Our chickens are on pasture every day, unless there is so much snow that they choose to stay inside the barn. They eat grass and insects that they collect themselves from the pasture. We supplement them with organic soy-free layer feed. During the growing season, we estimate that they obtain most of their food from foraging.
THEIR JOB ON OUR ECOFARM
The chickens eat insect pests that would otherwise bother both the livestock and the garden. The chickens also provide us with rich manure to improve the fertility of our soils. They spread out cow pies in the pastures so that the manure breaks down faster, returning its nutrients to the soil without providing an opportunity for insect pests to grow in it. In the barn, the chickens entertain themselves all winter scratching through the straw looking for wheat seeds to eat. The wheat seeds are not wasted and the scratching helps to turn the top layer of straw in our deep bedding system.