By bringing animals onto the farm, we increase the scope and potential of our growing system. Livestock consume different nutrients and occupy physically different spaces from the vegetable fields. Chickens, ducks, and pigs all eat bugs and pests that might threaten our crops. Finally, livestock manure can be collected, composted, and applied to pastures and fallow growing fields as fertilizer, capturing and cycling vital nutrients.
Livestock also give us the benefits of their production. Eggs from chickens; meat from pigs; fiber and meat from sheep, and more. We always strive to raise our animals in the most humane and responsible manner possible. All of our animals are free range or given rotational access to pasture and forest. We feed grain, but also supplement with produce and plants from our fields that isn't blemish-free enough to sell, but is much appreciated by our farm animals.
Let's introduce you to our current roster of animals on the farm. We currently have a flock of chickens, and a small group of pigs.
Chickens: We raise a flock of Rhode Island Red hens, and we have 1 rooster who is a Rhode Island crossed with an Amerucana. Rhode Island Reds are a classic New England heritage breed that are hearty, multi-purpose, and lay a brown egg. Our rooster is half Amerucana, a breed originally from South America that has brilliant feathering and a pea-comb on top of their head. At the moment, we only raise the hens for personal egg consumption, but in 2017 we plan to offer eggs to our CSA members with an expanded flock! Take a look at the hens roaming on pasture and enjoying a tomato snack here:
-Billy & Sarah