We raise two varieties of broiler chickens. The Cornish Cross variety is a large, meaty broiler. Their body type makes them ideal for dividing into cuts. They produce generously sized boneless breasts, tenders, wings, thighs, and drumsticks. We also raise the “Freedom Ranger”. These chickens combine the flavor and texture qualities of a heritage breed with better growth characteristics than the other traditional breeds. These chickens have exceptional flavor and are notably the best roasters you can buy. The Freedom Rangers take two to three more weeks to mature and are smaller than the Cornish Cross variety. We offer these as whole chickens ready to go in the oven or on the grill. Other than the amount of time they are with us, we treat both types of chickens the same.
We purchase day old chicks from quality, family-run hatcheries.
The small batches of chicks are cared for in brooder sheds for their first 3 weeks until they are ready to go out on pasture. In the brooder sheds, the chicks have fresh bedding and free access to water, natural light, and quality feed.
The birds are fed a well-balanced, all-grain feed. The feed contains no medications or animal by-products. The birds are not vaccinated and are never medicated.
When the chicks have put on their feathers and are up to the challenges of outdoor living they are moved to open-bottom shelters. These shelters provide predator protection and some protection from the elements while providing the chickens access to fresh grass, insects, fresh air, and sunshine. The shelters are moved every day so that the birds have access to fresh pasture all the time.
When processing time comes, approximately 7 to 10 weeks old depending on the breed, the chickens are moved a few hundred feet to our on-site processing facility. Processing on-site greatly reduces travel stress on the birds compared to transporting them over the road for processing.
The chickens are euthanized in a humane manner that minimizes stress and discomfort while providing excellent meat quality. After plucking and cleaning, they are immediately chilled in an ice water bath. The chickens are not subjected to an anti-bacterial dunk like supermarket chicken. When thoroughly chilled they are packaged and immediately placed in the freezer.
We also raise turkeys in the fall for the holiday seasons. They are raised in the same manner as our chickens; on pasture with all-grain feed without medications or animal byproducts, except they are in open, fenced-in areas and not in moveable shelters.
Our eggs come from our flock of red sex-link egg layers. They are highly prolific layers and are friendly, happy hens. We house them in a permanent coop with access to a large, protected yard. We let them out on pasture (or they sneak out) and roam freely on occasion, but we have ever-watching hawks and critters that are always on the lookout to grab an easy meal out of our chickens. Sadly we cannot let them roam on their own. The eggs we collect are washed, candled for cracks and blood spots, then packaged.