The NY Times posted this encouraging story about a farm raising chickens on pasture for eggs. There are a few more details I'd like to know: What kind of chickens are they raising, and where they get them from; how long do they keep the hens; what do they do with hens who are past laying.
Whatever the answers are to those questions, this farm and the news story about it represent a huge change for the better. Some day, all eggs people eat will come from hens who are living good lives.
Putting the Chicken Before the Egg
CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — A decade ago, a couple running a dairy business in Northern California visited a Mennonite farm where the owner had used a flock of laying hens to teach his children business principles and instill values like responsibility and care for nature.
They returned home and bought 150 hens for their boys, Christian and Joseph. “My parents told us, you and Joseph are in charge of keeping these 150 birds alive,” recalled Christian Alexandre, who now heads the family’s egg business.
What started as a parental effort to instill solid values has become the mainstay of Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms. Within five years, Christian and Joseph were tending 1,500 hens and had a deal in place to supply eggs to Whole Foods stores in Northern California. Christian remembers Walter Robb, co-chief
The rusty red chickens foraging in the fields outnumber the cows 10 to 1 — and the roughly five million eggs they will produce this year command prices that make organic milk look cheap. “The egg business has kept the dairy going for several years,” Blake Alexandre, Christian’s father, said.