Our chickens are given free access to pasture from dawn to dusk, so that their diet and daily routines more closely resemble what nature intended. Not only does this create healthier and tastier chickens and eggs, we believe it makes for happier birds. We don't give our birds antibiotics, steroids, hormones, or vaccines, and only supplement their free-range diet with quality chicken feeds, minerals, and oyster shell. Just like the rest of our animals each one of our chickens is considered a part of the family, and we try to spend time every day to make sure that every one of them is getting the care and attention they need to live a happy life here at Grateful Akers.
What we sell
In addition to raising chickens for ourselves, we also sell eggs, chicks, pullets, laying hens, cockerels, roosters, and meat birds. While we used to offer purebred hatching eggs and chickens, we have taken down our breeding pens and now allow all of our chickens to free range together at their own discretion. Our purebred hens and roosters now intermingle, therefore we are not able to offer purebred hatching eggs, pullets, or cockerels at this time.
2019 chicks sold out
Our hens lay many different colors, shades, and sizes of eggs, so most customers receive a random assortment of what was laid on the day of purchase. A typical egg carton will include a mix of medium to large brown, blue, green, and white eggs.
Our laying hens have unrestricted access to pasture from dawn to dusk, allowing their diet to reflect what nature intended. We supplement their free-range diet with Omega-3 enriched layer feed and oyster shell, to ensure that our girls stay healthy and produce high quality nutritious eggs. We never give our birds antibiotics, hormones, vaccines, or steroids, allowing them to produce both natural and nutritious eggs.
Unless customers request otherwise, we wash all eggs on the day of sale. Most of the eggs that we keep for ourselves remain unwashed until it's time to eat them. Unwashed eggs have a natural antibacterial coating called 'bloom', do not have to be refrigerated, and will stay fresh much longer than a washed egg. Washing an egg removes the bloom, shortens its shelf-life, and requires that the egg be refrigerated until eaten. Once we wash your eggs and hand them over to you, we recommend that you put them in the fridge within a few hours. If you would rather purchase unwashed eggs, let us know ahead of time.
We sell eggs that are intended for eating at $4 per dozen.
Most of the eggs we sell are for eating, but occasionally we do offer fertilized eggs for those who wish to hatch their own chicks. Typically the hatching eggs we offer are Olive Egger, Crested Cream Legbar, or Barnyard Mix, however sometimes we receive extra hatching eggs from other breeders and will sell those extras.
We never wash hatching eggs, and strongly advise against it. The embryos within hatching eggs are protected by the bloom, and washing it off is almost certainly a death sentence for life within.
Depending on the type, we sell hatching eggs from $1 to $5 per egg.
We do sell chicks from 1 day to 4 weeks old, but chicks at this age require extra attention and constant access to a heat source. We understand that many people are unable to provide this for their chickens, and are happy to take a deposit on chicks that you would like to take home at a later age.
Price per chick varies widely depending upon age and breed. Typically, chick prices increase with age and rarity of the particular breed.
A pullet is a female chicken that is at least 1 month old but has not begun to lay eggs yet (there are many different definitions, but this is the one that makes the most sense to us). Different breeds begin to lay at different ages, so the age range of a pullet varies from bird to bird. Many people prefer to buy their chickens as pullets because they are cheaper to purchase and it allows the bird to bond with their new owner and home well before laying age.
As with chicks, price per pullet varies widely depending upon age and breed. Typically, price increases as the pullet ages and get closer to laying. Price also increases with rarity of and demand for the specific breed.
Female chickens typically begin laying at around 6 months old, though some begin as soon as 4 months and others may wait until closer to 1 year.
Price per laying hen varies, depending on the breed and how long the hen has been laying. A hen that has just started laying will cost more than a hen who has been laying for 1 year or longer.
Drastically undervalued by many, we consider roosters to be an invaluable part of any flock. Not only do they provide protection from predators, a good rooster will keep his flock in line when squabbles erupt, ensuring that subordinate hens are not ganged up on and that each of his ladies is getting enough to eat when tasty treats are found. We find that without roosters, hens form tight-knit 'clicks' that are more prone to territorial clashes. Though these 'clicks' will form with or without roosters, they tend to coexist more peacefully with a man around.
Since about half of the chickens we hatch turn out to be males, we do sell roosters to good homes that are ready and looking for a rooster to join their flock.
Though not yet offered to customers, we began raising broiler chickens this year with the goal of never having to buy chicken from the grocery store again. Despite the unpleasentries associated with harvesting a bird you've raised from hatchling, we consider it a small sacrifice to subject ourselves to one moment of unpleasantness in order to spare the bird a lifetime of crowded indoor plumping. While we know there are many responsible commercial poultry producers out there, we just feel better about eating chicken when we know it had a good life on sun-bathed pasture, with as little human interference on its daily routine as possible. Though they may not get as big as the behemoth chickens that come from commercial poultry operations, the taste of a bird raised naturally on green pasture will bow chicken-house birds out of the water any day of the week! Plus, we know exactly what is going into our birds before harvest and can ensure that each one has a good life, is harvested without pain, and is processed according to the highest standards of food-safety and sanitation. No matter what the label says, you just can't get that from a supermarket.
We're still experimenting with which meat breed we want to stick with, but are currently raising heritage Delawares. They were the last true dual-purpose chicken raised for meat before the monstrous Cornish Cross took over the meat chicken industry. Delawares are working well for us since they are more active foragers than most other meat breeds and do well in a free-pasture settings. If you are interested in learning more about pastured poultry, raising and harvesting your own food, or are interested in reserving your own meat birds from us in the future, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to talk more!
A few of our meat birds free ranging with the rest of the flock
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