Since the beginning of the farm, chickens have played an important role. What started as a soil improvement program (chickens do a great job fertilizing) developed into an egg business and most recently into a breeding program that will provide chicks to the region.  

Over the years I have raised many different breeds of chickens, mostly for eggs, some for meat. The first few years I had at least 12 different kinds of laying hens to see what fit best on the farm. I like hens that are good foragers of some of their own feed (or course supplemented with organic grain), calm, good egg producers and of heavier body type in order to provide yet another gift at the end of their productive time as a laying hen: a stewing hen. Typically I have found the non hybrid, standard bred poultry to work best in my system.  

In thinking about long term sustainability for my farm and for overall poultry production I joined the Sustainable Poultry Network last year. This organization believes that maintaining and improving poultry productivity should be done on small farms. I chose the Black Australorp as my breed due to their calm nature, good egg production, excellent foraging. The older hens will make great stewing hens due to their larger size. Finally the young roosters will also provide meat. I am excited to steward this breed and work with SPN.  

The mission of the SPN is: "Equipping farmers, chefs and people to breed, grow and market sustainable flocks of standard-bred poultry. Committed to raising and eating the kinds of standard-bred heritage birds our grandmothers raised for many generations."  For chick ordering, visit market.spnusa.com

Related Event News: SLOW POULTRY Seminar - Sat June 25th, 2016 
A Strategy for Sustainable Poultry Production  
Hosted by: ANANDA HILLS FARM