Back in Time Farm

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Bill, Ruth and Parva in front of tractors.

Big News! Daily will be carrying special order Chickens from Back in Time Farm in Statham, GA starting Thursday, May 14th!

Customers should place their special order with a cashier, no deposit required — but we will need reservations each week to gauge how many we order.  Chickens will be delivered every Thursday.  They will and will come in small, medium, large and extra-large and will sell for $4.99/lb.

Daily recently made a trip out to the farm to visit with owners Bill and Ruth Hayden and learn a little about their chickens as well as their farming practices.

The Hayden’s purchased their farm five years ago.  At the time it was zoned residential so they had the 14 acres rezoned agricultural use and put in into a conservation easement. Next they had soil tested by a soil scientist and were told: “buy another piece of land.” The reason: because the Georgia clay would take so much work to turn into workable land. They persisted and have been working hard to improve the soil over these last five years — its working!

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Chicken tractors

They now grow strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, fruit trees and tomatoes among other goodies. They are able to produce their own fertilizer with composted chicken manure, coffee grounds (from Hendershots!),  and micro organisms that they grow themselves.They also keep Honeybees.

The chickens are protected from predators by being housed in portable chicken tractors (see photo) that are moved to fresh grass everyday.  These tractors are 6’ by 12’ and house 25 chickens per tractor. While 30 is considered humane, the Haydens prefer 25.

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Acres of carefully managed pasture.

They farm five of the acres. Most of the land is made of up grass pastures where goats and chickens are rotated.  They have a careful system of maintaining the pastures and working with different kinds of grasses. This includes keeping a minimal amount of animals per field to prevent overgrazing.

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One of the many rainwater collection tanks, and Parva.

They also collect rain water in giant tanks! The chicken drink this water exclusively.

The chickens are called freedom rangers because they were developed for the free range environment.They are a slower growth variety that takes between 10-12 weeks to raise from hatch to processing weight (standard broilers reach market weight of 5 lbs. in five weeks). When the chickens reach processing weight they are transported in one of the chicken tractors on a 5′ by 10′ trailer to Foot Hills Pilot Plant, a USDA certified Animal Welfare Approved facility located in Asheville, NC.

The Haydens use feed that is non-soy, non-corn and is milled in Alabama. It is not organic but is good feed.The main ingredients are sorghum grain, wheat middlings, black oil sunflower seeds and fish meal.

Thanks to the Hayden’s for sharing their farm with us! Place your order today for March 14th! Owner-Members should feel encouraged to reach out by email if you have questions.

Please note:  no decision has yet been reached by the Board of Daily Groceries Co-op regarding the request to ban meat.  Business as usual will continue until this decision is made.  No additions to our product line will be occur and no subtractions in the area of meat until the board has reached a decision.  The introduction of these special order chickens reflects a commitment made prior to the standing request to the board.