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Out to pasture Fresh air, natural diets appeal to poultry - and customers

by 5m Editor
28 October 2005, at 12:00am

MICHIGAN - Jay Johnson figures if raising chickens in fresh air and sunshine was good enough for farmers a century ago, it&#39;s good enough for him today. After selling pasture-raised poultry and eggs from a Conway Township farm for nearly a year, he&#39;s learned a lot of other people agree. &quot;Some might think we&#39;re taking a big step backwards, but we&#39;re not,&#39;&#39; Johnson said. &quot;It&#39;s just the way it used to be, and it&#39;s better. The welfare of the animals is better and the meat and eggs are better tasting.&#39;&#39; Johnson and his wife, Vicky, have lived on the 23-acre farm they call Topsy Turvy Acres for 15 years. After nearly 30 years as a United Parcel Service driver, he decided it was time to collect a pension and start doing what he really wanted to do. &quot;I had a rigid schedule with no flexibility at all,&#39;&#39; Johnson said. &quot;I work seven days a week now but that beats five days a week at the other job. I&#39;m setting my own hours now.&#39;&#39; When their daughter and son were younger, the Johnsons raised chickens and sheep to show in 4-H. When it came to choosing one or the other to raise in bigger numbers full-time, the chickens easily won out, Johnson said. &quot;Lamb is a tough market to make money in, and chickens are easier to handle,&#39;&#39; he said. <i>Source: mlive</i>

5m Editor