Pastured Poultry

MEAT BIRDS

Inspired after a 3-day conference led by Joel Salatin, meat birds or broilers were added to the farm in 2008. We started small with just 25 chickens and could write a book about what we've learned over the last decade.

Our meat birds are Cornish Crosses and are housed in large pens that are about 10 feet by 20 feet. Chickens are allowed to day range, getting their fill of fresh greens, seeds, and bugs.  This variety in their diet produces flavorful, nutrient-dense meat. The pens are moved daily to provide fresh forage. At night, chickens are shut in pens to protect them from predators.

Fun on the farm - a real life experience down on the farm
The Life of a Chicken by Adam - a power point by a young friend of the farm
Laying Hens

In the spring of 2008, laying hens were added to the farm, mostly because Kurt "really likes to eat eggs." Our layers are also allowed to free range to forage for green grass, seeds and insects.  This "salad bar" approach to their diet improves the flavor and texture of the eggs they produce. Eggs produced on green grass have dark orange yolks. If you regularly eat pastured eggs, it's fun to watch the eggs change with the seasons - amazingly orange yolks at the height of the growing season.

Turkeys

​The turkey operation at Dale Family Farms is a work in progress. As with all our pasture based enterprises, we are striving to keep the turkeys in as natural environment as possible.  Because of this natural approach, we have had predator issues - 2016 being the worst. Currently, we are exploring a number of production systems that will allow our turkeys to express their turkeyness - this includes foraging voraciously and cleaning up the bugs. We also want to keep the turkeys in a more controlled environment to limit the pressure predators put on the turkeys.

We believe the exceptional flavor of our birds comes from the turkeys' ability to select a large percentage of its own diet.



Turkeys are available late summer through Christmas.
  
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Dale Family Farms is a member of APPPA, the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association.