About Our Business
Chickens are different than many people think. They are as intelligent
as some primates and research shows that they are even future-
aware. We think they are no different than common household pets,
such as dogs and cats. And they are just fun to watch!
We provide great homes for these intelligent, friendly, happy
creatures! They are believed to have been domesticated as early as
3200 BC, around the same time as the domestic cat, so they make
great human companions.
Following are some links about the farm and about how poultry are
treated in general.
Santa Cruz Sentinel Article
Egg-ceptional hens: Black Hen Farm a haven for rescued chickens
Humane Society Article
Hens Bring Joy to California Family
Bird Flu Guidelines for Poultry Keepers
Black Hen Farm has taken measures to prevent our birds from
contracting contagious disease, such as bird flu.
Protecting Domestic Birds From Bird Flu
Commercial Egg Production Information
Black Hen Farm uses very different practices than commercial egg
Humane Society of the United States
The Disposal of Spent Laying Hens
Commercial Production with Ducks
Ducks can be treated very badly by commercial industry.
Humane Society of the United States
Just about all egg and meat producers use hatcheries. Black Hen
Farm does not.
Photos of Discarded Chicks
Report on Killing Male Chicks
Hatcheries As Source of Disease in Chicks
Remember that free-range producers often buy chicks from the
same hatcheries as commercial producers. At Black Hen Farm, we
send samples to our state lab to screen for disease organisms. Our
new birds are rescued and quarantined, or hatched on the farm.
CDC says Easter chicks carry health risk
CDC: Why parents should think twice before giving baby birds for
CDC: Three Outbreaks of Salmonellosis Associated with Baby
Poultry from Three Hatcheries
Recovery of Campylobacter from Commercial Broiler Hatchery
Predators: What They Do To Chickens, and
What Free Range Chicken Keepers Do To Them
(warning: many items are graphic)
We're posting this link by request, not to offend or judge anyone.
People have asked why we've built the more expensive predator-
proof runs and housing that we have. Remember that free range
producers compete with commercial producers who have cut-rate
prices, and in order to stay in business, they have to cut their costs
as much as they can. Consumers need to tell them that they will pay
more to offset higher housing costs.
Vegetarian Feed for Poultry
Black Hen Farm poultry are fed a vegetarian feed, which is our
personal choice. Some operations feed meat and fish protein, often
from the discards of the industry. Studies of Red Jungle Fowl, the
ancestors of chickens, show that they ate mostly plants (fruits,
vegetables, and seeds) and insects. We think that a diet with meat or
fish products is unnatural for chickens. Further, research shows that
eating "high on the food chain" can cause disease, parasite, and
toxin issues. Toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals
concentrate more heavily in the fat and organs of animals who eat
meat. We don't use animal-derived products on our vegetable and
fruit crops either, other than composted bedding from our organically
fed poultry and our goats. (One of the following articles has a
religious slant; we are posting it purely for the scientific information.)
Field Study of Red Jungle Fowl in North-Central India
Scientific Reasons Behind Jewish Dietary Laws
Some Reasons to Eat Low on the Food Chain
Possible Link Between Mad Cow and Chickens
Our poultry are not fed cow flesh (or any meat).
Mad-Cow Feed Rules Should Ban Poultry Feces, U.S. Senator Says
US Violates Global Standards on Preventing Mad Cow Disease
Possible Link Between Bird Flu and Chickens/Waterfowl/Pigs/Fish
Our poultry do not have any contact with pigs or wild waterfowl at the
farm, nor do they eat the flesh of these animals or fish. Our ducks
have separate runs and none of our birds have ever tested positive
for any form of avian flu. Our birds drink purified water (filtered and
disinfected with ozone) from our 140-foot well.
WHO Avian influenza fact sheet
Pigs and Influenza
Out of the Trenches: 1918 Spanish Flu
Intensive Production and Increased Virus Virulence
Ecological Farming Association
Animal Welfare Certification
Predator Friendly Certification
Farming with the Wild -- Resources
Organic Farming & Ranching: Conserving the Land & Wildlife for
Fish-Friendly Farming Certification
Black Hen Farm T-Shirts and More
Black Hen Farm Logo Items
Appearances and Articles
Eco-Farm Conference 2007
"Current Topics in Poultry Production"
Jan 25, 2007 from 4-5:30pm
Sept 20, 2006 at 2:30pm
Look for our article in the November 2006 Touch The Soil magazine,
a highly recommended publication about small, ecological, humane,
and sustainable farms. It has a good blend of practical and
conceptual information on both the micro and macro levels.