How We Raise Our Certified Organic Chicken
How we raise our certified organic chicken
We receive our chicks when they are less then 12 hours old straight from the hatchery. We receive both the male and female chicks. The first food and water that they receive is at our farm. When they arrive they are placed in nice warm clean barns that have lots of water, feed , clean bedding and natural light. They are given lots of room to grow, move and run around.
The feed that they receive throughout their life is Certified Organic. Certified Organic feed means that all of the ingredients in the feed is certified organic and has not been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides or fungicides and that the feed contains no animal by-products or GMO’s. Organic chickens are not given any antibiotics at any point and no appetite stimulants are used to increase the birds appetite and make them grow faster. Certified organic feed ensures that the feed is as pure as possible.
In the summer our chickens are pasture raised. The chickens are moved out to movable shelters at approx. 4 weeks of age. At this age they are old enough to have enough feathers to keep them warm and dry during cooler days and nights. Depending on the spring weather the birds are grown outside on the pasture from early May to Thanksgiving. They are raised in large movable shelters with attached ranges that are moved every day onto our fresh organic pasture. This allows for them to eat the grass, hunt for bugs and worms and express their natural behaviors like scratching and pecking in the dirt, basking in the sun and dust bathing.
In the winter the chickens are raised free run indoors to protect them from the cold and unpredictable Alberta winters. The barns are nice and warm and have lots of windows in them that allow the chickens to bask in the winter sunshine. They are kept clean and dry using straw that is added to the barn by hand every few days. The straw also allows them to scratch and express natural behaviors. They are also given perches to use and lots of room to move around.
Year round we add certified organic alfalfa meal to their feed. Alfalfa meal is alfalfa grass that is harvested at peak nutrition, dried and then crumbled into meal. We add this to the feed year-round to ensure that no matter the time of year the birds always get their greens.
Our birds are never raised in cages and are Certified Humane. We are inspected annually to ensure that our birds and all of our animals are being raised to the Certified Humane standard.
When they are big enough the birds are processed in our own government inspected, poultry processing facility that is located here on the farm.
Growing animals organically and humanely is very important to us and we do everything we can to raise healthy and happy chickens.
Ron and Sheila Hamilton
- Sunworks Farm