Genuine Faux Farm
DAY RANGE EGGS
How We Raise Our Birds
Chickens at the Genuine Faux Farm are pasture raised during the day and they roost in a room we built in our "Poultry Pavillion" at night. Birds are given a base diet mixed by local producers. We purchase feed that is certified organic when it is available, which has been an issue lately. Their diet is supplemented by foraging and certified organic produce from our farm 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, even if we open the doors so they can go out. You should see the looks we get when we do that.. (open the door on a cold day).
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. We also have a couple of trailers that house birds that we want to move around the farm. These trailers are surrounded by a solar powered electric fence to keep predators out.
Chicks are an exception. To keep them warm and safe, they reside in a wooden or metal, 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. We rotate through different laying breeds on our farm and if you want to read a bit about the breeds we had in 2012 (and see chick pictures), you can visit this blog post.
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. After doing cost analysis, the rise in expenses to certify (certification cost, feed costs, etc) would force us to raise the price to nearly $5 per dozen. We are not comfortable with that price as we don't think there is enough benefit beyond what we are doing in order to make certification appropriate on our farm. Speaking of prices, we can tell you that we take our pricing seriously. If you want to see what we did to analyze our price in 2014, you can take this link. We believe that you deserve to see how we determine what we feel is a fair price.
Most cartons will have a dozen eggs of varying sizes and colors. Every once in a while, we get an egg that is simply too big to be believed. These usually don't fit in a carton, so they usually end up on our table for breakfast.
The chickens (especially "the ladies" - laying hens) appreciate the periodic shredded paper that we add to their bedding, but most of their bedding is locally grown straw. When we do give them shredded paper, the Chicken Decoding Special Forces spring into action. We do typically include one or two roosters in our flock in the capacity of 'barnyard manager'.
The Poultry Pavillion
The laying flock previously overnighted in our barn. Unfortunately, the barn is nearing the end of its life as it falls down board by board. 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. They have permanent fencing for their pasture and we are also looking for a way to reduce the bite of the cold weather in the depth of Winter. We hope to add a brooder room and an extension to their current room to give them more Winter space. Want to learn more? Check out this 2015 Poultry Slam blog post.
We maintain email lists of interested persons. Each week, we send a note to these lists when there are eggs available. During the CSA season (June to October) we deliver in both Waverly and Cedar Falls weekly. During the off-season months we sometimes will alternate weeks between the two locations. Occasionally, the schedule changes and persons on our email list are duly notified as soon as decisions to make changes are made.
We sell all of our eggs 'first come first served' to people on these lists for $3.50/dozen.
Interested in eggs? Please contact us.
background photos copyright L.E.Bartel 2005
all other photos GFF