Sunday, July 12, 2009

How to Keep the Girls Happy

A large part of my job on the farm is to keep the girls happy, all 175 of them. Our "girls" are our Rhode Island, Delaware and Red Comet free range chickens. I think it is one of the most rewarding jobs on the farm. Here is how I keep them happy and laying great, golden yolked eggs. One note, these girls have plenty of water and feed in their feeders.

The first thing we do to keep the girls happy is to just show up. The girls come running when they hear my truck appoaching, searching for treats. You can't help but have a great feeling when 175 little birds come running to see what you have brought for them.

Next comes the certified organic grains, nutrient dense corn and wheat. It goes into the trough with a smattering of oyster shells and fish meal.
Water tops off the grain and keeps the corn and wheat soaked and the fermentation begins to take place and is finished by the following morning as they clean up the last of the soak grains.

Next, bring out the raw milk. Even in the jug the girls scramble to get at the clabbered white stuff. I clabber a gallon of milk every other day for a treat for the girls and a little extra protein. This is definitely the highlight of their lives. Everyone knows you need some milk with your cereals.
For a final little treat I pour some water on the ground, which they really enjoy. Now it is time to collect eggs, thank the girls and head home to get the eggs washed, packed and in the fridge for our valued customers to pick up and take home.
The bottom line on keeping the girls happy is to keep them out on pasture and give them all the things they need; lots of room to roam, certified organic grain from nutrient dense soil, fresh water and plenty of it and clabbered raw milk as a treat. They don't really ask for much but I think the results speak for themselves, rich orange yolked eggs with plenty of flavor.  You can't beat free range chickens for healthy eggs and entertainment!

1 comment:

  1. Going to meet the girls is one of my favorite memories! They are wonderful. :-)