I’m a big fan of Joel Salatin, the Virginia-based farming guru who believes in a wholesome, natural way of farming.
When I saw how he raised his chickens using a really simply designed moveable pen, it seemed only natural to adopt it on the Farm2Fork farm with our new feathered friends.
We’re raising chickens for meat, so it doesn’t make sense to let them roam totally free, as young chickens don’t like to range far and it leaves them open to the risk of predators.
With the large, moveable pens, we can transfer them to new fresh pasture every day but they remain totally safe, parasite-free, and as we move them they fertilise the fields and give restorative life-giving properties to the soil.
Alongside the fresh pasture which is packed with grassy goodness, juicy grubs, bugs and worms, and a great pecking ground, we feed the chickens grain in order to fulfil their need for a balanced diet. This natural diet and the Carotenoids (naturally occurring pigments such as beta-carotene) in the grass is actually what gives their skin a natural yellow colour – not, as the supermarkets would have you believe with their corn-fed chickens!
We’re used to getting our hands dirty, so me, Charlie and Emma have been brandishing hammers and making the pens ourselves, ensuring they are sturdy enough to keep predators out, big enough for the chickens to have all the space they need, and light enough for us to move!
The chickens are loving their new home on the farm, and we anticipate they’ll be ready for your table or freezer by the beginning of October. You’ll be able to order online from the website, or just give us a call here on the farm.