Why is free-range chicken tougher than grocery-store chicken?
Free-range chickens get lots of exercise causing the meat to be leaner and denser (more muscular). Mass-produced chickens are confined causing the meat to be fattier, which increases tenderness.
What’s the best way to cook free-range chicken?
Free-range chickens get lots of exercise causing the meat to be leaner and denser. Because the meat has less fat, it takes less time to cook. We recommend you check the doneness a few minutes sooner than you normally do to avoid over cooking.
You may also wish to marinade or brine your chicken before cooking to increase tenderness.
How old are your chickens when you process them?
Large producers slaughter their chickens when they are 3 1/2 months old. Large producers confine their birds and feed them corn; therefore, they gain weight faster. This allows the producers to slaughter them sooner.
We raise our chickens for 4 1/2 months before processing them. Being free range, our chickens get lots of exercise causing the meat to be leaner and more muscular. Therefore, they need more time to mature at a natural rate.
What do you feed your chickens?
We feed our egg-laying chickens 100% barley pellets. The pellets have trace amounts of molasses to help bind the barley into pellets.
Roasting Chickens (Broilers)
Our roasting chickens require a heartier blend to build muscle. They receive a ground blend of
- 33% barley,
- 33% oats,
- 33% wheat, and
- 1% peas.
Both of our feeds have no vitamins, no hormones, no antibiotics, no corn, no soy, and no fillers. All of our birds are pasture raised. Therefore, they also eat grass and insects.
What does the darkness of the yolk colour mean?
Yolk colour depends on what the chickens eat. The more grass they eat, the darker the yolks become. This is why our yolks are darker later in the summer because the chickens eat more grass. Eggs can also have very dark yolks if the chickens have corn in their feed. We never feed our chickens corn; therefore, our yolks may be lighter than some farmers’ eggs.