Our rust-colored laying hens are a hybrid breed named Red Star. They originate from the Rhode Island Red breed crossed with the White Rock breed. Consistent egg production and a social nature are two of the Red Stars’ traits. In our experience, heritage breed chickens tend to be more sensitive to changes in daylight throughout the year. Our Red Star hens produce the same amount of eggs in January as they do in July. We thank them every day for their hard work!
The exotic sounds on the farm come from our Coturnix quail. Folklore says their vocal calls mimic the way their name is pronounced. Coturnix quail are best known for their speckled eggs, which can be prepared just like a chicken or duck egg. We raise male and female quail. Anyone wishing to raise their own quail should contact us to purchase fertile eggs.
Each year we raise a variety of bantam chickens. Bantams refer to a miniature variety of chickens. Their breeds vary but their small size is consistent. The bantams are raised for the sole purpose of exhibition. Each October, they are entered into the Topsfield Fair, which is located in Topsfield, Ma. The females lay small eggs. Their egg consistency is often described as slightly sweet and creamy, more reminiscent of a duck egg. The roosters’ calls are softer than a standard sized rooster. Each year our bantam breeds vary. Silver Duck Wing, Golden Sebright, Silver Sebright, Black Rosecomb, and Black-Breasted Red Old English are a few of our favorites. Anyone wishing to raise bantam chickens should contact us; they are eligible for sale each October.
We raise Cornish-Cross chickens for meat. This cross is a result of a Cornish game hen crossed with the White Rock breed of chicken. In the farming industry, they are commonly referred to as broilers, which refers to their weight. On average, our broiler chickens weigh between 4 and 5 lbs, which makes for an ideal dinner. We raise the broilers from baby chicks and when they reach market weight, we bring them to a USDA-certified slaughterhouse to be processed.
Location is Everything
Our laying hens and bantam chickens have outdoor access year-round. They enjoy dust baths, foraging for bugs, and eating grass. The broiler chickens are raised outdoors during the warm weather months. Despite their reputation of being lazy, they also enjoy foraging for bugs and eating grass. During the winter months, our broilers are raised indoors with heat lamps and bedding made of pine shavings. The quail are raised indoors year-round due to their tendency to pick up unwanted diseases when raised on pasture.
Who Eats What
Regardless of being pasture-raised, we supplement all of our birds’ diets with chicken feed to ensure they receive adequate nutrition. If anyone has dietary and/or allergy concerns regarding chicken feed, please contact us. We never feed our poultry hormones or antibiotics.
Green Mountain Organic Layer Pellets
Blue Seal Extra Egg
Blue Seal Homefresh
Blue Seal Homefresh and / or Poulin Broiler Crumble
About the Farm
True Grit Farm consists of approximately 2.5 acres. We lease a portion of a 25-acre parcel of land. The property was formerly known as Heliotrope Hill Tree Farm. The longstanding tree farm operation resulted in acidic soil. For the past year, we have been amending the soil with lime and nitrogen (thanks to the chicken manure!) We would like to grow vegetables on site once our soil supports a healthy PH level. To read more about our land check out a recent article published by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project.
Where to Buy Our Products
Danvers Farmers’ Market: Wednesdays 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., June 7 to August 30: 87 Elm Street, Danvers, Ma, adjacent to the Northeast Community Bank.
Cape Ann Farmers’ Market: Thursdays 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., June 1 to October 12: Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, Ma.
Common Crow: Gloucester, Ma: chicken, chicken eggs & quail eggs
Eva’s Farm Organic Butcher Shop: North Beverly, Ma: chicken eggs & quail eggs
Vidalia’s: Beverly Farms, Ma: chicken, chicken eggs & quail eggs
Short and Main: Gloucester, Ma: chicken & chicken eggs
The Market: Annisquam, Ma: chicken
Henrietta’s Table: Cambridge, Ma: chicken
Asta: Boston, Ma: chicken
Duckworth’s Bistrot: Gloucester, Ma: chicken eggs
At Our Farm:
Customers can buy directly from us, however this option works best when pre-arranged. Our farm crew is not always on site and we do not have a farm stand. Part of our future expansion includes a farm stand where customers could buy products … stay tuned for more details!
Get In Touch
How to Find Us:
Address: 26 Old England Road, Ipswich, Ma. 01938