Growing Farm-Raised Chicken, Part 2
May 3, 2022
It feels like just yesterday 100 little fluff balls arrived at the farm in a cardboard box from a local hatchery. Fast forward 51 days and those same chicks are now fully-feathered birds weighing over 6 lbs.
Our chickens are Cornish-Crosses, a breed cross characterized by fast growth rate & intended only for meat production. To match such rapid growth, a high protein feed is essential because protein builds muscle and muscle is meat.
Over the last 51 days, each bird has consumed around 15 lb of feed, which adds up to 30 total 50-lb bags for the entire flock. Especially over the last 2 weeks, it seems like all they do is eat!
At a live weight of 6.5 pounds, we expect to see a 5 lb ready-to-eat whole chicken. Here in the meat biz, we call that dressing percentage - it's the amount of meat 1 animal yields after harvest. Those 100 chickens will yield over 400 lbs of retail product, the equivalent of meat produced from 1 Beef or from 3 Hogs!
How much chicken comes from one bird?
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Chicken Thighs
2 Full Wings
None of this would matter if we didn't have access to a quality butcher shop approved to harvest chickens. Located 20 minutes from the farm, this little shop specializes in processing poultry. As an inspected facility, they're held to high standards for humane slaughtering and product safety.
Harvesting our birds at a facility with experienced butchers means we can offer our customers more variety beyond whole chickens, but we don't like to see any part of the animal wasted. That's why you'll also find Chicken Backs (the carcass left over after retail cuts are removed), Chicken Necks, Chicken Feet, Chicken Livers and Chicken Hearts offered in our Farm Raised Chicken Collection.
Unlike beef and pork that we harvest year-round, our growing season for farm-raised chicken is from March through November. That means the best time to buy and stock up is when our freezers are full during the growing season.
Bulk chicken bundles now available
In May of 2022 we launched two bulk buying options for customers who want the peace of mind that comes with having meat stocked in the freezer.
Choose from the Chicken Stock Up Bundle featuring an assortment of cuts and whole chickens or the 10 Whole Chicken Bundle, either option is similar to ordering a 1/8 Beef. Both are fixed bundles to pre-order with a deposit due when placing an order. Shop our bulk chicken bundles >