Our pastured broilers or meat chickens start their journey at Central hatchery in Madison, Nebraska.
On their first day of hatch they make their way to our local post office. Where we pick up our cute little peepers.
Broilers by nature are designed to gain weight quickly, because of this it is normal to have a diet of about 20% pasture/bugs and 80% feed. Its something you just cant get around, but ill tell yuh, that 20% makes a huge difference.
Day 1: Hatch, to post office, to the brooder.
Day 2-21: The birds stay in the brooder. Which is a small area where we can constantly keep the little fuzz balls warm, watered, and fed, and get them ready to go out to pasture. In the brooder they are kept a certain temperature depending on how old they are. The bedding where they stay in is a system called “deep bedding” Instead of trying to keep a concrete floor clean we just pile wood chips very thick. When they get dirty, new clean wood chips get put on top and so on. What we are creating here is natural decomposition. There is no odor, the waste gets absorbed into the wood shavings. As the bedding gets deeper, the bedding naturally decomposes. At the end of each season we are left with a whole pile (literally) of the best compost there is.
Day 22-60: On day 22 the birds are hardy enough to get out on grass. Here they spend the rest of their lives hunting bugs, eating grass, sun bathing, you know, chicken things. Every single day they are moved to fresh grass, and they definitely like it. They eat every green thing in sight.
After the birds have reached their weight, they get processed and packaged right here on the farm.