our goal is to produce delicious eggs by raising happy hens
Our first hens arrived in April 2013 and we have loved our layers (and their delicious eggs) ever since!
We raise the hens in a mobile coop, which holds about 130 hens in the summer and 60 in the winter. During the non-snowy parts of the year, we move our chickens weekly around the fields. We use mobile netting to contain them to about 1/4 acre of fresh pasture at a time (which usually works, though there is generally one mass break-out a year!). This fencing also helps deter predators and keep the chickens from causing havoc anywhere in the crop fields. From dusk to dawn, we lock the hens into their house to (hopefully) deter nighttime predators (everything likes to eat chicken!).
The hens also get to eat vegetables that don't make the cut to go to market--they particularly like melons, cucumbers, and tomatoes!
While the hens get much of their food from the grass and bugs and vegetables, we do feed them grain as well. We buy our feed from a local family feed mill (where it is milled fresh on site), however it is not organic feed. We do think our hens are happy though, and they produce some delicious tasting eggs!
Some of the big differences between pastured eggs and grocery store eggs include:
- Denser eggs (they seem to go further)
- Fresh, upright standing yolks and thick whites
- Their beautiful color
If you want to learn more about our eggs and our happy hens, check out this photo blog through a day in their life!