Woven Meadows provides year-round free-range, pastured, organic-fed chicken eggs, and seasonal duck eggs. During the grazing months, our chickens live out on the meadows with the cows, in portable shelters in electronet paddocks for protection from predators, and are provided with fresh water and certified-organic grain. We open up the fencing during the day so that the hens have a larger area to forage in, and are able to clean up where the cows have recently grazed, scratching up “cow pies” and looking for bugs and grubs. They are excellent helpers in pasture renovation and maintenance, by scratching up the thatch and incorporating organic matter into the surface of the soil, while eating weed seeds and leaving behind nitrogen-rich manure. In the winter months the birds come indoors for protection from the cold, living on cozy deep bedding, and are supplemented with vegetable scraps and sprouted grains for some winter greenery.
Our ducks live closer to home, going into the barns for shelter, and daily range the yard and nearby pasture (taking a few trips down to the pond each day). They are voracious eaters of grass and greens, as well as snails and slugs.
All this foraging makes for healthy chickens and ducks, and in turn healthy eggs. Eggs from pasture-raised birds (not just “free-range” birds, i.e. “cage-free” birds) contain less saturated fat, more Omega-3s, and more vitamin A and E and beta-carotene. The latter is what gives pastured eggs a rich, deep golden-orange yolk. And the flavor is exceptional (or should we say, “egg-ceptional”? )