From May to December, we sell Broiler Hens (aka Young Meat Chickens) at our store.
Our chickens are raised “proudly on pasture” and live in small huts that are moved twice a day. They forage in the pen, and consume a GMO-free/soy-free organic grain.
When you try our broiler hens, you’ll taste the difference. Our international clients say that it tastes like chickens in their home country.
The benefits of our chicken-raising methodology:
1. Organic, soy-free chicken feed is healthier for the bird and our customers.
2. The birds receive personal care and attention.
3. Our employees work in a healthy environment that’s not overwhelmed by ammonia.
4. The chicken excrement is used as a natural fertilizer on the farm.
5. We also buy local, and our dollars stay in the local economy.
Here’s a step-by-step overview of the raising and preparation of our fresh chicken:
Step 1: Organic, Soy-Free Feed – We start, maintain, and finish our meat chickens with an organic, soy-free recipe we purchase from a certified organic farm (run by a great family) located about an hour from Mary’s Land. Unlike many industrial-organic farms that may buy their grain from Brazil, we’re certain of the feed quality and its origins. Our grain costs up to 10x more than buying the grain from Brazil; however, we think it pays back handsomely.
Step 2: Diligent Care Under Supervision – We start baby chicks in metal brooders. We check their temperature, food, and conditions them 2 or 3 times a day. Our staff raises about 800 broiler chickens at any given time, which is just the right amount for us to supervise and care for.
Step 3: Pasture-Raised Chicken – When the chicks can handle outside temperatures, they’re moved outside for foraging. We ask a local he-man or woman to move the pen in the mornings and evenings, so the chicks have fresh grass. Additionally, their manure (which is a great fertilizer) is being spread evenly around the pasture!
Step 4: Careful Processing – We humanely process the chickens on site between June and October; we sell them fresh at the store for the next few days before extras are moved to the freezer.
Please download, print, read, and circulate the Broiler Raising Overview, which describes our holistic and natural method of raising great-tasting chickens.
Stew hens are frozen and available year round; these are the layer hens that have been roaming around the farm fields for two years consuming a well-rounded diet, including our non-GMO/soy-free feed. They provide great flavor for soup, due to their dense bone marrow and a richly dark yellow fat (along with their tough meat).
Soup made from stew hens is very healthful! In fact, this is the chicken soup that might cure a cold. Natural medicine enthusiasts who buy from our store use stew hens. And when one customer, who doesn’t speak English very well says, “Husband has cold,” we know she’s in the market for a stew chicken.
For history buffs, this is the chicken our ancestors ate. Before the 1940’s, Americans ate chicken twice a year: when the young roosters were seen to be worthless and when the stew hens were done laying.