2018 Bulk Chicken Buying Program
Although it is still the middle of a dark, snowy, and cold winter, we are busily planning our production for this coming season. This will be our second year offering a bulk chicken buying program. The program helps us to know ahead of time how many chickens we’ll need to raise this year and offers you a significant savings off the retail cost in exchange for your pre-season commitment. The program is very flexible, allowing you multiple options of amount of chicken, cutting and packaging, and delivery or pickup. As always, our chickens are raised outdoors on pasture, moved to fresh grass each day, fed a non-GMO grain ration, and processed by hand on our farm in our state inspected facility. Here’s how it works:
- Decide how much chicken your family will need for the season. We offer small (70 lbs,) medium (110 lbs,) and large (150 lbs) packages.
- Decide how many dates you would like to receive chicken. Butchering will take place on the following Saturdays: June 9th, July 14th, August 18th, and September 29th. You may split your order over all four dates, or you could condense your order into a minimum of two dates, if you have a smaller order or would prefer to make fewer trips.
- Determine how you would like your chickens. We can offer either whole ready-to-cook chickens, or cut to your specifications for an additional charge of $2 / chicken. Hearts, livers, gizzards, and feet are also available upon request.
- Decide on fresh or frozen. Fresh chickens can be cooked right away, or you could cut them up and re-package them to suit your needs prior to freezing. Frozen chickens will allow you more flexibility to pick up or arrange delivery on your schedule.
- Select your pickup or delivery option. Fresh chickens can be picked up at the farm or delivered to your home no later than the Monday after butchering day. Delivery area for fresh chickens is limited to a 25 miles radius from our farm in Rockland Twp, Venango County, PA. Frozen chickens can be picked up at the farm or at the Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market the following Saturday. For customers outside our local delivery area, home delivery to the I-79 corridor and to Pittsburgh neighborhoods will be available on Saturdays. For those customers picking up at the farm, you will also be eligible for a 10% discount on any of our other products on pickup day, including pork, eggs, rabbit, and vegetables.
- Send your deposit. Cash, checks, or PayPal payments are accepted to hold your spot. The remaining balance is due upon receipt of your first order of the season.
Chicken FAQ's - Do you have questions about our practices? Here are some common ones:
Q: You say your feed is non-GMO - why not organic feed?
A: Great question! We tried organic feed in the first half of last season and were really disappointed with the birds' health and vigor and growth rate. It turns out a certified organic feed is required to limit the amount of synthetic amino acids to a level below the requirements of these fast growing birds. In the future, we may pursue this again, using a custom feed mix with organic grains. Here's an interesting article explaining this issue in more detail. attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/viewhtml.php?id=336
Q: You process the birds on your farm - do you use disinfectant (chlorine bleach) in your chill tank water?
A: No. Our chill tank contains only purchased bagged ice and water from our well, which is tested annually for bacteria and coliform as part of our certification process. Our well water is treated with a softener and a UV disinfection system. We do clean our chicken processing equipment including scalder, plucker, tables, cutting boards, sink, etc by washing, rinsing, and then spraying with a dilute bleach solution.
Q: Are your chickens free-range?
A: We would not describe them that way. With our pastured layers, we find that a day-ranging system, with a stationary house, feeder and waterer, and a larger fenced area for the birds to roam, causes an uneven distribution of manure, leaving some areas under-fertilized and others burnt by the high-nitrogen content of the chicken manure. The system we use for meat chickens strives to provide a high quality of life for the chickens and also a regenerative effect on the land. The chickens are housed in a 10' x 12' bottomless pen, which is moved to fresh grass daily. This keeps the chickens from returning to their own manure and it provides an even distribution of nutrients that the grasses can readily absorb and use. The short-duration, heavy grazing and scratching effect of the chickens, followed by a long period of rest, results in a beautiful, rich pasture with lush grasses that draw deer and other wildlife in winter to dig under the snow to graze.