Our chickens are called Freedom Rangers, and they live up to every part of that name. The birds were bred for the Label Rouge Program in France which seeks to find a way for conscientious farmers to differentiate their products from birds raised in factory farms. These birds take 12+ weeks to “finish”, as compared to the roughly 7 weeks of chickens on industrial farms. We grow them in a brooder house for the first two to three weeks, then put them out in the pasture. We use electric fencing to keep them safe from predators and move both their shelters and their fencing every day to fresh pasture. We provide them with a non gmo grain ration but they eat a lot of grass, legumes and insects. These slower growing birds have a superior taste and texture that often reminds people of chicken from the past. The only way we can produce these exceptional birds outside is to grow them only in the summer when the grass is green.
We also have a flock of Red Sex link laying hens. The layers move around the 360 acre pastures in a mobile hen house and are protected by our chicken guard dog, Nugget. They roam free all day and go into their house at night. The layers follow the cows by a few days and help to keep the cows more comfortable by keeping fly populations down. These pastured eggs have deep orange yokes and firm whites. There is no comparison to eggs from the industrial system.