We move our broiler chickens to a new patch of the pasture every day. This is where the phrase pastured poultry comes from. The daily move encourages foraging for insects as well as plant matter ingestion, it also fertilizes the pasture as the chicken manure is spread as we move the chickens throughout the pasture.
What does it take to be successful?
1. A moveable chicken coop. Our chicken coop is designed so that it can be transported to a new spot every day and provide security from predators. We used a design from John Suscovich of Farm Marketing Solutions.
2. Management, management, management. Nothing about our setup is automated and it is like that for a reason. We feed our chickens every 12 hours, at 6:00am and 6:00pm and we move them every day at 6:00am right before they are fed. We also change their water once a day. This allows us to check on the health of our flock at least twice a day to ensure that everyone stays healthy and if there is a problem we will know very quickly.
3. The result of a management intensive pastured poultry operation is a high-quality product for our customers and a healthier chicken flock, plus we fertilize our pasture.