Pastured Chicken and Chicken Bone Broth
We’re beginning our 19th year of raising pastured poultry. We’ve done a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong too. Here’s how we are raising our pastured broilers now:
Groups of 80 chickens are housed in our A-frame Tri-pen coops. These coops are heavy enough to withstand our mountain wind gusts but light enough to be moved daily with a small RTV. When the broiler chickens come out of the protection of the brooder they come to these Tri-pens. The pens are moved to fresh grass every morning.
This year we are raising Freedom Ranger chickens and New Hampshire chickens for meat broilers.
The Freedom Ranger combines American and European genetics to create a quick-growing bird that retains some of the dark meat characteristics of a heritage breed chicken. Reaching market weight in 9-10 weeks, this bird has smaller breasts and legs and the dark meat retains a more traditional flavor. Since it retains the natural foraging instinct, this chicken is a good forager of seeds, insects, grubs, clovers, and pasture grasses.
Heritage Breeds- New Hampshires
The New Hampshire is a true heritage breed chicken recognized by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. These birds, and all heritage breed chickens, are incredible foragers supplementing their diet of grain with bugs, worms, grubs, pasture grasses, seeds, nuts and other protein sources. It takes about 16 weeks for heritage chickens to reach a weight of 3.5-4.5 pounds. The breasts of these chickens are smaller and the legs are longer and more proportioned to the body of the chicken than other breeds. The meat has a rich depth to it and a flavor our generation has never tasted in a chicken.
When a heritage breed laying hen has reached the end of her laying life, she can nourish us once more in the form of a stew hen. Great for bone broth and crock pot, these birds range between 2-4 pounds and range from very fatty to lean. Stew hens are $14 each.
Beginning summer 2023 we’ll be offering chicken bone broth.
Stay tuned for subscription details.