We start all our poultry in heated brooders for the first couple of weeks before they head out to pure and natural pastures. All our birds are packaged by our small-scale abattoir partner who we can trust to maintain the same level of ethical care throughout the entire harvest process.
Without the sheep, we couldn’t be a regenerative farm. The sheep graze our pastures, eating down the grasses ahead of the chickens. They fertilize the land and manage the native and seasonal grasses, ensuring that they grow back stronger each year.
Most of our sheep have never been touched by human hands, and that’s the way we want to keep it. The Katahdin breed only grow hair (not wool), and naturally shed it once a year. They give birth out in the field, on their own, unassisted. Lambs are never removed from the flock, they naturally wean just as they would in the wild. We don’t dock tails or perform any alterations of any kind.
The Katahdin breed produces a much more mild and sweet flavor than traditional lamb or mutton. These sheep have been raised on 100% native, Tennessee grasses, which also contributes to a much more palatable flavor than their grain-fed counterparts.
While most people can taste a big difference between a young lamb and older sheep (mutton) these sheep maintain a consistent flavor profile throughout their entire lives.
Our hens move to fresh pasture often. They live a majority of their lives on pasture and not in a barn that only gives access to pasture. Movement to fresh pasture ensures that the benefits of the pastured poultry farming model come together into an egg that is documented to be more nutrient dense in important vitamins and fats when compared to non-pasture raised eggs.
Compared to non-pastured chicken and eggs, pasture raised chicken and eggs have the following nutritional differences:
The place where our hens roost and another where they nest are moved across the farm to fresh pasture filling their diets with a diverse variety of grass, legumes, wildflowers, and all the worms and bugs they can find. We provide movable shelters but they are free to roam the entire farm, although they rarely venture more than a few hundred yards from their nighttime shelters. We make sure they keep access to shade, fresh water and free choice non-GMO feed. Every egg is hand harvested daily and gently cleaned and packaged by one of the three of us here on the farm.
All the information above about our chicken eggs applies to our Duck Layers but they are in a separate group from the chickens as they love to play in a movable pool of water.