our eggs are hand collected twice a day. They are then gently cleaned and refrigerated until the next CSA delivery or farmers market. This means that any eggs you get from us, are at most a couple of days old unlike supermarket eggs that can be over a month old. Knowing that eggs start to lose quality the minute they are laid, who wants to eat month old eggs?
We currently have several types of chickens, white leghorns for egg laying, and buff orpingtons for meat and brown eggs are the main types.
We chose the leghorns for their laying ability. Leghorns are tops when it comes to turning food into quality eggs. They lay large white eggs that are offered with our CSA shares. Extra eggs are sold at farmers markets.
The buff orpingtons where chosen as a comprimise. They are good egg layers that give us brown eggs, but they are also a good meat breed. They are not quite as good at either, as some of their cousins are, but they are above average at both. They also have a tendency to go broody, and hatch eggs. This, we hope, will help us maintain our flock, without having to buy all of our new chicks from a hatchery.
We also raise a few Cornish Rocks for broilers. These chickens are raised strictly for meat. We currently have 25 that will be ready at the end of May. They are $2.50/lb. The turkey brine works very well on these birds also, when roasting them whole.
We do not butcher any chickens before they are requested. If you would like to get a broiler or roaster chicken, send us an email with your name, and which market you would like to pick it up from. Or you may have them included with your beef CSA delivery.
In past years, we have raised broad-breasted white turkeys. They are the same birds you get from the grocery store, except our birds are raised very unfactory-like. Our turkeys enjoy the same perks as the chickens. If we keep having a lot of interest in turkeys for Thanksgiving, we will gradually increase the number of birds we raise. Turkeys need a lot of room to roam, which we do have available, and require a much larger investment. But the flavor of a farm raised bird is unsurpassed.
The turkeys were available only for Thanksgiving. They were butchered on the Monday before Thanksgiving and dropped off on Tuesday. If you are used to eating store bought whole birds,then farm raised birds will be drier than their mass produced cousins. If you look close at the breast of those birds, chicken or turkey, you will see tiny holes thru the skin. This is where the needles have injected a brine into the meat. This brine contains seasonings and chemicals that help make the flavorless birds taste better. The chemicals also keep the meat more moist during cooking. Now, I'm not saying that you have to live with eating a dry piece of meat if you want to eat healthier. You can do what I do. I brine all of my fowl before cooking it. I'll also inject the breast and thighs with my own recipe of seasonings. I just use a simple brine of salt, brown sugar, and water to soak my birds in. Twelve to twenty-four hours for chicken and duck, or 24-48 hours for turkey and goose. For injecting, I start with salt water, and add whatever flavors I happen to feel like. If you use spices like clove, whole allspice, or other large spices, add them to the brine then boil for 20 minutes and strain. Then you can inject your brine.