Below are some of the questions we are asked at Farmers Markets:
What does “free range” mean?
Free range is a method of farming where animals can roam freely outdoors rather than being confined in an enclosure. We know that excellent living conditions make happy chickens and happy chickens make high quality eggs. Our chickens live in a large deep bedding pen with a nesting coop and a roosting coop. We then use moveable electric poultry netting to allow our chickens to free range in a different spot each week. While they are in their current spot of the pasture, the other sections are growing and recovering so that in the coming weeks they can be ready for the chickens to enjoy.
Our deep bedding pen includes: a secure roosting area that the flock can be locked in at night, and a nesting area that is dark and not on the ground. The roosting area is locked up at night to prevent any nocturnal predators from damaging our flock.
We also use a movable fence. We use electric poultry netting and we move it to a different spot each week so that the flock has access to it during the day. We move the fence in a circular motion around the shelter so that they only get access to a small portion each week and it gives the other areas time to recover and grow.
Why do your eggs cost more than the grocery store?
As a family run farm, our eggs cost more because we are a small egg producer. We don’t have the buying power to purchase bulk feed at lower prices like large producers. It takes about .25lbs of feed to produce a single egg. Another factor is quality of life. We believe that it is important for our hens to live in healthy environment with plenty of space, sunshine, and fresh air. Our heritage hens take longer to raise to egg-production age, they require more feed, and also, our chickens produce fewer eggs per year compared to production layers, which are the hens that lay the eggs you see in the grocery store. We believe that our eggs are superior in quality, freshness, and flavor.
Are brown eggs healthier than white?
Egg shell color depends on the breed of the hen. Most high-production hens lay white-shelled eggs and are used by large egg producers because the hens grow to egg-production age more quickly, require less feed, and produce more eggs per year. The nutritional value of an egg comes from the hen’s diet, not the color of the eggshell. Our chickens’ diet is supplemented with food waste from local farmers and markets, also, they free-range and forage for bugs, and they scratch through composting deep bedding searching for insects and plant material. We believe that our chickens are healthier because they are less stressed than production hens, and they are never fed hormones, antibiotics, or medications.