Raising chickens is an exciting endeavor for young farmer Jennaleigh Beatty of Step 2-rated NatureRaised Farms®. Every day is an opportunity to improve the lives of birds under her care. A native North Carolinian, Jennaleigh always enjoys the hard work needed to help her family-run farm thrive. While caring for her flock, Jennaleigh’s enthusiasm for working with animals extends even further as she pursues her interests in the veterinary field.
How long have you been farming chickens?
I have not always raised chickens but was raised on a small family farm where we raised beef cattle throughout my childhood. In June 2011, I started raising chickens at our property in Sherrills Ford, NC.
So, tell us about your farm!
My farm is a two-house operation where we raise roughly 50,000 chickens per flock. We’re located in a small yet growing town in North Carolina. The land around the chicken houses is used to grow hay for our cattle, soybeans, and sometimes wheat.
What is a highlight of your workday?
The highlight of my workday is that I wake up doing what I love. Too many people have jobs that they dread. I am just thankful that I have the opportunity to work with animals all day long.
What does farm animal welfare mean to you?
I believe an important part to growing and taking care of my chickens is treating them in the most humane way possible. We take extra steps in our operation to ensure the chickens are happy and healthy. We use enrichments, such as wood structure blinds, to entertain the chickens and help them feel safe. With the help of the Global Animal Partnership standards and team, we are able to define and highlight the lengths we go to in order to make sure our birds are raised the right way.
My philosophy while caring for the animals on my farm is that they will have the healthiest and safest environment I can possibly provide. I am also a veterinary technician, so animal welfare is very important to me.