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Fresh Chicken, Processed on Farm

  • Freshly processed poultry must be arranged at least one day in advance 

  • Availability is seasonal (June-December)

  • For same-day service, please check our online store for frozen chicken

 

About Our Chicken

 

We raise heritage breed poultry -- that means older breeds of chickens that breed true, grow slowly, and are able to actively forage on pasture. Heritage breed chicken takes 2-3 times as long to grow out than the Cornish Cross hybrid chicken (the kind of chicken we get at the grocery store today), but it tastes better and is firm and toothsome instead of bland and mushy.

The main breed of chicken that we raise in the American Bresse Chicken. These chickens are a slow-growing breed originally developed in France, and are famed for their extremely rich and juicy meat. Like all non-industrial chicken breeds, they have a small breast compared to grocery store chicken. Our Bresse chicken is hatched here on the farm, and takes 16-20 weeks to reach a market size of 2-4 lbs dressed. They spend the first 6-8 weeks of their lives in our chicken brooders while they grow out their feathers; we then move them to pasture for 2-3 months where they grow and forage outdoors. Two weeks before our planned processing dates, we return them to indoor captivity diet of grain soaked in milk so their meat is rich and more tender.

 

We occasionally have other heritage breed chicken available. These are usually young roosters of laying breeds that we thought were going to be girls, older laying hens that are being "retired", or assorted heritage cockerels ordered from a hatchery to help us offer a little bit of chicken earlier in the spring before our Bresse are ready. 

We think that heritage breed poultry is way better than fast-growing hybrid chicken, but it's not to everyone's taste. If you have never tried this kind of chicken, please read more about how to prepare it here.

On-Farm Processing vs Processing by a Licensed Butcher

 

We are technically (and in the eyes of the USDA) selling you a live chicken, and then assessing an additional fee for processing. Poultry processed on farm under federal exemption must be picked ip on farm in a face-to-face transaction (i.e., no online ordering.) 

  • YOU MUST PREARRANGE FRESH PROCESSED CHICKEN AT LEAST ONE DAY IN ADVANCE -- there is no same day or drive up service for chicken that we butcher fresh to order.

  • Chicken orders are processed on Saturdays and/or Sundays unless we have work events we need to attend on the weekend

  • We do not process poultry in freezing temperatures -- our processing area is outdoors and if our hoses are frozen, we can't butcher chicken.

 

All chicken that we sell via our online store or at farmers' markets has been butchered at a state or federally-licensed processors. You can get fresh (not frozen) chicken processed by a licensed butcher if you contact us ahead of time so that you can arrange to pick up your chicken within 48 hours of butchery; we only take chicken to a licensed butcher two or three times a year, so please contact us in advance if this is what you want.

Chicken Types and Prices

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Butchered price includes cost of live bird, killing, plucking, evisceration, and packaging in a shrink wrap bag suitable for storage in freezer. Giblets, neck, feet, and/or head returned upon request, charged at same price per lb as above.

  • Our "default" for processed chicken is just the main body, without head, neck, giblets, or feet. If you would like any or al of these returned, please let us know. These extra parts count toward the price per pound.

  • Looking to save a little money? You can purchase a chicken live, and we can kill and pluck it for you for an additional fee of $2/chicken. Three chicken minimum. If you are purchasing a lot of chickens from us, you may use our processing tent and equipment yourself for a fee of $1/chicken (just killing and plucking) or $2/chicken (if you are also gutting, extra fee is to cover disposal and clean up), there is a $10 minimum for renting our processing tent.

  • Unless you are going to cook your chicken within 1 hour of slaughter, we recommend that you let your chicken rest for a minimum of 24 hours after slaughter -- for best results, let your chicken rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before eating. This is to let rigor mortis pass and allow the chicken to become more tender.

Other Poultry

We have young duck (Silver Appleyard or Muscovy) sporadically available in Spring and Summer and young guinea fowl sporadically available in summer/fall. We regularly raise heritage breed turkeys for Thanksgiving, although we limit sales of young birds/live birds over the summer to ensure that we have enough stock to fill our requests for Thanksgivng and Christmas. Please contact us ahead of time to inquire about availability and cost. 

  • Ducks: $4/lb live, $9/lb processed

  • Turkeys: $4-5/lb live (depends on age), $9/lb processed

  • Guineas: $4.50/lb live, $9/lb processed

We Do Not Offer Poultry Processing Services

At this time, we do not provide processing services for chickens raised off our farm, nor do we rent out our processing equipment. If you are looking to have poultry processed, please contact Munsell's (Fowlerville, MI) or Stutzman's (Homer, MI), both of whom do excellent work.  If you wish to learn how to process your own poultry, we are occasionally able to accommodate onlookers/helpers where you can observe our process.

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