Commodity poultry practices have a lot in common with commodity beef. Birds are raised in enormous, overcrowded, enclosed pens with little light, no exercise and medicated feed. Because of the scale and resulting conditions commodity birds are also more prone disease and bacteria such as salmonella.
Our pastured birds are raised in mobile outdoor pens with built in coops called “chicken tractors”. The “tractors” are placed in recently vacated cow pasture and are moved daily. Our birds never lack fresh ground nor their favorite meal: bugs and insect eggs. They have plenty of light, air, fresh water & exercise and are protected from predators. (We have a healthy hawk population.) We supplement their diet with grain but do not medicate the feed.
Aside from bird health, raising poultry outdoors has a beneficial impact on our pastures. Chicken droppings are nitrogen rich and excellent fertilizer.