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How We Care For Animals in the Winter

written by

Nick Bailey

posted on

February 21, 2024

Good Morning Farm Family, 

Embracing the winter chill that we've felt this past week, I wanted to take a moment to shed light on how we prioritize the well-being of our animals during this season.


Many have asked, so I'll address the chickens first. We raise two types of chickens on pasture, broilers for meat and egg layers for, well, eggs. Both have unique instincts that require us to treat them differently throughout the changing seasons. 

The broiler (meat) chickens would not do well on pasture in the Winter and their impact on the pasture would not be in line with our regenerative farming practices. For those reasons, we raise as many as possible during the growing season. During the Winter, we typically run out of poultry both online and in the Farm Store, until we are able to restock in May and June.

Our egg layer chickens roam the pastures during the growing season where they provide many benefits. In the Winter, we house them in a greenhouse-type structure to keep them dry and protect the pasture. They enjoy full sunlight and fresh air on deep bedding, while keeping dry and out of the wind. The bedding is composted for twelve months before spreading on the pasture, which ignites microbial activity and explosive grass growth. This is important for their health and the integrity of the pastures during the dormant season.


The pigs are raised in a similar way over the Winter. All of the benefits from keeping egg layers in deep-bedded shelters apply to the pigs as well, especially when it comes to protecting the pasture.


The cattle herd is too large to keep indoors during the winter. For that reason, we establish a sacrifice pasture and implement a bale grazing technique. The bale grazing allows us to minimize the negative impact to the land and has actually proven to be very beneficial to weaker areas in the pasture, leaving them stronger the following Spring. 


For more about our care for the animals and land in the Winter, please take some time to watch the videos on our Youtube channel. We cover everything that I highlighted above, in greater depth. I'd also like to invite you to visit the farm for one of our 2024 Farm Tours, which we'll be announcing in March. 

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