by Sam Karns
Cornercopia Student Organic Farm is going to have chickens again this year! Sustainable farming has to include an element of farm-generated fertility, and animals are a great way to fill that need. With chickens on the farm, revenues increase through their products, and costs go down because farmer's have a lesser demand for fertilizer! But as with all the vegetables being grown this year (many of which are started in the greenhouse waiting to be planted) a good amount of spring preparation needs to happen before animals come on the farm for the season too, and we are busy getting things ready! Old plastic has been pulled off the coops and new tarps will be going on, repairs are being made, chicks are being ordered, feeding rations are being planned, and poultry barn space has been reserved!
This year, in partnership with MISA and UMN-Extension, we will be raising both broilers (chickens for meat) and layers (chickens for eggs). We'll have two 100 chicken batches of broilers (100 of the conventional Cornish Cross variety, and 100 Freedom Rangers, a newer French-bred, pasture specific variety) and 20 layers. Meat will be sold to the Campus Club restaurant, and the eggs will be sold at our St. Paul market stand.
We're incredibly excited to have poultry pals on the farm again, and our first batch of chicks arrived a couple of weeks ago (April 19th shown above)! Stay tuned for more updates.