"if you want to know if your chicken REALLY is humanely-raised, visit the farm they come from. "
-Humane Farm Animal Care’s (HFAC) Certified Humane® program
We have a responsibility to care for our animals, because they are not truly ours
Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.”
Our chickens are fed barley, oat and sunflower sprouts and fodder that is grown on our farm. We also mix their grain feed ourselves which they always have access to. We locally source all of our feed and take pride in our processes to increase the nutrition our animals receive. Our fodder system increases nutritional value and digestibility of the grains we give our chickens. We also ferment feed for them, which allows them to absorb more of the nutrients from the grains. Our chickens love treats and are given vegetables, fresh herbs, meal worms, flowers and other foraged greens we gather for them. We believe that the health of the food you eat comes directly as a result of the health of the animal it comes from. We want our family to only have the best, and so you can be assured that you will only receive the best from us!
Our chickens are well loved and we make sure that they have a happy life. We have a responsibility to them and that responsibility is passed down to our customers. Our chickens have the best life we can possibly give them on our farm, so you can feel good about the products we provide. See more about our beliefs HERE
From the beginning
We love our chicks and they receive constant care from us! They live with us from hatching in our own home in brooders that give them warm dry and safe places to run and play. We love coming up with ideas to entertain the chicks and they often spend time snuggling with us. They are spoiled like crazy and receive healthy treats and snacks right from our hands. Our chicks live inside with us until they are fully feathered (between 5-8 weeks depending on the weather) when they will go out to the coop or to the chicken tractor.
One of our biggest challenges with chickens on our farm, is keeping them safe. We have a huge number of predator's! Bear, racoon, skunk, bobcat, cougar, eagle, owl, hawk, weasel, snake, dogs, cats, wolf, fox and more!!! For this reason our chickens stay fenced on our property. We would love to offer free range chickens, but as you can see, that is putting their lives at risk. Instead we have built huge runs for our birds that act as playgrounds for them during the day. They are completely secured and safe outside during the day and they are in predator proof coops at night. We also operate cameras that work on motion sensor to monitor the chickens and other animals 24hrs a day. We bring our chickens natural grown feed and we even go foraging for them. We provide them with covered runs so even in the winter, they are comfortable outside. We hide treats and snacks and give them plenty of room to act like chickens naturally act. Because they are not able to free-range, we make sure they have more than double the recommended inside space and more than three times the outside space per bird.
Short term residents
Most of our chickens raised are for meat. They are treated the same way in the brooders as our egg laying chickens, but they move out to a tractor instead of the coop. This allows us to free-range our meat birds safely. They are moved each day to new pastured land to forage and eat, but they are completely contained and covered from the top. We skirt our tractors with hardware cloth to keep diging predators out and we even keep our watch dog, Blue, right next to them at night. Even though their time with us is only five-six months, we want it to be as good a life as possible! They have the same locally sourced and mixed food as the egg laying chickens and they enjoy scratching, eating and foraging in the ground they are moved to each day. All of our meat is processed on our farm in clean and safe conditions and is packaged fresh. We can offer fresh or frozen (your choice) if you are interested. We vacuum seal all our meat. You truly don't know what chicken taste like if you have been buying your meat at the store!
The Endangered Species on our farm
For Chantecler Chickens to have so many positive qualities and characteristics that can’t be found in many other breeds, this breed doesn’t have much popularity.
Chanteclers were bred to be efficient winter layers as well as able to withstand the cold easily. These attributes make the Chantecler an exceptional choice for those in colder climates. Chanteclers were the first breed to originate from Canada, making them a unique chicken to have around. Ideas for breeding a Canadian chicken came to Brother Wilfred Chatelain, who ended up supervising the breeding process in the following years. After thirteen years of dedicated work, the White Chantecler was admitted into the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 1921.
Since Chanteclers are a dual-purpose breed, they are a larger chicken to make a decent meat producer. Roosters generally weigh in somewhere around 9 pounds when fully grown. Hens are naturally a bit smaller, tipping the scales around 7 pounds at full-grown weight. One important characteristic of Brother Wilfred Chatelain was a calm and peaceful temperament. As one of the gentlest breeds out there, this chicken certainly lives up to his standards. In addition to their friendly dispositions, hens can make excellent and nurturing mothers. Despite having a tendency to go broody, Chantecler hens can still produce an impressive amount of eggs every year. A single Chantecler hen can lay over 200 eggs per year. Due to being bred to withstand harsh winters, this is also a breed that can be counted on to keep laying eggs when other hens stop laying because of cold weather. While there are dual-purpose breeds out there that may produce a bit more meat, the Chantecler is definitely a well-rounded breed. It’s been reported that fully grown Chanteclers can consistently produce 5lb carcasses. White Chanteclers are the best color variation to raise for meat due to having white pinfeathers. White pinfeathers leave a dressed carcass looking clean and neat.
The Chantecelor is listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as critically endangered as there are only a few lefts that are maintained by local farmers and hatcheries. In fact, in 1979 the conservancy listed this breed as extinct when it was thought that the last rooster had died at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Animal and Poultry Science. The Chantecler, or at least the APA recognized varieties are not very common and cannot usually be found at poultry outlets and farms. As they are registered as a “critical/watch” conservation status they may need an extra license to own or keep in your garden. For advice on what the bird’s conservation status and orders are please check with your local conservation department. There is no license requirement currently in Minnesota.