For Past Thyme Farm to succeed at sustainability, it is very important that every component we put onto our farm, gives back to the farm more that it takes!
Our pasture raised Meat Birds (Chickens & Turkeys) give back to the farm in many valuable ways. They eat lots of bugs & insects as they move across our pastures and they provide a great source of nitrates for our farms rich soils. But their main purpose is to put a healthy meat source on our table. Nance and I must eat at least one chicken per week.
The chickens that we grow at Past Thyme Farm are a fast growing mix called Red Broilers. They look similar to a Rhode Island Red and have a yellow skin. We have them shipped to us as day old chicks in early June, brood them for about 3 weeks, inside under lights and then move them out to
the pasture for the rest of their 8 week season.
In the field they are sheltered in a 12’x12’x2’ pen on wheels. This mobile shelter protects them from predators (coyotes & neighbor dogs), provides them shade and allows us to move them to fresh pasture daily. This process helps distribute their waste evenly over our fields which then enriches our soils for future pastures and gardens.
The ground that we grew our garden on this year, will be put into pasture for the next three years to support our chickens, sheep and donks. The fall before we plant the garden back we will seed this field with some winter legumes, till them under come spring and then plant our seasonal garden again.