We currently raise two flocks of Buckeye chickens for egg production and to produce meat birds. We raise chickens on free range pasture with our oxen-in-training, moving them to a new location a few times a week to improve the pasture. The chickens have helped us make outstanding improvements to the pasture and gardens by fertilization and reducing weed and pest pressure. The Buckeye chicken is a rare breed unique to North America. Scroll down to learn more about the amazing Buckeye and how we raise our chickens!
The Buckeye is a dual-purpose breed of chicken with a deep, lustrous red color of plumage. They have yellow legs and skin and pea combs. Buckeyes were developed by Mrs. Nettie Metcalf of Warren, Ohio, and are unique in the American Class of chickens in that it is the only breed created entirely by a woman. In the 1890s Mrs. Metcalf started by breeding a Buff Cochin male to Barred Plymouth Rock females. This produced what she considered a large, lazy fowl. The next year she purchased a Black-Breasted Red Game male and crossed this male over the half cochin pullets. This cross produced several red offspring and from there she developed the breed. In the mid-20th century, commercial hybrids began to replace the various heritage breeds and the Buckeye’s nearly became extinct. Currently, the Buckeye is on the Livestock Conservancy’s Endangered Watch List. Our flocks are from the Mt. Healthy and Urch (Stromberg’s) strains.
In addition to the Livestock Conservancy, there are two breed associations for the Buckeye chicken:
American Buckeye Poultry Club
Our chickens eat two types of feed, one as chicks, and one as adults. They are both non-GMO feed from Tucker Milling. Because they are free-range on pasture their diet also consists of insects, larvae, grass, weeds, and weed seeds. Here are the full list of ingredients for their feed: