Dairy Post: From the Farm to the Kiva
Brought to you by Emma Buckley, Kiva Dairy Department Manager
We are proud to carry eggs from four local farms at the Kiva. All of these eggs are from free-ranging chickens and ducks. We recently visited all four farms to get to know the farmers and to make sure our customers are getting the best quality eggs they can get.
Fritz and his wife Beverly have had their farm for forty years, and they have raised chickens the entire time. At first they were harvesting eggs for personal use, but have expanded the number of chickens they have on the farm to provide eggs for sale at local stores. They have over 100 chickens, all of the Red Star breed. Red Star chickens produce brown eggs. They are fed diatomaceous earth to prevent worms internally and mites in the nest. They are also fed fresh milk from the dairy, which they love! Additional supplemental feed is yard scraps (grass clippings, weeds from the vegetable garden, etc.), wheat, and a pellet mix containing wheat, oats, barley, soy meal, corn gluten, limestone, salt, vitamins and minerals. There are no chemicals or hormones in the pellet mix that the birds eat. Of course, the chickens supplement their own diet by pecking around in the large fenced pastures that they have rotating access to. The chickens always have access to the outside and spend most of their time out in the yard and pastures. By rotating which pastures the chickens have access to, Fritz can ensure that there is always plenty of bugs and grass for the chickens to peck at.
They also have Anconda, Moscovy and Pekin Ducks. The chickens and ducks have year round rotating access to fenced grass pastures. The ducks scavenge for the vast majority of their feed, but the chickens’ feed is supplemented by a layer pellet mix, oyster shells, and all the fallen fruit from the plum, apple, pear and cherry trees on the farm. There are no chemicals or hormones in the layer pellet mix that the birds eat.
Keith and Petrene have been raising chickens at Sweet Briar Farms for six years. They currently have 165 chickens. They raise Black Star, Red Star, Araucana, Blue Andalusian, Cuckoo Moran and Barred Rock chicken breeds.
This guy runs the roost at Sweet Briar. He followed us around the entire time, making sure we didn’t cause any trouble with his ladies!
Sweet Briar Farms is USDA certified and has a grant for brown power to reuse all the waste from the chickens and hogs to power the farm. They supplement their chickens’ feed with flax seed, squash, garlic, carrots, kale, celery, seed blocks, corn and apple cider vinegar. Of course, the chickens also eat insects and other small creepy crawlies when they are pecking around in their fenced pasture area.
Pamela Turpen and her husband have been running this family farm for 17 years with their two daughters. It is an entirely family run operation. They currently have 900 chickens. They raise many different kinds of chickens, including Golden Sex-Links, Araucana, Australorps , Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock breeds. The chickens always have access to outdoor pastures on their 72 acre property. The chickens’ diet is supplemented with alfalfa pellets, ground whole corn, yard clippings that have never been fertilized or sprayed with pesticides, and a layer pellet containing corn, soybean meal, and vitamins and minerals. The pellet does not contain hormones or antibiotics. As always, chickens feed themselves with bugs and whatever else they can dig up while pecking around outside.