Chicken Share

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Chicken Share-2018

Our Chickens are raised on pasture on our farm.

How we raise our Chicken?

Chickens raised on sunshine. Well almost. Pastured chickens are humanely raised on lush green pasture where they forage for grass and bugs, while also eating supplemental grain. The chicken pasture is herbicide, fungicide and pesticide free. They are moved daily to a fresh piece of pasture, this ensures that bacteria, germs and diseases are kept in check and their natural food isn’t decimated so no antibiotics or hormones are needed ever.

Benefits of our Chicken Share:

  • Nutritious local chicken that tastes like chicken
  • Convenient monthly pick-up at our Farm Stand
  • We offer whole and part options
  • Guarantee of fresh local chicken even when demand is high
  • Your chicken can easily be frozen and saved for the winter
  • Tips on how to cook your chicken & how to part a whole chicken easily
  • Our chickens are raised humanely with care in small batches

Chicken Share Details

You will pick-up your fresh or fresh-frozen chicken monthly in June, July, August & September.

More information on the exact date of pick-up will be available closer to the date. 

 

Mini Share: 9-11 pounds of chicken per pick-up. 

Full Share: 16-18 pounds of chicken per pick-up. 

Whole Share: 3 whole chickens per pick-up. 

 

Cuts will vary including boneless breast, legs, thighs, wings, whole chickens, half chickens, backs for stock, bone-in breast & boneless thighs.

Chicken parts are packages in 1-1½ lb packs, except wings which are 2-2½ lbs

Whole chickens- 4-5 lbs each

Half chickens-1½-2 lbs each

Backs 2½-3 lb packages

Giblets & Feet are available upon request.

Sample Shares

 

Mini

  • 1- 3½ lb whole chicken, 2 lbs of bone-in breast, 2 lbs of wings, 1 lb of thighs, 2 lbs of drumsticks. 
  • 1- 1½ lb half chickens, 2 lbs of boneless breast, 2 lbs of wings, 1 lb of boneless thighs, 1 lb of drumsticks, 2½ lbs of backs.

 Full

  • 1- 4 lb whole chicken, 3 lbs of bone-in breast, 4 lbs of wings, 3 lbs of thighs, 4 lbs of drumsticks.
  • 2- 2 lb half chickens, 2 lbs of boneless breast, 2 lbs of wings, 3 lbs of boneless thighs, 3 lbs of drumsticks, 3 lbs of backs.

We are working diligently to be able to provide ground chicken & chicken sausage this season and if all goes as planned there will be some in the share.

Why buy our Chicken?

Pastured chickens are raised in their natural environment where they have access to fresh air, fresh grass and bugs. Try to get that in a barn! Their diet on pasture reflects their natural diet making the meat from a pastured chicken more nutritious. A study funded by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education (SARE) Program found pastured chickens have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat, and 28% fewer calories & 50% more vitamin A compared to conventionally raised chickens. They have significant levels of omega-3 fatty acids, where a conventional chicken has none.

Why is our Chicken so Expensive?

You may have noticed by now that our chicken prices are much more expensive than the grocery store. There is good reason for this and in the act of transparency I will attempt to explain why your local chicken costs so much more. For fear of boring you I will stick with just the basic whole chicken which we retail for about $15-$25 each (3½ to 5½ pound chicken) .

Chicks: To start we have to buy chicks they cost $1.90 each with shipping, hatcheries own and do not share the formula for their broiler chickens so in order to get chickens that take 8-9 weeks to grow to a finished product we have to buy them. Maybe we could get a little bit better of a price but we prefer to have them come from as close as possible to reduce stress during shipping. It is worth the extra 25¢ in our eyes.

Feed: One chicken will eat on average 12-16 lbs of grain throughout it’s entire life. Smaller chickens will eat a little less while larger chickens will eat a little more. But my actual documented average is 14 lbs. Which costs $4.15.

Labor: Raising chickens on pasture is more labor intensive. We move these chickens once a day at minimum by hand to reduce stress. We check on, feed and water them 2-4 times a day. Our aim is for that chicken to have only 1 bad day in it’s life. Throughout that chickens entire life we spend .6 hours caring for 1 chicken.  At the current federal minimum wage that is $4.35 per chicken. This estimate on time doesn’t include basic pasture management either. Sometimes the grass needs to be mowed before the chickens can be moved to it and then there is the reseeding and leveling that needs to be done after they move off of a piece that they may have scratched up a little to much.

Processing: Whole chickens cost $5 to be processed. The closest USDA poultry processing facility to us is 1 hour away. The next closest is 2 hours away.

Just those 4 basic costs  for 1 chicken is $15.40. Then there  are other miscellaneous costs: bedding for when they are in the brooder, electricity to run their heat lamp, water, fuel. Capital costs & maintenance costs such as their housing, feeders, water containers, transport crates, electric fencing.

You may be wondering how can a whole chicken in the grocery store be priced for less than $1/lb? Well I will tell you: Big chicken companies own the hatchery, the grain mill and the plant where all of their chicken is processed. This means that their cost for Chicks, Feed & Processing is no where near what ours is.

They pay growers to grow their chickens. Growers pay for the housing that must meet the big companies specs, cost of labor, gas for heat, water, bedding and all other miscellaneous infrastructure.  They get paid based upon weight after the chickens are processed. If something happens while being grown at a growers facility the grower loses money. If the chickens do not gain as much weight as they should for a variety of reasons such as poor quality grain or inferior chicks, that comes from the growers pocket. Even though they have no control over the grain or chicks. The biggest risks in poultry farming are taken by the grower, not the big chicken company. On average a grower is paid 36¢ for each chicken that is processed, not per pound, for each chicken. See my cost for labor above to see how this is wrong.

We also do not produce chickens on a mass scale. We raise small batches of birds, not by the thousands. Each chicken tractor has only 30 birds, most times 25. This ensures that we can maintain the chickens best quality of life. If there is a problem with one of the chickens it is easier to pick it out of a crowd of 25-30 chickens than it is for the big guy out of a house of 10,000 chickens. The smaller housing also ensures that we are not walking in with the chickens, this scares them and causes undue stress. It also ensures that we can slowly move them by hand each day.

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