Homestead Habitats
Contact: Martin Anderton
Address: 195 River Road Sunderland, MA, 01373
Email Address:
Phone: 413-325-1586
About Us
When you buy our chicken you are not just buying an outstanding bird, you are buying an outstanding story too. What makes them the best is the story of hope and gratitude that comes with them.
Chickens originated in the rain-forests of southeast Asia and are therefore more suited to a forest environment than a pasture one. Our chickens are part of a carbon sequestration research project, rotationally grazing through a budding edible food forest in an agroforestry system known as silvopasture. In this system the chickens are provided with a wide variety of seeds, insects, fungi and nuts that they would never have in a pasture. Their role in the project is to provide nutrients to the plants while eating potentially harmful insects. They also scratch up the surface soil, breaking up large pieces of organic matter and mixing in their nutrient-rich manure. Through the action of simply being allowed to live a more natural life these chickens are also helping to reverse climate change. All we have to do is monitor to make sure that they and the forest around them remain in balance.
Their housing consists of an open sided roof to protect them from rain. The houses are moved down the aisles of the food forest where the dense foliage provides shelter from wind and predators. Each house is surrounded by 50'x160' fenced area. The chickens generally stay within 20' of the house, so with each move each chicken is provided access to an average of 16 square feet of pasture per day. They are fed only organic feed to supplement what they forage.
We aim to provide a balanced ecosystem where humans, animals and the forest live together in symbiosis. It is our opinion that a creature that is doing so much for our environment and then even providing us healthy and wonderfully tasty food on top of that deserves to be provided the highest care, compassion, and respect. Unfortunately our level of production makes it difficult to process onsite, but our processor is located less than a mile from the farm and we know that he shares our views of the value of the lives of the chickens.
We can never stress enough the community-building benefits of local farms and local food production. Community members are invited to come interact with the birds as well as help out with daily care.
Our mission is not only to grow the best chicken in the world, but also to improve the health of the planet we live on and ensure that everyone in our community has access to healthy fresh food.
Food security, the environment, and community self-sufficiency are very important to us. Helping other people learn how to increase their own food security is also important to us, yet it seems that while backyard gardens have become much more common, relatively few people still raise food-producing animals or perennial food forest crops in urban settings. To begin to address this lack, we want to help people get started raising backyard animals, like chickens, ducks, goats, rabbits, and more, and start thinking about how to produce more tree, nut, and fruit crops in their own yards. We talk directly to people in our community to determine what they feel is the barrier that prevents them from growing more of their own food, and then work with them to create a solution tailored to their individual needs and situation.