The Boulder Belt Blog The real poop about what we do. Plus news and notes about the state of organics and local foods. Updated several times a week
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The Filet Mignon of Chicken
Meat Chicks on pasture at 2 weeks old
We Now have Laying Hens
We raise our meat chickens differently than most and you can taste it when you roast and eat one of our birds. As one of our satisfied customers put it, our birds are very high in Chi.
You Won't Find Better Quality Poultry Meat At Any Price.
The difference is that our chickens are out on pasture from the first day they arrive on the farm. We use Mt Healthy Hatcheries near Cincinnati because they have good quality stock and, more importantly, they are within 2 hours of the farm so we can drive there and pick up our chicks and get them home in hours instead of the birds being mailed to us and spending up to 48 hours in the US postal system getting stressed out and one or two dying. They are put into a specialized brooder that allows them access to fresh pasture from day one. Unlike many farms that pasture chickens in "chicken tractors", we "Day Range" our birds, This means they get outside of their chicken tractors as much as they desire so they can run, flap their wings, take a dust bath, eat clover and other pasture plants and do all the other things chickens like to do. All this exercise makes the meat more flavorable, tender and dense.
We feed certified organic grain grown by Morning Sun Farms, a local organic family farm near West Alexandria, OH. We feed organic grain because we believe it is higher quality and has no GMO's, antibiotics, or other chemicals. Raising chickens this way costs us more and takes more time than having them confined and feeding what ever chicken feed the local mill (which is miles closer to us than the organic farm where we get our grain) but all of this combines to make a superior chicken. We have our birds processed at a small, local, family owned farm that is an ODA inspected facility in Darke County.
Where to Buy Our Birds
We offer them for sale at our farm store for $7 a pound whole birds only and as an extra add on for our Farm Share Initiative members for $6 a pound.
Saving Mr Kazudy
Note: Mr Kazudy passed on in late July 2003. This story was written a few months before he died
We have 3 Roosters currently. Mr. Kazudy is a 8 yr. old buff rock. He used to be the top rooster until 3 years ago when he lost a nasty fight with a white cockerel. Mr. K is now in retirement, leaving flock management to the other, younger roosters.
In his dotage Mr Kazudy has lost his will to crow and fight. He has osteoporosis which makes it hard for him to walk. So he has become the whipping boy to our other two roosters, Igor and Spike. The younger boyz left Mr K alone for the most part over the winter but as the weather warmed up they decided not to let Mr. K eat or drink and if the weather was particularly foul (fowl) they would chase him out of the coop and not let him back in. Leaving a sad old rooster to sit in the wind and rain (until one of us humans would intervene and place him back in the coop, making it clear to the other roosters that harassing Mr. K is not acceptable behavior) Most mornings would find him hiding under the nesting boxes (there is an 8" crawl space, just enough for Mr K to crawl under) in an attempt to not be bothered by the youngsters. This did leave him unmolested but also without breakfast.
So it was decided in early spring that Mr K needed his own digs so we set up a chicken tractor (aka moveable coop) with feed and water and put him in it. He drank for a long time as the only food and water he was getting was when we would hand feed and water him every afternoon. than he had his first full meal in peace. Later on in the day we added some hens to his new apartment (now a swinging bachelor pad). The hens were acting broody (this is an uncontrollable urge to sit on eggs until they hatch) but did not like the move so the urge to brood is waning now (but I digress)).
Mr K seems to like having the hens as company and they have been helping him preen and get his feathers back in order. You see, the other roosters along with not letting Mr K eat or drink, also would not allow him to preen or take dust baths (the ultimate chicken pleasure and necessary to keep parasites at bay and feathers healthy). But now that he has his own place he is preening and bathing when he isn't eating or sleeping.
He is one happy old guy now.