Don't Cluck with Me
"No one calls me chicken." -Marty McFly
For well over a decade my parents have been raising chickens. I admit the chickens were not organic and neither were their eggs. At that time they were just farm fresh eggs. However, you could still notice the difference between commercial store bought eggs and my parents farm fresh eggs.
Today we raise organic chickens and in the near future they will be pasture raised organic chickens. It takes baby steps sometimes for those new to the organic, pasture raised, and grass feed animals concept. At home my family eats pasture raised organic eggs, organic grass fed meats, and raw dairy products from our nearby market. As soon as we gather enough funds to own an acre or two of land we will be able to raise our own pasture raised organic chickens.
So why do my parents not have pasture raised chickens? That's a great question. Also, why is the world not perfect? Again great question, but I will answer the first one. To begin with, they live in suburbia and so do I. Unfortunately, I have an HOA (boo) and parents do not (half yeah). I 'll touch more on this when I get to my post on beehives.
Currently at my parents house, they have large dogs that would like desperately to play with the chickens. Seriously, they mean the chickens no harm, unfortunately they play rough. So they decide to build a larger coup and went organic after myself and Sophie educated them more on organic produce, meats, and dairy.
This past summer my parents chickens were dwindling in numbers, in other words they got old and died. Mind you my parents are no experts when it comes to chickens, but they are learning more and more. Excited for the new coup my mother ordered 25 baby chicks and ended up with a couple freebies.
Unfortunately, they arrived at a time when she was working and couldn't set up their comfy zone as I like to call it. So I came over the hill and through the woods literally to get these baby chicks comfy. I ran to the nearest livestock supply store with my seven year old daughter. She loves going to the livestock supply store because they have free popcorn, who doesn't love free popcorn.
After returning from the store we began setting up the chicks comfy zone with plastic containers, wire mesh, bedding, water feeder, food feeder, and heat lamp. Oh and the chicks. My daughter was in love with these baby chicks. She would talk to them and sing to them as she carefully put them into their designated comfy zones. From that point on Sophie was managing their development, comfy zone maintenance, and feeding. I wish I could say they all made it out alive, but a few did pass away before being transferred into their new coup.
Now, Sophie is currently doing an internship at Lonewillow Ranch in Central Valley California. She gets to see first hand pasture raised chickens. When I was there last visiting her I got to see the difference between my parents organic cage free chickens and Lonewillow Ranch's pasture raised. I can tell you the pasture raised chicken not only have secret nests hidden around the grounds, which is quite fun if you like searching for Easter eggs on Easter. The physical appearance of the chicken is very noticeable. Their feathers are shiny and clean and they look to be in good physical shape.
Sophie had a few words to say about the chickens, "I noticed the chicken eggs are plentiful when they have more room to wonder. When our parents had the chickens in a large enclosure they didn't produce as much. Even when you think you've found all the chickens around the pasture, you probably haven't and eventually there will be little chicks running around."
Apparently in France it's better to have chickens roam around. If a fox gets into a hen house all chickens will almost certainly die. But if they are roaming around you run the risk of losing a couple chickens at most. Since chickens are out on their own they'll know the best hiding spots. That's not exactly universal in California we having flying predators like owls and hawks.
So to end this post I think that it is important to know where your food is coming from. This is why a whole food diet is considered to be the best diet for us. I recently watched a video by Dr. Mike who shows his audience the difference between organic pasture raised, organic, and commercial eggs. The difference is in the yolk, look to the yolk everyone. It will be a rich yellowish orange color and will taste fantastic. Don't get all weirded out and only eat the egg white portion. The yolk of a pasture raised organic chicken egg holds a large amount of nutrients in a single egg. So don't freak out about the price of eggs, but buy what is best for your health. Heck, I pay $15 a gallon for Raw Organic Whole Milk and it keeps me and my family happy and healthy. Who doesn't want to be happy and healthy?