Genuine Faux Farm
Chickens at the Genuine Faux Farm are pasture raised during the day and they roost in the barn at night. Birds are given a base diet mixed by a local producer (Frantzen Farms) who has organic certification. Their diet is supplemented by foraging and organic produce that is no longer fit for sale or distribution. We do not hatch our own chicks they have been purchased through the Hoover Hatchery in Rudd, Iowa. Our birds do not typically like to go out in the snow, so they stay in their room during large portions of the Winter.
What it means to be Free Range (for us)
We do not keep our birds in a 'chicken tractor' during the day, instead we use a 'day range' system. They are out in a pasture with fenced borders to keep them out of our gardens and to slow down potential predators. The laying hens are located in a permanent pasture that has some orchard trees. The birds go into a shelter at night.
Chicks are an exception. To keep them warm and safe, they reside in a wooden, boxed in area with heat lamps. As they grow, we increase their space until they have some 'real' feathers. Then, they are free range. We may try to allow one of our ladies to raise her own clutch of chicks, but thus far, predators have prevented success in this area.
Are the Eggs Certified Organic?
The short answer is 'no.'
The longer answer has more to do with the certification process and cost that we are not currently willing to undertake for this operation. It also has to do with the unfortunate event in July of 2012 where the Western portion of our farm was hit by an aerial sprayer. Our pastures are located in that section, so we cannot certify our eggs until July of 2015 at this point. We will reconsider certification at that time. Otherwise, rest assured that we work to follow or exceed organic practices for all things we do on the farm.
The chickens (especially "the ladies" - laying hens) appreciate the shredded paper that we often use for bedding. If you are interested in seeing what they do in their spare time, please read this report by the Sudsbury Six in our October 2007 newsletter. If you are interested in the perspectives of our barnyard manager Bob R Ooster, please read his article in our September 2007 edition.
The Poultry Pavillion
The laying flock previously overnighted in our barn. Unfortunately, the barn is nearing the end of its useful life. Thus, we have been the adaptation of an old machine shed that was adapted as a hog confinement prior to our time on the farm. The process is still ongoing, but the hens do have a nice room with some excellent roosts and laying boxes. They have access to the pastures to the north of the building. We are still working on permanent fencing for their pasture and we are also looking for a way to reduce the bit of the cold weather in the depth of Winter.
We maintain email lists of interested persons. Each week, we send a note to these lists when there are eggs available. We tend to deliver to Waverly on a weekly basis all year. Cedar Falls has a weekly delivery during our Farm Share CSA (20 weeks). Otherwise, we try to maintain an every other week delivery basis as long as the hens produce in sufficient numbers.
We respectfully decline deliveries to persons outside of Tripoli, Waverly and Waterloo/Cedar Falls at this time. If you are willing to come to the farm or meet us in a location that is convenient for us, we will consider entering an egg contract with you.
We sell all of our eggs 'first come first served' to people on these lists for $3.00/dozen.
Interested in eggs? Please contact us.
photos copyright L.E.Bartel 2005