Grilled Organic Pastured Chicken

How to Cut Up (Quarter) a Whole Chicken

For anyone who ordered some of our whole chickens and for anyone else wondering how to go from a whole chicken to the traditional cuts, we’ve put together an instructional video showing step by step how to do it.   Continue reading “How to Cut Up (Quarter) a Whole Chicken”

Rhode Island Red Broiler Chicken behind fence

Essential tips to improve broiler chicken survival rates

If you’ve ever ordered chicks, you might have noticed a statistic for the “survival rate” or “mortality rate” or something like that included with the description of the breed.  This rate is to give us an idea of how many chicks will actually survive long enough to process.  Typically people assume a 20% loss in the chickens they raise for meat, and thus make sure to order more chicks to overcome the inevitable deaths of birds that don’t reach market weight.  I saw one hatchery proudly stating their chicks had a 70% survival rate.  That’s 3 out of every 10 chickens dying!  We need to do as much as we can to improve these odds.   Continue reading “Essential tips to improve broiler chicken survival rates”

How to catch a cockerel

Midday chicken chores have me and the little girls running from one side of the yard to the other with water, food, and entertainment a few times a day.  We fill up the food for the broiler chicks, who are doing really well in their bigger pen.  I haul water, refill and clean waterers, and my three-year old pokes sticks and weeds into the fencing, for her entertainment and theirs. Today, however, we had an escape! Continue reading “How to catch a cockerel”

Free Range Chicken

Is Organic Meat Really Better?

Chicken and other livestock raised for meat qualifies for USDA Organic certification if it meets the following guidelines: all feed consumed by the animal needs to be 100% organic from early in life, they must never receive any antibiotics, hormones, or other treatments, and they must have access to the outdoors on untreated, organic land with sunlight and shelter available (source).  From my research and experience, it would seem that organic practices alone don’t ensure the meat is tastier or even more nutritious than non-organic.  So what is the difference? Continue reading “Is Organic Meat Really Better?”

What is a Chicken Tractor? (with free chicken tractor plans)

So you’ve overcome the myths and misconceptions about raising chickens for meat and have decided you want to raise your own chickens for meat this summer.  Awesome! We’re totally with you!   You’ve browsed the catalogs, researched the breeds, and are ready to place an order.  But wait, where will you keep them as they grow?  A coop with a run will be a lot of work to clean, especially if you have a lot of chickens!  It’s time to think outside the box… or maybe inside one?   Continue reading “What is a Chicken Tractor? (with free chicken tractor plans)”