In March we added 100 baby chicks to our family of chickens. These chicks spend their first weeks in the brooder staying warm. Once they grow enough feathers, we move them to a transitional coop with an outdoor run. This summer, they will be introduced to the rest of our hens in our ultramodern chicken coop. Separated at first, the new group will meet the rest of the flock. Once everyone is friendly, the two groups merge and graze on specially-blended, seeded grass in sections of our fruit orchards.

Not only do the hens provide fresh, organic eggs for our restaurant and farmers market’s but they are an integral part of the full-circle farming model that is employed throughout Long Meadow Ranch. They feed on farm scraps, including fallen fruit later in the season, which aids in breaking fruit pest cycles. In addition, their manure contributes to our composting program, adding a necessary nitrogen-rich element.

Having raised chickens for almost 30 years, egg production at Long Meadow Ranch has become a well-honed program. We raise six different breeds of chickens (Red Sex Link, Delaware, Barred Plymouth Rock, Black Australorp, Araucana, and Cuckoo Marans) and each produces eggs of a slightly different color. This diversity creates a beautiful rainbow of multi-colored eggs in the cartons at the Farmers’ Market.