Heritage Poultry

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We raise exclusively heritage breeds of poultry. There are myriad reasons why we have selected these breeds, but the long and short of it is that our heritage birds are healthier, livelier, and in the end just plain better tasting than any others you will find locally. Of this we are confident. Our slow-growing birds are raised on fresh pasture, allowed to forage freely and supplemented exclusively with freshly-ground non-GMO grains, then are hand-processed in small batches on our farm. This ensures that the utmost care is taken from start to finish, resulting in a truly superior product.

Availability is limited, since as a small farm committed to producing the best food possible we must of necessity produce our birds in small numbers. For the health of our farm and for the sanity of the farmers, our birds are raised in a strictly seasonal manner. This, coupled with consistent high demand, suggests that it would behoove you to sign up for one of our 2017 Poultry CSA shares. Outside of the CSA, our poultry is sold as available on a first-come, first-served basis, typically at our booth at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.

In order of appearance:

Poussin — French word meaning “spring chicken,” also sometimes known as coquelet or squab broilers. Our poussin are young, tender and delicious. You can think of them as roughly approximate to Cornish hens, though as ours come from slow-grown heritage breeds and engender an entirely different mode of production we prefer the French term to further differentiate them from what you’ll find at the supermarket. Average weight is 14 oz. per bird, two birds to a package. $9.40/lb.

Pekin duck — The plump, round, white-feathered bird that is America’s meat duck, typically weighing in at 3.5 to 4.5 lbs.  Ours put on a beautiful layer of unctuous fat and make beautiful roasts–if you don’t have your heart set on seared duck breast.  $7.05/lb.

Heritage chicken — Starting with broilers (2 lbs. at 12 weeks of age), then fryers (3 to 3.5 lbs. at 16 to 18 weeks of age), then occasionally roasters (4+ lbs. at 20 to 24 weeks).  These slow-grown birds have a firmer texture and more succulent flavor than the modern hybrid breeds, and by a long shot. Whole birds only. $6.25/lb.

Guinea fowl — A beautifully-feathered bird native to the African savannah, our guinea comes from a French strain noted for its meat production. The guinea is a cousin of the pheasant and has a higher proportion of dark to white meat than chicken, with a rich, full flavor reminiscent of game birds.  Our birds roam far and wide, eating myriad creepy-crawlies and weed seeds by the bushel, and dress out at 2.5 to 3.25 lbs.  $5.40/lb.

Muscovy duck — Not quite a goose, not quite a duck, the Muscovy is native to South America and is known for its robust dark meat more akin to beef than poultry. Ours are more active and tend to be a bit less fatty than other ducks, but still work great in duck recipes.  They are particularly well-suited to charcuterie, such as duck leg confit or duck breast prosciutto.  $6.65/lb.

Heritage turkey — We raise a variety of old-fashioned breeds, including the Bourbon Red, the Blue Slate, and the Narraganset. They start life a full two-and-a-half months before their industrial brethren, the end result of which is turkey that turkey should taste like. $6.75/lb.

Goose — Natural-born grazers, our Toulouse geese are hatched in mid-spring and spend their days eating lush green grasses and clovers–and frequently skinny-dipping in the pond–building a frame upon which to add layers of healthful fat in preparation for cold weather.  They eat well so you can too.  $6.50/lb.

 

For more information, see:

Poultry FAQ (coming soon)

Why Heritage Breeds

Economics of Heritage Chickens

2 thoughts on “Heritage Poultry

  1. Hi there. I would like to know if you have any pictures of the different chicken carcasses that you raise. Trying to get a bit of an understanding of breed vs carcass

    • I did a blog post a while back about our side-by-side taste test (https://theintentionalfarmers.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/an-informal-heritage-chicken-tasting/), though I didn’t identify which chicken was which apart from the obvious Cornish-Cross. (I’ll note, too, that now we cut a flap of skin above the opening to tuck the legs into, so that they look a little nicer and more compact coming out of the oven.) In general the heritage breeds are fairly similar in carcass qualities, though there are variations. The Standard Cornish has a noticeably more compact, rounder carcass; it wasn’t included in that tasting.

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