Chickens are an integral part of life on VVR. We raise a variety of heritage chickens in the free-range style on our organic field and forest landscape. We support the natural process of breeding, brooding, and hatching here on the farm, although we do add new stock on occasion in order to keep our gene pool clear. The chickens eat as they wish: greens, bugs, scraps, and supplementary GMO-free grains and beans; we collect their eggs at least once daily for sale to local consumers and eateries. In addition to eggs, the chickens offer powerful manure and perennial willingness to scratch at the earth. Thus, they help to nourish and prepare the soil for a variety of purposes.
The Vernal Vibe Rise chickens received First Prize for their pastel eggs at the 2012 West Virginia State Fair. Although we are grateful for the recognition, we were disappointed that the Fair would not return the eggs, and thus cannot enter eggs again. Since we have to choose, we believe that it is more important to us to maintain respectful utilization of all of our farm products than to garner awards.
Mother Earth News is publicizing something that pasture-focused farmers already know, “New test results show that pastured egg producers are kicking the commercial industry’s derriere when it comes to vitamin D! Eggs from hens raised on pasture show 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs.” For more information, read the full article.