Happy Chickens

The Robert Wood Woodfin Community Urban Farm, affectionately known as the Falconhurst “Back 40,” is lucky to partner with another Asheville non-profit, Patchwork Urban Farms. Patchwork Urban Farms has pastured chickens on the property. The chickens are on a rotational grazing system, prepping land for cultivation.

The flock is comprised of three hearty heirloom breeds, Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, and Barred Plymouth Rocks. Australorps are an Australian breed with soft black and iridescent green and purple plumage. They are prized for their egg laying and nest sitting. Rhode Island Reds are an esteemed American breed, and the state bird of Rhode Island! They are good flyers and if you see a chicken outside of their fencing, it’s probably one of them. Barred Plymouth Rocks are another beautiful American breed. They are known for being curious and people-loving!

Not only do the chickens lay eggs that people can eat, they also serve another purpose, digging up the ground and fertilizing it with their droppings. It’s work they like though, as they are searching for larvae and tender roots to eat to supplement their diet. Pasture-raised chickens are known for their exceptionally nutritional eggs.

The chickens are cared for by a neighborhood team! The team splits up the chores of: letting the chickens out of their mobile chicken coop in the morning, collecting eggs, and shutting them back in at sunset. The chickens are in a coop at night to protect them from their many predators, and to help them stay warm. Foxes, bobcats, coyotes, bears, raccoons, opossums, skunks, weasels, and pet dogs are all chicken predators. During the day, the chickens are protected by light electric fencing. This also helps to rotate their grazing efforts from plot to plot.

If you want to learn more about the chickens or Patchwork Urban Farms, email Sunil Patel at patchworkurbanfarms@gmail.com. A big thank you goes out to Rives Rea Yost who was interviewed for the content of this post.

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