The Chickens of One Earth Farm


Like Sir John Sebright or Mrs. Nettie Metcalf before us, our interests lean towards “what could be” rather than “what was.” We are not preoccupied with preserving the purity of a breed or creating in form and feather an exact interpretation of a breed standard. These things are the mainstay of the heritage breeder and competitive show folk - and rightly so. Rather, we strive to create beautiful fowl that produce lots of eggs and meat in a free range organic system of management. Our selection perimeters also include longevity, disease resistance, calm temperaments, and cold-hardiness. But our primary goal is to maintain genetic diversity and utility in birds whose beauty will inspire another generation of breeders.

Nothing says diversified family farm like a flock of free range hens. Indeed, many old time farmers wax poetic at the site of our flock, recalling the day when every farm had a flock of chickens. Of course where they expect to see a rhode island red they see a chantecler, and where they expect to see a plymouth rock they see a french marans. The players have changed, but the game is the same – lots of nutritious, delicious food and hours upon hours of entertainment and inspiration at very little cost.

There are few things more near and dear to me than the bantams here at One Earth Farm. If there is any joy to be had in a cabbage worm, any excitement brewing on a gloomy cold November morning, or any beauty to be found in a steaming pile of dung these little soldiers are quick to point it out to you. A brooding bantam hen is more Zen master than any who might proclaim themselves to be, and a crowing bantam cock can school you in a single morning in ways that “The Six Pillars of Self Esteem” can never. It is often said that bantams are “the flowers of the poultry garden,” but here at One Earth Farm they are the flowers, the vegetables, and the soil itself. They feed the mind, body, and spirit like few things can. If you have any doubt, I’d urge you to keep a small flock of your own for a year or two and see for yourself if life wasn’t made a little sweeter for having them.

"The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly.” – Aldous Huxley

Our large fowl are akin to a Farmall tractor fitted with a Rolls-Royce exterior.  At One Earth Farm, a thing of beauty on the kitchen table doesn’t run counter to a thing of beauty in the yard.  They are one in the same.  There are many who keep a small flock of ornamental and heritage poultry but then dishonor them by buying broiler chicks every year to “fill the freezer.”  Such is the selection process undermined, turning once useful heritage breeds into mere shells of their former selves - all the while rewarding the monolithic broiler industry.   Please add some beautiful chickens to your homestead plot, and please, please, please eat them – they deserve it!

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