Producing the highest quality food possible is a priority here at Fred’s Homegrown, and we’re always looking for ways to live sustainably, responsibly, and progressively with the land and animals around us. That’s why our facilities for animals are well designed with their needs and ours in mind. In a conventional beef or chicken farm, the animals are used for one purpose only: profit. We have tried to design systems that incorporate the life cycle of our animals into our environmental systems.
We house our chickens in mobile chicken tractors enabling us to move them onto fresh patches of grass every other day. The chickens scratch up all the weeds or greens, clearing space for us to plant later down the line and saving us the trouble of digging up weeds. They get fresh food and leave behind their high-nitrogen poop so that we don’t need to bring in artificial fertilizers! Our relationship with the chickens is one of symbiosis: they are happy and healthy, eating fresh food and living the good life, while we collect their eggs and plant in their path.
Our cows live on a large pasture where they also get to munch on fresh greens every day. But we divide up the pasture so that they are concentrated onto specific patches of the grass, giving us the ability to manage the growth of the fields and move them onto new patches once they have eaten the grass down to a certain level. They leave behind their manure and as soon as we move them, the old patch begins to regrow and new top soil grows on top of the old. We are careful to manage the rain water that runs off their pasture to keep it out of the streams and rivers, and as our cows graze we are gaining top soil, reducing mud, mimicking herd patterns of intensive grazing, and growing high quality grass fed beef.