Deck Family Farm laying hens are Certified Organic through Oregon Tilth. Organic Non GMO feed is milled fresh on the farm and soaked for the flocks daily. Laying hens play a vital role in our pasture management as their manure is an important contribution to soil fertility, Grazing hens also help disrupt parasite life cycles by their natural behavior of scratching and pecking. When hens graze through the fields they pick out parasite larvae left behind from the previous grazers, thereby leaving a clean and “parasite free” field that can then be re-grazed by another animal group. Using multi-species grazing allows animals to engage in natural grazing behavior, reduces the need for chemical de-wormers and encourages a variety of grasses to populate any given field as each animal group selects for specific types of forage. Pastures are cleaner and more diverse.
A secondary goal with our pastured laying hens is to source as much of our feed locally (from the Willamette Valley) as possible. We are currently milling and soaking our own feed as it gives us the ability to utilize grains grown in the area, the flexibility to use grains seasonally, and reduce overall costs. In the future, we hope to receive organic certification for our dairy so as to be able to use the milk in our feed to increase protein levels. The freedom to close the loop to your own system is one of the luxuries of having a diversified operation.
At Deck you will find a wide variety of layers that lay in a rainbow of colors. Birds you will see on the pastures are a mix of heritage and commercial breeds; such as Araucanas, White Leghorns, Minorcas, and Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Marans, Dominiques, and Sex-Links.