We raise two types of chickens here at Watson Farms: Broilers (meat) and Layers (eggs)
These meat chickens are started in a brooder house for the first few weeks after hatching. Once they develop adult feathers they are moved into a 10’x12′ pasture shelter where they receive fresh air, sunshine and a new “salad bar” every day. The once-per-day move helps the birds to ingest as much grass as possible and gets them away from yesterday’s manure. They never receive hormones or antibiotics.
They are supplemented with a natural free-choice grain ration as well. This feed is made from non-GMO whole grains, and is sourced locally when possible. We mill the feed on-farm so that we can control costs and quality.
We process the chickens under a South Carolina poultry processing exemption for small farmers. By processing on-farm we are able to oversee the entire process and ensure quality of the highest level.
All of these practices come together to provide you with a rich, nutrient dense chicken product that is rare and almost impossible to find in grocery stores.
The system is modeled closely after the Polyface model for pastured broilers.
Our laying hens live in portable greenhouses on skids that we move to a new spot every other day from March to November. In the winter we move the hens into a stationary barn with doors cut in the sides so they can range out and forage.
We hand-gather, wash, and pack the eggs daily for the absolute best quality.
The ability to forage for grass and bugs makes the eggs super-rich and nutrient dense. The hens cover about 30 acres of pasture in a year’s time! Moving them constantly like this keeps the manure spread evenly across the fields and keeps fresh grass under the hens. This makes happy hens that lay well.