Our hens are free-range -- they are not confined in a barn or cage, but instead get plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise! We use heritage breeds listed with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. This helps to preserve rarer varieties of chickens.
We never use herbicides, pesticides or fungicides on our hen's pasture.
We never use oil coatings, pasteurization or detergent baths on our eggs.
Our hens range on grass pastures, consuming grass, forbes, legumes, seeds and insects. They also receive organically grown surplus produce from the garden. They are true omnivores. We do supplement with non-GMO, non-soy and non-medicated feed when needed.
With the advent of commercial egg factories, supermarket eggs are identical just about all year. The hens receive the same ground up feed (very cheap, soy based), are sprayed for lice and other parasites on a routine basis. Typically they don't go outside, as free-range can be just kept in an open barn and is better described as cage free. Many commercial egg producers are finding ways to feed ingredients that change the yolk color - that yellow/orange yolk color is fed in the feed, not produced from pasture ranging hens. This will hopefully give an egg yolk from a confined hen the same "look" as an egg yolk from a pasture based flock! Don't be fooled by clever packages with scenic labels. Try this - call and ask the farm if they have an "open house" day where you can come and see the flock.
Animal Welfare Approved vs. Certified Humane - After checking both sets of standards, one will find the AWA approach encompasses a greater responsibility for the livestock, at a greater cost, from birth to death. An AWA farmer deserves more for his/her produce due to the greater benefit to the livestock and agriculture in general, i.e. AWA producers must use heritage breeds of hens that lay fewer eggs per year. Certified Humane is a step up but it is easier to qualify for as a producer. Animal Welfare Approved charges no fee to the farmer, while Certified Humane charges a nominal fee. You will find farm more "paid" Certified Humane approved farms, despite the "free" nature of AWA.
The "eggmobile" keeps hens moved to fresh pasture.
Eggs are $6.00 per dozen
Raising hens out on pasture is expensive and time consuming. They run around and exercise, this lowers egg production, providing fewer, but better eggs! They live in the real world of seasonal weather - this effects egg production, too. They eat grass, clover, seeds and insects that help produce better eggs, but fewer than if fed a high protien soy-based diet. We don't feed soy !
Our free-range eggs are an excellent source of clean protein as well as vitamins and trace minerals. Our hens enjoy a great life so they can produce the most nutritious eggs for you.
Our "eggmobile" provides a portable home for the hens on pasture. We move the eggmobile to provide fresh, clean pasture for the chickens. The eggmobile provides shelter, nests and a place for the hens to roost at night. During the day, hens are free to roam the pasture. Our livestock guardian dogs protect the hens from predators.
What's with these green and blue eggs ????? Not all hens lay brown or white eggs. Some breeds, mainly the Americauna and Auracana, lay shades of blue (rare) and green eggs. Hen's eggs also come in shades of cream, dark chocolate and olive. Why is it not this way in store bought eggs, even organic ones ? Simply put, large farmer's don't tolerate a slower producing hen. Most older, heritage breeds of hens lay these type eggs. Large scale farming has "all the eggs in one basket" and that basket is carried on the backs of selectively bred, hybrid, high-producing egg layers enslaved by the quest for the cheapest egg. Don't blame the farmer - the consumer shows a preference everyday by "voting" with their food dollar.
Are you aware that real eggs are seasonal?
Starting with winter - hens are staying warm, conserving body heat and producing fewer eggs. They forage every day, but the forage time increases on bright, sunny days. Cool season rye grass and winter greens are relished by the hens, as is hay. Hens will spends many hours scratching though a bale of good grass hay (organic from our farm, of course). The competition is great as the hens search out the dry blades of grass, dried seeds and the best treat in deep winter - dehydrated insects. Some grasshoppers, crickets, etc. always get baled into the hay and the hens love them. Yolk color is yellow.
Spring has sprung. Egg production soars! Green grass/legumes/forbs are everywhere and are a living, growing salad bar. Chickens love to consume the tender, growing grass and other plants. The trace minerals and proteins in the plants help to replenish those used over winter. Hens graze down the grasses and eggs start to deepen in color as antioxidants peak. The deepest yolk color is found in our hen's eggs from late spring until early summer. They are tasty, nutritious and relished by our most discriminating egg customers! Yolk color is turning more orange.
Summer sets in and the insects emerge. Hens prefer the live food over the plants, even though grass is easier to "catch", in summer grass can get mature and tough. Hens running after grasshoppers lowers egg production but it has many other benefits. It provides a clean source of protein, keeps the hens exercising and relieves boredom. Summer egg yolks are somewhat lighter in color than spring yolks but contain a good mix of source proteins - green plants any many types of insects. Everyday we are thankful that our customers want to pay for a better egg produced by healthy hens free-ranging out on pasture. As summer temperatures peak in July and August, egg production slows. The hens eat less when they are hot and seek out the cool shady spots to wait out the heat.
Fall arrives and brings with it the welcome rain. New cool season growth begins in the fields as the insect population wanes. Hens forage for seeds as the summer grasses mature and go to seed. The seed head (grain) is the most nutritious part of a plant in its reproductive stage. The hens are literally looking high (seed heads on top) and low (new fall grass) for a combination of plant material. As leaves, wild fruit (wild persimmons), and seeds drop to the ground, the hens find new things to scratch around and/or eat and "build" a tasty egg.
Our eggs are seasonal in nature and as a regular customer you can experience the changing seasons with our flock.