We raise a variety of chickens and ducks on pasture for eggs. They forage whatever they can find from the pasture, and their diet is supplemented with non-GMO poultry feed, scraps from the garden (they love melons!), and sometimes spent brewer’s grains. They sleep in mobile chicken coops with laying boxes inside and have unlimited access to the pasture, where they spend their day ranging around, chasing bugs, and soaking up Vitamin D from the sun. They are an absolute joy to watch and have incredible social lives.
Not only do these birds give us delicious pastured eggs, they eat bugs (like fly larvae) that would act as parasites to other species (especially in the garden), and their manure fertilizes our pasture and increases the soil health. It increases microbial activity and adds organic material. The supplemental non-GMO grain they eat becomes a fantastic fertilizer for our pastures.
For 2017, we’re using two mobile coops (“Egg-mobiles”) for the egg-laying chickens. Each one will house hundreds of hens. The girls usually get moved about once a week, depending on how quickly they’re affecting the pasture.
They lay lots of different colors of eggs (green, white, all shades of brown, blue, super dark chocolate, cream, pinkish, speckles!). It’s the different breeds which dictate the colors of the eggs. We love to look at the gorgeous colors. Although they have very different exteriors, the eggs are all the same on the inside, just like people!
Our free-range egg-laying flocks are protected from ground predators like coyotes by electric netting and from aerial predators by geese who act as alarm systems. A goose will spot a hawk, the head rooster sounds his own alarm, and the hens all know to hide under the shelter structure.
We also have Khaki Campbell and Pekin ducks laying our duck eggs. They rotate around the pasture just like the hens. These ladies are even better foragers (meaning they hunt for grass and bugs more excitedly) than our chickens are! Duck eggs are richer and a little larger than chicken eggs, and they have a thicker shell. Lots of folks like them for baking.
We wash all our eggs (in accordance with the law) with our egg washing machine, so the eggs must be refrigerated. They will be good for at least 45 days from the day we wash them, and you’ll see this as the best by date stamped on the carton.
We hope you’ll enjoy some of our delicious, pasture-raised eggs soon!