free range eggs, pasture hens, guelph,arthur,fergus

The Pasture Raised Difference

It's important to us that not only are we raising high quality, nutritious food, but its also important to us the way in which we are getting to the end product.  Our livestock is our top priority, their care, and well being.  Pasture raising our livestock using rotational grazing methods, we are able to support their natural behaviours and insticts, while also supporting and nourishing our enviroment. 

Rotational grazing means we move our animals to new pasture, frequently, or as needed.  They aren't just given free range of a large area and kept in that one space.   This allows access to fresh pasture, ensures a more even graze of the different grasses and vegetation, allowing them to regenerate easily.  This method also allows us to ensure the soil isn't over fertilized with their manure either.  Chickens and turkeys for example, have manure very rich in nitrogen.  This can be great for the soil and plants, and supports rapid growth, and healthy development.  We have seen our pasture gasses grow back rich and densely, using this method.  However, if we did not move them their manure would actually do the opposite and start to damage these plants and soil.  Pigs can also be quite destructive with their rooting and need to be managed closely.  They can help to clean up bush or overgrown spaces, but need to be rotated through a space to make their rooting and foraging benefical for the area. 

What We Raise

Pasture Raised Chicken

Proud Artisanal chicken growers!

Our chickens arrive from the hatchery as day olds, and spend the first 2-3 weeks(weather dependent) in our brooder area.  These little guys can not thermoregulate at first, so being inside the brooder where we are able to control their temperature, humidity, and make the adjustments needed as they grow is very important to their overall  health as they grow.  These first 2-3 weeks is critical to the overall health of the bird throughout its life.  Once feathered out, or the temperature outside is warm enough we move them outside.  Once on pasture, we raise them in what we call a tractor, which is simply a mobile enclosure that allows them to have grass, but also keeps them protected from predators and the elements.

   Moving the chickens daily also allows us to get a good look at all the birds and how they are behaving, we're able to monitor their health and well being this way.  Although this method of raising chickens is quite labour intensive, and time consuming, we believe its worth it.   We produce a nutritionally dense protein, that you can trust was raised ethically and sustainably.  Its food you know. 

  We are committed to raising our chickens out on pasture, this means that due to our climate we are limited to when we can raise them. We grow chicken seasonally from April to October, and try to raise enough throughout the season to supply you all winter long. Pasture raised chicken is rich in iron, and higher in omega 3's as well as vitamin A & E.  You will also find our chicken cuts are meatier, have a fuller flavour, and they stay juicier no matter how you cook them! Taste the pasture raised difference today. 

Heritage Breed Pork

Pasture raised pork, guelph
Pasture raised pork in the winter, guelph

Unlike our chickens, our pigs live outside year around.  Only in the dead of winter will a group of piglets start inside the barn where we can provide them with a heat lamp if needed and let them grow a bit more before they try to tackle the deep snow.  We currently do not breed our own pigs, although we are working towards this for the future. We currently source our weaner pigs from a local farmer.  They join our farm when they are just 6 weeks old, after they have been weaned from their moms. 

Our pigs are a mix of three different heritage breed, all being nice and hardy, thriving outside, and are a slower growth.   A mix of Tamworth, berkshire and large black.  We love this combination and think the qualities from each breed mix together well to not only bring a wonderful, flavourful pork, but also an animal that does well outside, and one that are, quiet and easy to handle.  

During the colder months we supplement the grasses and forages our pigs would have with oats and pea baleage, as well as hay and vegetable scraps.   No matter the weather our pigs are fed a free choice locally milled grain and any grasses, baleage or fruits and veggies are a compliment to this.  

Pasture Raised Turkey

We raise a breed of turkey called a mini classic white, and raise them seasonally for thanksgiving.  The turkeys arrive on the farm as day old poults from the hatchery.  Like our chicks, our turkeys need to be raised in a brooder for several weeks before they are old enough to do well out on pasture.  Once they are big enough, and have feathered we move the turkeys out to the same type of shelter our chickens are in - a mobile tractor.

The turkeys are moved daily to fresh pasture.  This intensive grazing not only benefits the bird, but also our land and soil health.  Turkey manure, like chicken manure is rich in nitrogen, and offers many benefits to the soil.

Pasture raised turkey yields a meat rich in omega 3's, with a full flavour and juicy meat.  Turkeys are omnivores, and while out on pasture their able to also consume their natural diet, in addition to their daily grain ration.

Free Range, Pastured Eggs

Our hens are lovingly cared for by our son, Colton.  He feeds, waters, and collects eggs from the hens daily.  He's the first one to greet them in the morning, and the last person to say good night.  The ladies are loved!

Our mixed breed flock lay us beautiful brown, green and blue eggs with rich yellow yolks.  Our hens free range on pasture in the late spring, summer and early fall.  Chickens are omnivores, so while they are always fed a free choice grain to ensure they get all of their nutritional requirements, being out on pasture also allows them to forage and eat, bugs, worms and the occasional frog. 

Pasture eggs, free range eggs, Arthur ON