• Last modified 628 days ago (Nov. 6, 2019)


Farmer's specialty is grass-fed chickens

Staff writer

When Duane Unruh started raising grass-fed chickens, it was as an FFA member at Peabody-Burns High School.

He left the area for college, but for the past five years, Unruh has been in Marion County and is grass feeding chickens as part of his business, Grayz ’n’ Layz.

“There are a lot of health benefits to it because eating corn has a lot of carbohydrates,” he said. “Having more of a natural diet is better for them.”

Instead of chicken coops, he remodels school busses to house the chickens. It works because the buses are insulated and Unruh can open or close the windows for fresh air.

“A lot of it was that I was a high school student with no money,” he said. “We didn’t have a lot of money to buy big equipment, so going this route of repurposing items to make things work was better.”

The busses can be moved when the chickens need a new area to feed, Unruh said.

“They’re out on grasses and in pastures, so they don’t have the stress of being in a barn or in cages,” he said.

The poultry are available for sale on Unruh’s property at the border of Marion and Harvey Counties on Indigo Rd.

Offering them for sale on the property lets his customers know what they are getting, Unruh said.

“They like it being a small farm and more community oriented,” he said.

One of the main reasons Unruh prefers grass fed chickens is that the birds get more exercise.

“I think it’s better than organic,” he said. “You can be organic, but they could still be in barns or sheds and not really outside.”

Unruh is looking to start grass feeding goats and hogs, but he is wary of taking on too much, too soon

“We’re getting to a size where we can’t get much bigger without more help,” he said.

Last modified Nov. 6, 2019