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Pastured Poultry

What is Pastured Poultry?


astured poultry is a term used to describe the way
we raise our chickens. First we receive one day
old chicks from a hatchery through the United States
Postal Service, then we raise the chicks under heat lamps. Because of variable weather, we adjust the height of the heat lamps to ensure a constant temperature for the little chicks. After two weeks they graduate to our green pastures! Portable pens provide the birds with shade from the sun and protection from the rain. Electric fencing is used to keep the poultry safe from predators. The pens are moved at least every two days and the fencing is moved every five to seven days. By regularly moving the pens and fence our poultry have access to fresh vegetation at all times, providing them a clean healthy environment to thrive. This system not only gives our chicken fresh air and grass at all times, but also provides our pastures with a light coating of chicken manure, resulting in greener pastures and healthier soil.

You will notice their meat is lean, tender, and flavorful. Pastured chicken and
free-range eggs are much higher in Omega 3's and much lower in Omega 6's than commercially raised poultry and eggs. See our resources and links for additional publications discussing the health benefits of pastured poultry and free-range eggs.

Pasture-Raised Whole Chickens


ur pastured chickens are
raised outdoors on green
grassy pastures from May
through August. These wide breasted birds receive plenty of exercise while eating grass and bugs and soaking up sunshine. Their primary feed is a “certified organic” mixture of corn, roasted soybean, and wheat, which is fed during their entire
8–9 week lifetime.

Chickens are processed late-June and late-August. These whole birds dress out at 4 to 8 pounds apiece (average 6 pounds). They are vacuum packed in clear shrink wrap to maintain freshness in your freezer. The best way to guarantee yourself a healthy, whole, frozen clucker is to pre-order before June 1st each year. We do grow extra birds annually; this remaining inventory typically sells out by November each year.

Our Stewing Hens


limited number of stewing hens are available each
summer. Stewing hens are egg-laying hens that have
stopped producing eggs. Due to age their meat will
be on the tougher side, thus making them perfect for soups, stews, and making broth. They are sold as dead, processed, shrink-wrapped, frozen birds with their feet included.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does pastured mean?

We offer pastured poultry, meaning the birds are raised outside, eat fresh greens and bugs from the ground, and get plenty of sunlight and fresh air. Our pastured poultry is raised in a bottomless pen outside. We move the pen to a new plot of pasture every other morning, giving them fresh eats and bedding every other day. They also receive organic certified feed.

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Is your poultry considered organic?

Our farm is not “certified organic,” but we do use organic principles in our daily farming practices. Our poultry is all-natural, raised strictly on pasture, offered a free-choice “certified organic” mixture of corn, roasted soybean, and wheat, with no hormones, no antibiotics, and no chemicals. Our farm has not been sprayed since 2004. You could say our poultry is farmer-certified organic or beyond organic. Please understand the term “organic” does not necessarily mean the animal was raised humanely. There are commercial feedlots that raise animals on organic grain, and hence, those confined animals can be marketed as “certified organic.” Also, the term “organic” does not imply land stewardship and proactively caring for our environment; growing “organic” row crops still requires fossil fuel consumption and poor tillage practices can cause massive soil erosion. We believe that all-natural can be better than “organic” based on the aforementioned reasons. Hence the term, beyond organic.

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How is your chicken different than chicken sold in the grocery store?

The difference is in the raising and processing. Factory birds, those raised in exorbitant quantities to be sold in commercialized stores and served in chain restaurants, are typically raised indoors with no sunlight, no fresh air, no fresh greens, etc. Their feed may contain hormones to promote a quick-growing bird that can mature in as little as 5–6 weeks. They may be de-beaked to prevent them from pecking at each other in the confined spaces in which they are raised.

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What about “all-natural” chicken sold in the grocery store?

Depending on the grocery store’s supplier, these “all-natural” chickens may have higher levels of sodium (salt) injected into the meat during processing. Reference: Stockman Grass Farmer, “Plumped Chickens Cost Consumers Billions Each Year”, July 2009.

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How long do you raise the birds before processing?

The Cornish cross chickens are raised to 8–9 weeks of age.

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If you do not use any vitamins or antibiotics, how do the birds stay healthy?

Because we do not have our birds cooped up inside, they are receiving part of their vitamins
and minerals from the fresh greens and bugs they consume outside and part from the natural ingredients in their feed. They are actually much healthier than a bird injected with synthetics because their immune systems are required to keep them strong and healthy rather than relying
on man-made synthetics.

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Are the birds dead when the customer receives them?

We actually receive this question quite often! Yes, the birds are dead, processed, shrink-wrapped, and frozen prior to the customer receiving them.

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How big are the birds?

The chickens range from 4 to 8 pounds after processing. All processed birds exclude their heads, feet, inner organs, gizzards, and hearts.

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Are your birds de-beaked?

No, they need to be able to peck at the grass and bugs. Because their bodies know they are receiving all of their needed nutrients, this diminishes their “cannibalism” tendencies.

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How long can these shrink-wrapped birds be stored in a freezer?

You may actually freeze the poultry for over one year and still have a very juicy and tender meat. Mark’s mother recently cooked one of our birds that was “hidden” in her chest freezer for two years and we did not taste any freezer burn while eating it.

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Do you sell the gizzards and hearts?

Yes, but by special request only. Please prior to poultry processing in late summer.

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Do you deliver?

We currently hold a Mobile Retail Food License from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture which makes our farm’s poultry and beef products eligible to be sold both directly from the farm and at your local farmers market. Since we are not current vendors at area farmers markets due to time commitments, we do offer product delivery for larger orders, providing we also have prior travel plans your direction and can meet you at a mutual, pre-determined location.

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How do I order?

You may contact us by or by phone at (715) 289-4896 for an order form.

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