add on eggs
You'll taste the difference!
The egg-layers at Solidarity Farm live on pasture and are fed a GMO-soy-corn free feed and lots of veggie scraps as supplement. They have a mobile coop and are protected from predetors by a light-weight and movable electric fence. Once a week, their coup and fence are moved onto fresh pasture. As you can see from the photos, it's a pretty nice place for a hen to be.
The chickens are also important members of our crew and they fulfill a valuable role in our water-wise agricultural ecosystem.
Not only do they keep the weeds down as they rotate pasture across approximately 5 acres of open space, but they also move in to clean out our fields once they are harvested. All the while, these ladies contribute valuable nitrogen and other goodies to our soil.
Unfortuanately, most farms--even organic farms--are dependent on inputs from factory farming for fertilizer. Whether it be cow manure from the dairy, chicken manure from the egg or meat factory, or emulsion from the fish farm, it's shipped in and added to the soil to encourage robust crops. In some areas, these inputs can be replaced by composted food and other green waste, but composting restrictions and a lack of rainwater make this a no-go in San Diego.
By adding chickens to our ecosystem, we think we've made a wise choice, and we strive to make their lives as fulfilling as possible. But, that doesn't mean everything is unicorns and rainbows. To be economically viable, and to produce an excess of eggs for commercial sale, we have to face some not-so-happy realities. The first is that we have to cull most of our roosters from the flock. Last year, we killed and ate about 30 of them. The second is that once our first round of layers reach retirement, we'll be culling them and selling them as stew hens. While this is the uglier side of producing pastured eggs, its the reality of the situation and we'd rather take on this responsibilty rather than export it by bringing in nutrients from outside sources.
For a closer look at our operation, you're welcome to come out to the farm, see for yourself, and put our "ehtically-farmed" standards to your own test.