Poultry

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!

You can find our eggs at our online store and Avondale Estates Farmers Market.

Buckeye Chickens
20190625_144442 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

American Buckeye 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:

Newly hatched chicks are started on a medicated starter to boost their immune system, then for eighteen weeks they grow and mature on the Non-GMO Starter/Grower. Chicks move from the brooder to the pasture at eight weeks of age, where foraging adds variety to their diet.
At 20 weeks of age, chicks slowly transition from the Non-GMO Chick Starter/Grower to the Non-GMO Layer. The adults continue to forage and hens start laying around 24 weeks. Between 16 and 20 weeks of age, most of the the males are culled and they help continue the cycle as food for the farmer.