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Currently we have turkeys and a mix laying flock of chickens.
All of our poultry is fed a home mixed diet that is blended from raw, whole ingredients that are free from gluten containing grains, corn and soy. Most of the ingredients are labeled organic but we do sometimes source products that are closer to home rather than organic. The price to the environment to ship products thousands of miles to locations and the consideration that these organic grains have been sitting on a freeway for days leads us to think that choosing local is sometimes better than choosing organic.
Each species of poultry have their own housing and runs to ensure that they are getting the feed that they require. We feed the poultry in the early morning and again in the evening within their runs. This keeps the animals busy while I'm milking and keeps the goats away from the poultry feed.
Poultry has access to free-range 3 acres of wooded land during most daylight hours, almost every day. We do confine chickens during kidding when we have mama goats with interesting things to peck and babies that are learning to fend for themselves. Our run is large enough that the chickens could live full-time in confinement but we find that our chickens are healthier and happier when given their freedom.
The ducks have a pool in their run that they love to swim in. When we have chicks or kids we do shut the ducks in when the pool is being used to prevent drowning of other species that do not have the gift of swimming at hatch or birth.
We do process our own meat birds, old laying hens, drakes and extra or mean roosters on property. After spending so much careful time taking excellent, respectful, intentional care of our poultry we think it is best if they are handled where they are comfortable. While many do take their chickens for processing we prefer to manage that ourselves, giving the same careful care at the end of our poultry’s lives as we do throughout their existence.