Welcome to our Holden's Hide a way farm

Holden's Hide-A-Way Farm is a diversified farm that produces a wide variety of meat product, in much of the same manner as a farmer would have 100 years ago. Our ideas on how to raise livestock come directly from mother nature. We raise grass fed beef and lamb because that is what mother nature intended. Our pigs are free to root and roam through out the warm seasons. Winters are spent in a barn with ample space and lots of hay to eat and root around in. Poultry is raised on pasture where they get lots of fresh air and can do the things poultry likes to do.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Poultry coming along

I was feeding the little meat chicks last night and realised they are not so little anymore. It is amazing how fast these little guys grow. We purchase the chicks at two weeks old. They are still in the brooder pen at this time. The brooder pen is an area that we strictly control the temperature, so that the birds grow quickly until they feather up. As soon as the weather permits we will be getting these guys out onto pasture.
Over the years these birds have been bred to grow and finish at an incredible speed. I once read an article that stated in the 60's it took 16 weeks to raise a meat type chick to finish weight. Now it can be done in a factory farm setting in as little as 8 weeks. Our birds are finished in 10-12 weeks because they spend time on pasture, which slows their growth a little. However it greatly improves the meat quality.
We are going to try and experiment with a 'free run ' arrangement for the chickens this year. In the past we have used pasture pens. I hope it works out.
For more information on what pastured chicken can do you can look at the Eat Wild web site. They go into great detail about the benefits to you and your family. The biggest health benefit I think would be the Omega 3 fatty acids. Pastured poultry are high in Omega 3's because of the grass and legumes they consume. Store bought "Omega chickens" are high in Omega 3 fatty acids because they are fed supplements, usually flax seed. This is a tricky way of raising Omega 3 chickens because it can cause a fishy taste in the meat.
Stay tuned for pictures.