At Stonewall Farm, we are grateful to be part of a community that cares deeply about animal welfare. The care of our animals is a top priority and we will always take very seriously any concerns about them.

Over the July 4 holiday weekend, a picture was posted on Facebook of a chicken that had died in our coop. The Stonewall Farm staff and board took immediate action to discuss and investigate the situation. In the days immediately following, we had a member of the Keene Police Department, local animal control and the state Agricultural Division veterinarian visit and inspect the farm. They all found no issues with the health and well-being of our chickens or the size and condition of the coop. We have also conducted a careful internal review of the weekend’s events, our animal care protocols and examined the coop. We have concluded that, while understandably upsetting, our chicken died of natural causes, not from neglect.

Our flock of over 40 chickens are let out of the coop daily to roam and forage — foraging is an important aspect of our integrated farming process and their primary means for accessing food and water. Every evening they are fed, watered and placed in the coop. In anticipation of being let out of the coop, their normal behavior is to become excited and press themselves up against the front of the coop. On July 4, one of our employees was running late, due to illness, and the chickens were about two hours off their usual foraging schedule.

We have taken this moment to reflect, review and further improve the experience offered by Stonewall Farm. We have additional interpretive information and exhibits planned to help educate the visiting public about life on a working farm. We encourage you to join us on Saturday, July 25, from 6 to 7 p.m. for a tour of the farm.

Stonewall Farm exists for, and because of, this wonderful community. Our farm is run by a passionate, but small team that works hard to keep it operating, thriving, free and open to the public and we are extraordinarily grateful for them.

We need the support of our community now more than ever and want to hear from you. What is most important to you about Stonewall Farm? If you have ideas, questions or concerns, please share your thoughts with us directly at SWFVision@stonewallfarm.org.

JESSICA FULLER

Member, Board of Directors

Stonewall Farm

117 Tuttle Road

Spofford