Raising and Caring for our Fresh Chicken
Update: June 2021 - will finish up our last season for fresh chicken. Due to the feed mill only allowing specific quantities of 3 tons or 6 tons of feed to be purchased at one time is impacting our farm in raising meat birds. We only process around 200 birds a year. Utilizing 1 ton of feed would be perfect for our farm and not storing the remainder for the upcoming years. We want to thank all of our customers for purchasing their fresh pastured chicken from our farm.
We have chosen to begin our fresh chicken with Cornish Cross chickens to start our journey. Our chickens will be hardy, excellent foragers, and grow a little faster.
First Few Weeks
The life span of a cornish cross is eight to ten weeks. Our chickens will be housed in a safe heated brooder area until they gain their feathers. Once they can take care of themselves, the chickens will be moved to the pasture, typically around three to four weeks old, depending on the weather.
Growing on Pasture
Once the chickens are moved to pasture, the chickens will be placed outdoors for the remainder of their lives. They will receive around-the-clock access to fresh growing green grass, alfalfa, weeds, and bugs to eat. To ensure the safety of the chickens in the pasture, they will be placed in a free-range outside floorless shelter, which will be moved daily to have an unlimited amount of fresh grass. We monitor our chickens to ensure the coyotes, badgers, chicken hawks, owls, and foxes are kept out of their shelter. The floorless enclosures will have feeders and an unlimited amount of water. Every morning we will move the shelter houses, chickens, and feeders to a new section with fresh grass.
Environment and Handling
Between the brooder and the daily life on the pasture, the chickens are free to express all of their natural insects, including roosting, foraging, and dust bathing, which altogether makes for a low-stress environment. When we handle them, we try to catch them quickly, not to induce additional stress.
Once the chickens are processed on our property, the customer is to pick up their fresh chicken. We will have a limited storage facility to house the birds. We will only sell whole chickens. Our chickens will be placed in a heat shrink bag to preserve the freshness as quickly as possible.
Know your farmer and know your food. Eating fresh foods allows you to see that you are gaining the best nutrition for your body, creating a healthy body. The first time we have ever eaten fresh chicken was a memorable moment for our tastebuds. Right out of the oven, the chicken was juicy and golden brown. Whole chickens are one of the most popular items at the meat counter. Our chickens weigh between 4 to 8 lbs. We chose to raise pasture-raised chickens to ensure our chickens live out in our pasture to aerate and fertilize our land while giving the chickens a great source of food.
We are going to implement a preorder plan for our fresh chicken. What this means is that when you preorder your chicken, you will make a $5.00 deposit per chicken. When it is time to pick up your chicken, you will pay the difference of $15.00 per chicken. We will have several pickup locations available in the southwest portion of Oklahoma for an additional fee. The pickup locations will be in Altus, Vernon, Wichita Falls, and Iowa Park. Our first batch will be available in mid to late April; we will have fresh chicken until mid-September.
Just a glimpse in what
your chickens endure
once they are placed in
the chicken tractor
around 2 weeks old.
They are moved twice a
day to give them fresh
grass, feed, water, and insects until eight to
nine weeks old.