Our pastured poultry is available at our farmers markets and at our on-farm market stand. Chickens come fresh-frozen in bags and weigh around 3.5 to 4 pounds.
We receive our chicks from a supplier in Pennsylvania. They are shipped via the U.S. postal service and they are raised inside (to protect them from weather and predators) under heat lamps and windows that can be opened until they are 3 to 4 weeks old. At that point they have enough feathers and size to handle the elements. We then move them out to our mobile chicken coop in the pasture.
The coop provides the birds fresh air, sunshine and night protection from predators, and they have a run of grass protected by electro-netting to keep out predators. The coops are designed to move so that the chickens have fresh forage and bugs every day. As a bonus, while out in the pasture, they fertilize the field! However, most chickens can never get enough of what they need from just the wild, so their diet includes a feed. This feed includes corn, oats, roasted soy beans and a natural feed supplement of fish meal, kelp, vitamins and minerals and ground oyster shells to support bone strength. They are fed no antibiotics or by-products, animal or grain based, including no animal fats.
At around nine weeks we gather our chickens and take them for processing. They are prepared following strict Maryland Department of Agriculture processing guidelines. They are bagged, immediately cooled, and then frozen to keep them safe from pathogens. Our entire process is quick and designed to provide you with the most flavorful, ethical meat possible. The meat is not enhanced or injected with anything. You get the chicken the way they are supposed to taste.
Fresh eggs from our hens are also available in season.
Healthy Birds, Healthy Food
What are some health reasons for choosing pastured chicken and eggs?
Higher Omega-3s. '"Pasture-raised chickens have been shown to contain up to four times the amount of omega 3 fatty acids, as compared to free-range chicken" (1). They also have the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Together that means eating pasture-raised chicken makes it easier to balance the essential fats in your diet.
More vitamins. "Pasture raised chickens have more vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene' (2).
Happy and healthier chickens. Chickens raised on pasture have lives that are more normal—they avoid the stresses of caged life, have space to roam, they are not debeaked and do not have clipped wings.