Pastured Eggs from Happy Birds

Our Animals

At the house we have a fair number of traditional, Italian heritage breeds of poultry: Tuscan Bantams, ‘Nana Muta’ Ducks, and Roman Geese: Sufficient to provide wonderful pastured eggs for baking and for your ‘English Breakfast’, during the peak laying season.

The ducks and geese are ‘confined’ to the lower slopes below the house. You will see them grazing and lazing on the olive terraces and saffron lawns during the day. Our traditional Tuscan bantams, on the other hand, have total freedom to forage wherever they choose. We maintain numerous wild areas around the villa’s garden, including the slopes and roadsides, filled with untouched wildflowers and grasses to attract them. These wild areas support insect reproduction, including butterflies, allowing us to watch several generations of plants and butterflies mature each year.

Our flock is a breeding flock, so we do have males. In primitive breeds like ours, males are essential for egg production and keeping the females safe from predators. Although our males crow, their calls are softer than those of larger, modern chickens.

Our bantams are not only a charming addition to the gardens but also authentic Tuscan farmhouse birds. They were the chicken of choice at properties like this until the 1940s, before incubators were invented. Due to the hens’ strong maternal instincts, they were used to incubate the eggs of birds like pheasants and grouse for hunting reserves.