Heritage chicken breeds at Rainbow Ranch Farms can include:
Black Copper Maran
Malaysian Jungle Fowl
Indian Jungle Fowl
English Cornish (Cornwall England)
White Plymouth Rocks
Mediterranean Chickens (Italian and Greek)
White Giants and more.
Specific breeds depend on time of year, hatch rate and availability. Heritage breeds are not considered production breeds, and they are not considered broiler birds. They are not dependent on artificial insemination, nor do they ever require grains (corn, soy or wheat) to thrive.
When the birds come from strong genetic lines, they have a strong immune system, and require no vaccines. Our grandparent, and parent stock are from closed flocks.
Heritage chickens are natural foragers, and perform very well on the free-range, and tend to themselves.
What do foraged chickens eat in the High Desert?
At Rainbow Ranch Farms: worms, grubs, night crawlers, flying insects, June bugs, gnats, beetles, larvae, small grass seeds, flower seeds, cactus fruit, mulberries, fallen fruit, Joshua Tree seeds, decomposing vegetation (from the mulch piles), figs, vegetables, greens, fruit and much more.
When birds are free to roam the farm, and follow the cows, sheep, hogs and goats they enjoy scratching and pecking through the droppings left behind. This helps with insect control, and keeping a natural, ecological balance, all while providing a species-specific fodder system for the chickens.
We grow seasonal, heirloom and High-Brix gardens from saved seeds, to include: greens, vegetables, squashes, melons, fruit, tomatoes, peppers, native pastures and more. Our gardens always produce enough for our family, our livestock and enough to share with others too.
The chickens roam around in the milking barn, and when the goats are away, the chickens are at play. Grains are not a sustainable way to raise poultry, especially for a small family farming operation. Grains are a commercial commodity, and require serious irrigation, many acres and in many cases heavy equipment and leave behind a massive footprint.
In fact: Soy is highly poisonous, dangerous to handle and toxic when raw. It must be handled with extreme caution, while wearing a hazmat suit, and fully cooked before feeding to any livestock or humans.
WARNING: Soy and flax seeds are loaded with phytoestrogen compounds (Isoflavones). They are known to cause infertility in birds and there is evidence of causing cancer in humans.