Chickens and Eggs
We are proud of the way we raise our chickens and eggs - and it shows. We feed them a natural feed that is free from GMOs and that does not contain any animal "proteins", nor hormones, antibiotics or any of that other icky stuff in it.
Our chickens have a secure environment: both their indoor & outdoor areas are full fenced & enclosed to protect them from predators. Raccoons, hawks, coyotes and even our beloved American eagles are all deadly predators. Rats, bring in disease, steal feed, eggs and will attack chickens as well. We do our best to keep all our critters safe and healthy.
Our hens have plenty of room to roam - while some of the humane groups allow for chickens to be raised with 1.5 sq ft each, most chickens here have 10+ square feet of space! This keeps them healthy and happy. No wonder our fresh eggs are hard to beat. The yolks are golden & firm and actually taste like eggs - quite a satisfying feeling.
In comparison, most commercial egg producers are giving their hens a box of about 1.5 sq ft ... to share with two or three other hens. Look at a piece of computer paper and that is more room than most commercial hens each have during their laying lifespan ... talk about tight quarters!
We have a lot of people who ask about all the different labels and claims on egg cartons. We found a great explanation and you can read more below by clicking here.
We sell our farm fresh eggs direct to the consumer - You.
Our hens produce beautiful, healthy eggs that are hand collected and packaged right here on our farm. Currently we do have any eggs available on a weekly basis.
"They are so, so delicious and ten million times better than grocery store eggs! Thanks, Racheal"
We guarantee our eggs - you will be satisfied or we will refund your money. Period. People often come back after trying the eggs (for the novelty of eating some farm fresh eggs) and are very quickly convinced of the difference between our farm eggs and even the organic or "free range" eggs they used to buy at the grocery store.
Want to know why farm direct eggs cost more? The simple answer is crude: we don't feed them other animals feces. She does a great job explaining some of the basic differences. This one really is a must read.
Eggs are $4.00 per dozen.
And another great article about farm eggs published by Mother Earth News.
Pasture Raised, Farm Fresh Chicken & Turkey
For those of you looking for healthy meat that was raised in a loving environment, on fresh pastures, only minutes from your home, you only need to wait a little while longer. After too many articles and seeing even one movie or clip about how commercial factories process (raise) the meat we eat, it's hard to purchase those birds anymore.
That said, our family is made up of meat eaters and the best thing we could do is to raise our own meats. We have chosen some very specific methods to raising our chickens, including the pastured poultry method and believe we create an amazing end product, reasonably priced all while giving the chickens a happy healthy life.
We raise 2 breeds of chickens for our meat birds - the common Cornish Cross as well as France's Freedom Rangers. The Rangers were developed to meet the standards of the French program, Label Rouge. They cost more and take a while longer to grow but are the more favored birds for traditional, deep flavors.
We also will have a select number of turkeys available for Thanksgiving. We use the white broad breasted for most meat and flavor. Birds for 2013 were 18-20lbs and the juiciest yet!
Our goals for our pasture raised poultry are: 1. To raise safe food for our family, friends and community; 2. To care for the animals we raise in the safest way we can; and 3. To provide you, the end consumer, with the absolutely best tasting food you can imagine. So much so, that you'll wonder why you didn't try farm direct sooner.
AVAILABLILITY & PRICING
Cornish Cross - $4.50/lb. - SOLD OUT 2014
Freedom Rangers - $5.00/lb. - SOLD OUT 2014
Turkeys - $4.50/lb. - Limited Availability
Most of our chickens will weight out around 3-5 pounds each. Turkeys are 15-20 lbs each.
We take a $5/bird or $20/turkey deposit with the balance due when you pick up.
Chickens and Eggs - Manure
One question that always comes up is, "what do you do with all that manure from all those animals you have?"
Great question! We compose everything. All the manures as well as some of our household vegi food scraps & even egg shells go into one of two piles, which get rotated with the tractor and as it ages, becomes this absolutely gorgeous, black compost with tons of worms in it. It gets put to work in our gardens around the farm - our ornamental and edible gardens as well as our pastures have all seen huge growth and improvement since we started using it. Have you seen our Plants & Produce page? Once you see some of our plants & vegetables, you'll see why we don't mind "all that" manure.
We do end up with our share to give away as well. If you are interested in some great compost, please drop us a note and we will let you know what we have available.
1 Egg Carton Labels
A brief guide to labels and animal welfare
The vast number of consumer labels affixed to egg cartons can leave a shopper feeling dazed and confused. One carton may label its eggs "Natural." Another carton may call them "Free Range," while yet another may claim its eggs are "Certified Organic." How are thoughtful consumers supposed to know what these labels and claims really mean?
The truth is that the majority of egg labels have little relevance to animal welfare or, if they do, they have no official standards or any mechanism to enforce them.
Certified Organic: The birds are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, and are required to have outdoor access, but the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access is undefined. They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. Compliance is verified through third-party auditing.
Free-Range: While the USDA has defined the meaning of "free-range" for some poultry products, there are no standards in "free-range" egg production. Typically, free-range hens are uncaged inside barns or warehouses and have some degree of outdoor access, but there are no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of outdoor access. Since they are not caged, they can engage in many natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. There is no third-party auditing.
Certified Humane: The birds are uncaged inside barns or warehouses but may be kept indoors at all times. They must be able to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching and dust bathing. There are requirements for stocking density and number of perches and nesting boxes. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed. Compliance is verified through third-party auditing. Certified Humane is a program of Humane Farm Animal Care.
Animal Welfare Approved: The highest animal welfare standards of any third-party auditiing program. However, there are no participating producers that sell to supermarkets. The birds are cage-free and continuous outdoor perching access is required. They must be able to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching and dust bathing. There are requirements for stocking density, perching, space and nesting boxes. Birds must be allowed to molt naturally. Beak cutting is prohibited. Animal Welfare Approved is a program of the Animal Welfare Institute.
Cage-Free: As the term implies, hens laying eggs labeled as "cage-free" are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but they generally do not have access to the outdoors. They can engage in many of their natural behaviors such as walking, nesting and spreading their wings. Beak cutting is permitted. There is no third-party auditing.
Free-Roaming: Also known as "free-range," the USDA has defined this claim for some poultry products, but there are no standards in "free-roaming" egg production. This essentially means the hens are cage-free. There is no third-party auditing.
United Egg Producers Certified: The overwhelming majority of the U.S. egg industry complies with this voluntary program, which permits routine cruel and inhumane factory farm practices. Hens laying these eggs have 67 square inches of cage space per bird, less area than a sheet of paper. The hens are confined in restrictive, barren battery cages and cannot perform many of their natural behaviors, including perching, nesting, foraging or even spreading their wings. Compliance is verified through third-party auditing. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed. This is a program of the United Egg Producers.
Vegetarian-Fed: These birds' feed does not contain animal byproducts, but this label does not have significant relevance to the animals' living conditions.
Natural: This label claim has no relevance to animal welfare.
Fertile: These eggs were laid by hens who lived with roosters, meaning they most likely were not caged.
Omega-3 Enriched: This label claim has no relevance to animal welfare.
†Virtually all hens in commercial egg operations—whether cage or cage-free—come from hatcheries that kill all male chicks shortly after hatching. The males are of no use to the egg industry because they don't lay eggs and aren't bred to grow as large or as rapidly as chickens used in the meat industry. Common methods of killing male chicks include suffocation, gassing and grinding. Hundreds of millions of male chicks are killed at hatcheries each year in the United States.
1. reference: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/guide_egg_labels.html
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Willows Edge Farm, LLC ** Kuna-Boise, ID **
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