Our hens. Olga, Phoebe, Flossie, Henny-penny, Opal, and Pearl. Three Rhode Island Red and three Barred Rock. With no roaming restrictions, their diet is varied and nature-inspired, exercise occurs regularly and freely throughout the day in the fresh air and sunshine, and human contact aids psychological health. They must follow two rules. Eggs must be laid in the coop's straw-lined nesting boxes and all hens must return to the coop at dusk. A simple, happy life with few rules but very important ones.
Free-range foraging is supplemented with a chicken layer ration that we purchase from Buckwheat Growers in Wadena, (Minnesota). It is "transitional" feed, which means that it is raised using organic growing methods, but the farmer's fields are not yet certified organic. It takes a three year period to receive certification. This particular mix consists of barley, field peas, flax, buckwheat, oats, kelp, and vitamin and mineral supplements. Our hens eat well so that we may eat well.