Greenfire Farms is a family farm in the rolling hills of North Florida where we’re dedicated to one thing: farming the right way.
Greenfire Farms is a farm, and we are not a commercial hatchery. A hatchery is just that: a business that hatches chicks. The production of eggs is usually relegated to contract chicken breeders, and the hatchery has little or no daily interaction with adult chickens or control over the breeding decisions that are critical to maintaining and improving the quality of flocks. If you flip through a hatchery catalog you’ll notice a very curious thing: You rarely see pictures of the chickens that produced the hatchery’s chicks. Why? Because most hatcheries don’t keep breeding flocks of chickens, and the quality of the breeding stock that produces eggs for the hatchery may not be particularly good.
Commercial hatcheries are essentially industrial operations designed and built to hatch chicks from eggs purchased from someone else. That’s why many of these hatcheries are housed in large metal buildings packed full of huge walk-in incubators and tucked into industrial parks. From the outside they could be mistaken for any type of wholesale industrial operation. This type of large-scale hatchery is very efficient and can produce chicks at a very low cost. But, those low chick prices carry with them some hidden costs, usually in the quality of the chicks you’re buying and the quality of life of the birds that produced them.
At Greenfire Farms, we select and raise our own breeding flocks. We provide them excellent feed and housing and constantly monitor their health. We are also rigorous in selecting the best breeding stock from generation to generation –often soliciting an expert second opinion in this process– and our goal is to improve the average quality of the birds we raise with each generation. It doesn’t mean that every bird we produce is perfect, but it does mean that we always strive to improve our livestock. We track the pedigrees of our birds, and injecting genetic diversity and reducing inbreeding problems is almost an obsession on our farm.
We don’t cut costs at the expense of the well-being of our livestock. We take these rare animals and give them what they want most. Lots of sunshine, clean air and warm breezes, some of the best natural spring water in the world, and plenty of room to grow and roam. Our livestock get to act according to their natural inclinations. A cow gets to act like a cow. She gets to live in a herd on pasture and generally be true to her bovine nature. Our chickens live in large pens or free-range. A pen that holds three chickens on Greenfire Farms is about the same size as a pen that holds a thousand chickens on a factory farm. Our cattle graze on natural grass untouched by synthetic fertilizers or herbicides.
And when you buy livestock from Greenfire Farms, you’ll see the difference. Our animals grow healthy and strong from nutritious food. They are calm amid the daily interactions between people and the many breeds on a bustling family farm. They are, in short, happy. It’s what you get when you take animals and raise them the right way.