We have decided to get back into the egg business!
We purchased 50 chicks this spring with the intent of half of the birds being processed as friers and the other half being laying hens.
This year’s chicken coop is in our barn. The coop has roosts, nesting boxes, and a feed trough. Most importantly, the coop has a small door which gives the hens full access to the pastures.
We refer to our hens as pasture raised as opposed to free range or cage free. We believe this distinction is important because it more accurately describes the hens’ environment. Specifically, our hens forage through the pastures all day, every day.
While this isn’t unique; most small farms, homesteads, and families with some room, often raise their hens this way. It may be very different from the commercial definition of free range and cage free.
Commercial eggs that are labels as free range or cage free may come from chicken farms where the hens are not in cages, however, the hens may be confined to a building with very limited access to grass. Unfortunately there is no requirement for free range or cage free chickens to have access to grass or even the outdoors.
We believe access to pasture and sunshine is critical for the health and well being of any animal. Not only is it consistent with nature, we believe it produces much healthier animals, which, in turn, produces more flavorful and nutritious food.
This position is supported by many and details are readily available on the internet. One such source in Mother Earth News who has studied the differences between eggs from hens raised on pasture and hens raised in a conventional production environment.
If you are nearby and interested in getting farm fresh eggs from pasture raised hens, please visit our farm product page for more details or stop by.
We understand many of our subscribers are not in a position to buy eggs from us, but wherever you live, you are probably close to a producer who could provide fresh eggs from true pasture raised hens. You will notice a difference!