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Free range heritage chickens

Free range chickens

Heritage turkeys

Definition of a heritage turkey

Heritage ducks

Heritage geese

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Scott and Kathy Mor
Green Earth Farm
8308 Barnard Mill Rd.
Richmond, IL 60071
(815) 351-6357

  certified naturally grown

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The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Free Range

Heritage Chickens and eggs

All our chickens are raised on open pasture free range organic chickensroaming the farm and getting plenty of sun and fresh air. Free ranging provides the best nurishment from the natural fields around.They are sheltered indoors at night for their own protection.

We only raise heritage breeds that are on the American Livestock Conservancy Breed list. These are the old time breeds raised on farms long ago - the staple of America long before industrialized farming.

All our chickens are fed organic feed, mixed by heritage barred rock pasture raised chickenhand on the premises. Our chickens are never given any antibiotics, medications, or chemical substances whatsoever.

Our chickens are raised naturally, and therefore are slowly grown to allow for the best maturation of their skeletal and muscular systems. This means that instead of 6-8 weeks to market as in most of the poultry industry these days, our chickens are usualy 4-5 months old at market time.

Our hens lay beautiful brown eggs that are not only delicious but extremely nutritious. We feed our layers a mix that is supplemented with flax seed to add the omega 3's in with them.

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Free Range Heritage Turkeys

free range heritage tukeys

We raise heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. All our turkeys are raised on pasture and are raised totally naturally. No antibiotics, hormones, GMO's or any chemicals are used. We raise them on vegetarian organic feed and our Turkeys are raised slowly over the course of seven months to allow for natural maturing and development.

We only raise a small flock each year, never overcrowd our birds, and raise them in humane conditions . These practices are the contributors to the fact that our birds are of the best quality, the most nutritous, and are the best tasting birds you can get.

Those interested in having a delicious heritage turkey for the holiday should contact us and deposit $15 to secure your order. A few weeks before the holiday you will be contacted to find out what size bird you are interested in. Birds are purchased on a first come first served and always sell out, so it is recommended that you get your order in as early as possible.

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Definition of a Heritage Turkey

All domesticated turkeys descend from wild turkeys indigenous to North and South America . They are the quintessential American poultry. For centuries people have raised turkeys for food and for the joy of having them.

Many different varieties have been developed to fit different purposes. Turkeys were selected for productivity and for specific color patterns to show off the bird's beauty. The American Poultry Association (APA) lists eight varieties of turkeys in its Standard of Perfection . Most were accepted into the Standard in the last half of the 19th century, with a few more recent additions. They are Black, Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Slate, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White, and Royal Palm. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy also recognizes other naturally mating color varieties that have not been accepted into the APA Standard, such as the Jersey Buff, White Midget, and others. All of these varieties are Heritage Turkeys.

Heritage turkeys are defined by the historic, range-based production system in which they are raised. Turkeys must meet all of the following criteria to qualify as a Heritage turkey:

1. Naturally mating : the Heritage Turkey must be reproduced and genetically maintained through natural mating, with expected fertility rates of 70-80%. This means that turkeys marketed as “heritage” must be the result of naturally mating pairs of both grandparent and parent stock.

2. Long productive outdoor lifespan : the Heritage Turkey must have a long productive lifespan. Breeding hens are commonly productive for 5-7 years and breeding toms for 3-5 years. The Heritage Turkey must also have a genetic ability to withstand the environmental rigors of outdoor production systems.

3. Slow growth rate : the Heritage Turkey must have a slow to moderate rate of growth. Today's heritage turkeys reach a marketable weight in about 28 weeks, giving the birds time to develop a strong skeletal structure and healthy organs prior to building muscle mass. This growth rate is identical to that of the commercial varieties of the first half of the 20th century.

Beginning in the mid-1920s and extending into the 1950s turkeys were selected for larger size and greater breast width, which resulted in the development of the Broad Breasted Bronze. In the 1950s, poultry processors began to seek broad breasted turkeys with less visible pinfeathers, as the dark pinfeathers, which remained in the dressed bird, were considered unattractive. By the 1960s the Large or Broad Breasted White had been developed, and soon surpassed the Broad Breasted Bronze in the marketplace.

Today's commercial turkey is selected to efficiently produce meat at the lowest possible cost. It is an excellent converter of feed to breast meat, but the result of this improvement is a loss of the bird's ability to successfully mate and produce fertile eggs without intervention. Both the Broad Breasted White and the Broad Breasted Bronze turkey require artificial insemination to produce fertile eggs.

Interestingly, the turkey known as the Broad Breasted Bronze in the early 1930s through the late 1950s is nearly identical to today's Heritage Bronze turkey – both being naturally mating, productive, long-lived, and requiring 26-28 weeks to reach market weight. This early Broad Breasted Bronze is very different from the modern turkey of the same name. The Broad Breasted turkey of today has traits that fit modern, genetically controlled, intensively managed, efficiency-driven farming. While superb at their job, modern Broad Breasted Bronze and Broad Breasted White turkeys are not Heritage Turkeys. Only naturally mating turkeys meeting all of the above criteria are Heritage Turkeys.

Prepared by Frank Reese, owner & breeder, Good Shepherd Farm; Marjorie Bender, Research & Technical Program Manager, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy; Dr. Scott Beyer, Department Chair, Poultry Science, Kansas State University; Dr. Cal Larson, Professor Emeritus, Poultry Science, Virginia Tech; Jeff May, Regional Manager & Feed Specialist, Dawes Laboratories; Danny Williamson, farmer and turkey breeder, Windmill Farm; Paula Johnson, turkey breeder, and Steve Pope, Promotion & Chef, Good Shepherd Farm.


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Heritage Ducks

Rouen ducks free ranging on the farm

On our farm we raise Rouens, Swedish and Pekin ducks. Just like the rest of our poultry they are raised free ranging, on a vegeterian organic feed. They recieve no antibiotics, hormones, or any chemicals whatsoever.

They love to waddle around and swim in the water that is available to them at all times.

Our ducks are medium sized, and due to the natural way they are raised, produce a delicious meat that is succulent and devine. Their eggs are somewhat of a delicacy as well!

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Heritage Geese

More information coming soon.

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Green Earth Farm
Scott & Kathy Mor
8308 Barnard Mill Rd.
Richmond, IL 60071
(815) 403-7735

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