Several hundred laying hens range on the pasture at Elmwood Stock Farm year round. Their hen houses are often called “egg mobiles.” These are elevated enclosed shelters offering an open door so our hens and several roosters can come and go as they please. Each evening, the hens follow their own instincts to roost up off the ground in their house, while a temporary, portable electric-net fence around the pasture protects them from raccoons, skunks and other predators. Every few days, the egg mobile and fencing are moved to another area of the field so the hens have a fresh pasture to roam and peck and so the nutrients they deposit can be distributed throughout our field.
Daily, eggs are hand-gathered from each nest and cleaned, inspected, cooled and packaged for sale that week. (Learn how to purchase Elmwood Stock Farm’s organic, pasture-raised eggs, and see our pricing.)
The hens’ pasture-based diet of clover, grass seeds and insects is supplemented with organic grains to ensure a well-balanced food source. The pastures are maintained organically by chopping out thistles by hand, rather than spraying chemical herbicides. The feed grains for our chickens contain absolutely no genetically modified grains (no-GMO), no antibiotics or growth enhancers, and of course, no byproducts of other animals, which are often used as a protein source in commercial poultry operations. The organic grains for our hens cost substantially more to produce than a typical poultry ration because you get what you pay for—and we want clean, wholesome food for our livestock, too!
By grazing and pecking green grasses and clovers, our pastured hens produce eggs that are packed with high nutrition. The orange yolk shows the difference, and lab testing verifies the fatty acid and cholesterol profile on pastured eggs easily surpasses conventional eggs. More information on the health benefits of pasture-raised animal products is available at www.eatwild.com and www.westonaprice.org