At Botany Bay Farm we strive to produce healthy, contented animals; fertile, sustainable land; and healthy, nourishing food using holistic family-friendly farming methods. Our goal is to be good stewards of the earth and the animals under our care. We do not use hormones or antibiotics on our animals; or chemical fertilizers or pesticides on our land. Instead, we strive to manage our farm using the natural balance found in creation to keep our animals healthy and our land enriched.
Our cattle and laying hens are raised using a farm management system known as "symbiotic, rotational grazing." This hands-on model of farm management mirrors the natural symbiosis found between animals and pasture lands in creation. Twice a week we carefully herd our cattle through a maze of fresh, nutrient-dense pasture paddocks using portable electric fencing. This allows our cattle to stay closely herded together (similar to how they would naturally graze in the wild), and provides them with a new and daily supply of fresh, lush grasses on which to graze. The end result is that our cattle always have fresh, tasty grass to nibble, and a clean, healthy environment in which to live.
Instead of spending days (or weeks, or months) living on top of the "cow pies" that they create, our cattle move to fresh pasture every day. And, in their absence, the droppings they leave behind are given the opportunity to quickly be overtaken by flies eager to lay their eggs. Earthworms proliferate; and bugs and insects swarm to begin breaking down the leftover droppings. After two or three days, we allow our laying hens to run freely through these now deliciously bug-rich paddocks. They quickly get to work scratching through the cattle droppings and searching out as many tasty bugs as they can find. Their foraging cleans, sanitizes and further fertilizes the pastures, causing the grasses to grow even more lushly than before. This cycle completes itself when we finally - weeks later - return the cows to the original pasture paddock that they began with - now fresh, fully grown and ready to be manicured by the cattle once more.
Our pigs and meat chickens also enjoy a rotational grazing lifestyle. Every other week our pigs are provided with a new paddock of fresh, wooded "pasture" in which to forage. This provides them a constant supply of nuts, weeds, roots, and grubs to eat. Our pigs love the exercise and entertainment, and the wide variety of natural forage that they ingest also significantly adds to the flavor of their meat. Because our pigs are being continually moved through their forest habitat, their home never has a chance to degrade into a "stye". Instead, our pigs stay happy, healthy, and odor-free as they grub their way through the woods. Their natural, piggy activities rototill the ground and distribute fertilizer throughout the soil, setting the stage for beautiful new grasses to grow and creating an even better environment for them to one day root through again.
Similarly, we move our meat chickens to fresh pasture daily. This mirrors the chicken's natural desire to roam, and also provides them with a natural and plentiful diet of bugs and fresh grasses on which to graze. This regular rotation to new pasture keeps our birds both healthy and happy by giving them fresh, clean pasture to enjoy and a large selection of bugs and worms to eat. And the end result of this process is not only superior meat, but beautiful, well-fertilized pastures for our birds to enjoy for years to come.