Chicken

 

Freedom Ranger Chickens in a new Berry planting

Our chickens are raised on pasture so-to-speak. We use portable shelters to move them through the orchards and gardens. With the portable shelters we can move the flock every day or even multiple times in a day. The chickens scratch the surface of the soil and find bugs and weed seeds. We feel their presence in the orchard both reduces pest pressure and helps enrich the soil. We are trying to have a diversity of animal species move through all the different production areas of our farm.

Portable chicken haulers

Portable chicken haulers

We use either old heritage chicken breeds or the French Freedom Ranger chicken. The old breeds are slower growing but well adapted to being outside and scratching for feed. The Freedom Rangers are a special breed from France. This line of chickens has been bred for fast growth on pasture. Unlike the fast growing meat bird hybrids that the chicken factories use, these birds are strong and agile and do well out doors. The Freedom Rangers don’t grow nearly as fast as the Cornish crosses, but they do grow faster than the heritage breeds. We have been raising Freedom Rangers for a few years now and we really like the breed.

Chickens scratching in and around the high tunnel after the plastic is taken off.

Chickens scratching in and around the high tunnel after the plastic is taken off.

Whole Roasters

Our Freedom Rangers were grown for a little over three months to a nice roaster size. The meat from these birds is of the highest quality. Unlike the hybrid birds grown indoors and butchered at nine weeks, our birds have firm flavorful meat. The white meat is a creamy tan color and the dark meat is light brown. Given the amount of exercise these birds get you will find there is more leg and thigh meat than breast.

If you have a special occasion coming up, try roasting one of these birds. It may be the best chicken dinner you have ever eaten. This rich meat is exceptional with a red wine sauce.

Organic Meat Availability

Production of meat on our farm is very limited. Availability will vary with the seasons. If you are interested in purchasing our certified organic orchard-raised meat and poultry please contact us. Send an email to [email protected] and we will put you on a contact list to let you know when and what products are available!

 

Here is an interesting article that Harry found about some possibilities of cooking with an organic, free range chicken!