Our son Jacob graduated from High School this past weekend.  Congratulations Jacob!

Chickens started our “pasture grazed meat” business and Jacob has been the “pasture poultry” guy.  Raising chickens on grass requires a shelter.  Shelters provide protection from weather and predators.  We call the shelters “chicken tractors”.  There are many kinds of chicken tractors.  All chicken tractors have one thing in common, they must move to fresh grass daily.  Jacob has been our main chicken tractor puller!

Jacob our Chicken Tractor Puller, then and now and soon to be on to other things.

Jacob our Chicken Tractor Puller, then, now and soon to be on to other things.

Soon Jacob will be on to College but the tractor pulling will continue.  The old saying is that many things taste like chicken, but you haven’t tasted REAL chicken until you have tried a pastured chicken.  The ONLY way to get a chicken that has had the opportunity to graze is from a local farmer.  Taste the pasture poultry difference:

  • GRASS!
  • SUNSHINE!
  • Non-GMO grains.
  • No antibiotics.

All possible due to the power of the chicken tractor puller!

Never saw a chicken eat grass?  Check out the video at the end of the linked post below.

Ever see a chicken eat grass?

 

Sometimes I wonder which animal eats more grass, a dog or a chicken?  Seems like our dog can really chomp on some grass.  But who really cares if a chicken eats grass?

chicken eat grass

Our pasture grazed chickens munching on the greens.

If you are struggling to find real healthy, life-giving food for your family, then you care if chickens can eat grass.

When chickens eat grass wonderful things happen:

  • Grass provides natural immunity to chickens.
  • No need for vaccinations, antibiotics or other medicated feeds for these chickens.
  • That natural immunity from the grass is passed on to you and your family through the meat.
    • I would much rather eat chicken than grass!
  • Grass provides a flavor to the meat you simply will not find in a grocery store.
  • Wonderful meat that tastes great, now there is a meal your family will praise you for.

So if you think we had the chicken pose for the photo, not so fast, take a look at the video proof below.

Enjoy!

(By the way, that is our dog barking in the background, she must want out of her kennel to get some of that grass!)

Please contact us if you would like to see the chickens in real life action.  Hope to see you soon.

Why do folks go nuts for pasture chicken?

pasture poultry

Pasture poultry moved to fresh grass daily in portable shelters.

I can remember as a kid eating Grandma’s farm raised chickens.  Grandma did not raise her chickens in pasture shelters like we do, but I know what her chicken tasted like.  Her chicken feed did not contain arsenic, antibiotics, caffeine, Tylenol or Prozac (NY Times link).  I loved eating Grandma’s home fried chicken, especially the SKIN!  I know, I know, being raised in the 60’s and 70’s, I soon learned that eating the skin or fat was considered a NO – NO!

Like you, I tried to limit my animal fat intake.  I too took the lie that fat was bad.  Now that we know fat is good in our diet, we are still stuck with the problem that factory raised chicken (or any animal) is probably not a good source of animal fat based on what they are fed.  Do they still feed that “stuff” to factory raised chicken?  I don’t know, but I am sure a factory raised chicken is not getting any grass.  You are what you eat ate!

Raising animals in nature’s image is the solution.  Chicken that has access to fresh grass and sunshine does not need medicated feed.  Fresh moves to grass daily and locally raised non-gmo grains keep these chickens healthy without antibiotics.  We let the natural chicken feed be their medicine.  Let the food you eat be your medicine.

pasture poultry

Pasture Poultry, notice the yellow color to the fat. The grass delivers beta-Carotene. Enjoy eating the fat and skin of a pasture raised chicken!

 

What created the grass fed movement of the late 1990s through today?

D S Family Farm cattle spend their entire lives on grass pasture.

D S Family Farm cattle spend their entire lives on grass pasture.

Prior to World War II, all beef and most other meat production methods had grass as part of the animal’s life cycle.  Today’s store purchased meats, only beef, lamb and goat have some type of green forage as part of their life cycle.  Beef purchased at your local grocery store will have consumed forage for the part of their life span that they were with the momma cow after birth and most likely for a while after being weaned.  Chicken and pork are just plain out of luck in today’s production methods to have had an opportunity to consume any type of green living forage during their life span.

What happened right after World War II?

In summary, excess war munitions were converted to cheap nitrogen fertilizer.  When unleashed to U.S. farmers, surplus corn production resulted.  The question became, where can we dispose the excess grain?  The “solution” was to confine animals and feed grain based diets.  For the chicken and pig, the grain was not a huge problem, they have simple stomachs, but the cow with her multiple stomachs and special rumen (designed for forage) took a health hit.  A diet high in grain results in high levels of acid in the rumen.  To counter high acid levels, low levels of antibiotics were added to cattle feed to keep the cattle growing and prevent further health issues.  As you can imagine not an ideal situation for cattle.

A return to common sense and the Grass Fed Movement, enter Jo Robinson’s Eat Wild website and book “Pasture Perfect”.

An early promoter of the grass-fed movement, Jo Robinson’s website is full of grass-fed information from the basics to the advanced.  Her information is well researched and documented.  If you would like a free copy of her book “Pasture Perfect”, just contact us for a farm visit and the book will be our gift to you.  WARNING: I find it extremely difficult to this day to eat fast food chicken after reading this book.  For an alternative to conventional raised chicken consider finding a local farmer that raises chickens with grass as part of their life cycle (pasture poultry post).

Grass Fed Movement goes prime time, with Michael Pollin’s“Power Steer” New York Times article  in 2002.

Pollin’s article follows the typical life of a steer (young male beef animal) from its birth place on the prairies of South Dakota, to a confined animal feeding operation near Garden City Kansas.  The “power” part of the article title stems from the fact that there is a large amount of oil consumed for each pound of beef produced in this manner.  The article does an excellent job describing the use of hormones, antibiotics and other concerns such as E. coli that are all issues related to store purchased beef.

So what’s the big deal about grass?  I will let you answer that question for yourself.  As for this farm, we have seen first hand the regenerating wonder of grass in our pastures, soils and with the animals we raise.  On the most basic level of life as we know it, there is profound truth in the following verse:

  • All flesh is grass, and all its beauty (constancy) is like the flower of the field.”  (Isaiah 40:6 (b), ESV, emphasis added)

 

Broilers on fresh grass.

Broilers on fresh grass.

Prior to our start with cattle, we practiced pasture animal production using poultry.  Specifically chickens known as “broilers”, birds bred and raised for their meat, not eggs.  Pasture poultry production is a fairly easy process.  Day old chicks arrive in the mail.  Their first few weeks are spent inside, protected from the elements.  At around three weeks of age the young birds move to a portable (floorless) shelter.  The shelter provides protection from weather but more importantly, security from predators.  Without a floor, the chickens are free to pick and scratch through grass and excrete their waste right onto the soil.  The shelters are moved daily to a fresh patch of grass.

Fresh grass is the key to chicken health.  They do consume grains for a large part of their diet, but you would be amazed at the amount of grass a chicken will eat.  In addition to grass and grain, chickens love to feast on any unsuspecting bug.

In the end, a healthy pasture raised broiler in your grill, skillet, oven or crock pot will translate into a happy healthy family.  Email us for current or future availability of pasture poultry.