|Posted on March 16, 2011 at 10:46 PM|
Our Melo Farms vision is mainly based on sustainable pig farming with a goal toward farm to table. But all plans, especially those involving nature and the earth, must be layered and mutually beneficial. So it is with us and it's why we now have an awesome but small flock of 20 Brahma Light laying hens.
When dreaming about my ideal flock I realized my main criteria boiled down to this: cold hardy, gentle disposition, and on the Conservancy list http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html#chickens. My soap box - be the change - and in this case save the dwindling breeds that have fallen out of favor as we raced to commercialization. The Brahma Lights, though hard to find and spendy, were found arrived here on the farm as day old chicks August 2010 and have grown and thrived.
The hens have a mobile house, the style that allows for moving to greener pastures often. Their job is to control the grass and weeds, scratch and work the soil - and between you and me eat every single spider and spider egg they can find with their cute little hardworking beaks. I also rely on them to fertilize and enrich the soil for future healthy plant growth. In turn we get over a dozen large brown eggs a day. The goal of course is to sell the excess eggs, which for us is about a dozen a day, to cover the cracked corn we treat them to and winter supplemental feed when they're indoors, safe, warm but unable to graze.
Since we raise everything to a mind of what we want to eat ourselves I'm attracted to the notion that giving the girls regular treats of flax seed helps boost their egg's omega-3 nutrients. And each time I crack open one of those luscious, thick, deep yellow yolked eggs I see the goodness of what each hen has consumed.
Also we have a grand rooster that tries his best to ensure all the eggs are fertilized. Since conservancy is in our mission we sell hatching eggs to perpetuate this gentle and majestic breed.
And when our grandson and granddaughter retrieve warm eggs from under calm, large, healthy hens I'm reminded of the other multi-layered benefit of starting this farm later in our life - we are all finding joyful moments of discovery we never could have imagined.
So multi purpose, mutually beneficial and sustainable. And about that dozen eggs a day - call me - I have some to sell you:)