On Marin Sun Farms we raise our poultry on pasture. Poultry brought up with fresh air, sunshine, and fresh pasture under them, produce the highest quality, best tasting eggs and meat. Keep up to date on the latest news with our Production Blog.
Our poultry graze pastures in planned rotations that provide the pasture plants and soil, the disturbance, nutrients, and rest/recovery needed to build additional soil, enhance bio-diversity, harvest solar energy, and demonstrate a more sustainable food model. From our coastal ranches with a variety of native grasses, to our inland valley ranches with planted and irrigated pastures, our livestock feed, converting stored solar energy within pasture plants into delicious and nutritious meat and eggs.
Our poultry are provided with portable shelters for their protection and organization. These movable shelters are designed to allow each poultry species (Layer Chicken Flock; Broiler Chicken; Duck; Turkey; Game Birds) the requirements they need, such as: egg boxes lined with bedding, a roost, water storage and drinkers, and supplemental feeders. We move their shelters so they always have access to fresh pasture.
Winter – Off Season Production
During our wet season, from October through March, our poultry are either housed within our brooder barns to protect them from inclement weather, or not produced during this off season. These birds cannot tolerate a high moisture environment. They will perish if left in pasture during this wet season. Within our brood barns, the birds are provided deep composting bedding (that produces heat) and plenty of space to roam and socialize.
Our poultry ingest a wide variety of plants, bugs, insects, larva, seeds, grass, etc…from the pasture. We supplement their diet with a mixture of locally sourced grains, proteins, kitchen scraps, and free choice minerals.
Pasture Raised Layer Flock
Our shelters are constructed as portable hoop houses on wooden skids. Our layer flock ranges from it, eating bugs and scratching through cattle droppings in the pasture just like birds in nature that always follow herbivores. While spreading out the dung piles in search of insect larva, our birds assist in more quickly re-assimilating the nutrients back into the soil, while at the same time ingesting high quality pertinacious larva that would otherwise mature into pesky livestock flies. Our birds also convert their food into rich nitrogen fertilizer that is deposited directly onto, and metabolized by our pastures. We keep layers and roosters for up to two production years. At that point, the layers don’t lay enough eggs to be economical and we prepare these old birds, along with their roosters, as Range Hens and Range Roosters. Although they are tougher than the young broilers, the taste is incomparably superior and the broth is exquisite. These must be slow cooked in order to be tender.
Our eggs are some of the finest available. You will notice the rich and deep orange color in the yolks and the firmness of the whites. Recent scientific studies comparing pasture based eggs to confinement eggs (including certified organic), have shown more naturally balanced levels of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and cholesterols. The eggs are only washed if necessary, packaged on farm, and delivered fresh to market within 4 days. Availability changes with the seasons as the hens adjust to longer and shorter daylight hours. Peak production is in spring and summer and the lowest production in the fall and winter months.
Pasture Raised Broilers, Ducks, Turkeys, and Game Birds
Our shelters are constructed as floorless and portable, housing about 65 broilers each to grow these 9-10 week old meat birds (Shelters are adapted for other species). Moved twice daily to fresh pasture paddocks, these birds receive fresh air, exercise, sunshine, and all the grain they want. Integrating the cows to graze ahead of the shelters shortens the grass and encourages ingestion of tender, fresh shoots of grass. We want these birds to eat as much green material as their full genetic potential will allow.
The following breeds have frequented our pastures:
Layer Flock: Rhode Island Red – Barred Rock – Americauna – Buff Brahma – Welsummer – Golden Seabright – Red Old English – New Hampshire Red – Dark Brahma – Millie Fluer – Buff Orpington – Black Sex Link – Black Astralorp – Silver Seabright – Deleware – Golden Sex Link – Barred Cochin – Silver Laced Wyandotte – Golden Laced Wyandotte – White Crested Black Polish – Black Breasted Old English – Jersey Black Giant – Brown Leghorn
Broiler Flock: Cornish Cross – Freedom Rangers – Red
Turkey Flock: Heritage – Broad Breasted Bronze – Broad Breasted White
Duck Flock: Pekin – Moulard – Muscovy
Organic? Local? Grass Fed? Pasture Raised? Humane?
- We are not certified organic.
- We use no herbicides or pesticides on the pastures where our poultry lives.
- We use no hormones or artificial growth stimulants.
- Our poultry are free of antibiotics.
- Our poultry are pasture raised.
- Our birds are never de-beaked.
- Our poultry are locally raised within the Bay Area Food-Shed.
- Supplemental feed specifics.
MSF Poultry are raised on farms within the Bay Area Food-Shed. Poultry are slaughtered at Grimaud Farms in Stockton. The carcasses are transported to the F. Uri Meat Company USDA facility in San Francisco and prepared for wholesale sales. Poultry destined for retail sale are then transported to the MSF retail butcher shops in Point Reyes Station or Oakland, for further fabrication, cutting, and packaging.
It is the connection and transparency from production to plate that is most critical in upholding the highest level of integrity. If you have any questions or would like clarification on anything, please contact us.