We keep a flock of chickens who have free run of the orchard, and a gaggle of geese who paddle about in the pond. The chickens roam freely, have a gorgeous house designed and built by Alberto, and are fed only organic grains and sprouts to supplement the forage and insects they naturally seek out.
Every year a few of the hens successfully hatch a new clutch which keeps our flock producing. We allow all our hens and roosters to live their lives out naturally. I can’t justify slaughtering a hen simply because she no longer lays an egg every single day.
They serve us their fabulous eggs for years so I can’t find my way to killing them before their natural lifespan ends. I have two hens who are 8 years old and still hatch chicks every year.
We have Pilgrim and Toulouse geese. We are now down to only Frida, Diego, and Trotsky. Frida attempts to hatch new goslings every year so the numbers go up and down. Originally, we got the geese as guards to sound the alarm if foxes approach the hen house, but really they are just noisy pond cleaners.