They're here again - our pasture raised, hormone free all natural chicken!! This year we changed the type of broiler we raise to the Poulet Redbro. These new birds are more agressive foragers and have a more natural growth pattern than the Cornish Cross.
It's been a challenging spring to raise chickens on pasture with all the cool wet weather. We've kept plastic sheeting over 3 sides and the top of each chicken tractor to retain warmth and protect the growing birds from the weather. We've had to move the tractors more often than usual because of the wet ground. But it's all been worth it!
We'll be processing our first batch of broilers this week.
Every spring the first batch is like learning how to process birds all over again. It takes Brian and I a while to get our rythm back. Once we hit our stride, we'll be able to process about 100 birds in a day thanks to the scalder and chicken plucker that Brian built.
Some folks wonder why we process all the birds we raise ourselves. There are a couple of reasons: 1. Chickens that aren't stressed out from travelling hundreds of miles to a processing plant are better tasting and tenderer. 2. We like to know how the meat is handled.
In a processing plant, chicken carcasses can soak in cooling vats for hours in water that is changed infrequently.
On the farm we take care not to stress the birds any more than is absolutely necessary. We pay close attention to how the meat is cooled and handled and packaged.
We believe that you will taste the difference, but you won't know if your don't try it.
Try one and decide for yourself.