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An Ode to Fowl

An Ode to Fowl

Chickens and their role on the regenerative farm

In this second installation of the series on regenerative farming tectonics, we cover the chicken.

There are two types of chickens on the regenerative farm: broilers (for meat) and layers (for eggs). The layers have a mobile coop and fence and are ferried about the farm and generally left to their egg laying ways. The broilers are out in the pasture tending to the land and reaping the rewards.

Every time the chickens are moved, they are introduced to a new foraging area that harbors a variety of food on top of the feed that the farmer provides. As the chicken digests its food, each nutritional input is multiplied into several and is stored in the meat. This meat will have deeper nutrition and flavor than factory chickens where inputs are minimized so that product uniformity is maximized. It’s also better than most USDA certified organic chicken, which is often nutritionally the same as its factory counterpart.

The organic designation has little meaning anymore. What started as a movement in the 1940s that anticipated the abuse of land by the leeching influence of industrial farms and advocated for local regenerative farming has reached industrial status itself with massive corporations controlling the majority of the market.

On the regenerative farm, the flock follows the herd in a procession designed to enrich pasture. The farmer has them track by three days to interrupt the life cycle of flies that use cow pies as incubators. The little raptors are losed upon the growing larvae and they hunt the brood to the last, which thins a swarm that would’ve spent it’s days on the necks of cattle. They disperse the cow patties and with a thorough raking by beak and claw they mix up the natural fertilizer with dirt in a shallow layer across the surface. The soil absorbs the newly available nutrients and a lush line of growth is left in the wake of the fowl. The procession is as follows: Cows, chickens, plant growth, then cows again. Like you would mow a lawn. Each wave adding more value to the soil - the wellspring from which it all flows.

Information and photos provided by Fairfax Farms, TN.