You may be wondering: "What all the hype is about pastured chicken?" If you are like me, then you like to check things out a little more before getting in with both feet. This post is intended to give you a glimpse of how we raise our chickens here at Wilderness Ranch.
First of all, at the beginning of the year we order our chicks from our local farm supply store. When the day comes to pick up the chicks (which doesn't come soon enough for our children :-) )we get a spot ready inside and get the feed and water ready for them. We also hook up a heat lamp so it is nice and warm when we get the chicks home.
For the first 2-3 weeks of their lives they are kept inside so they are warm and safe from predators. If we move them outside too soon and they get too cold, they can get sick which will affect them later on, or they can be condemned at harvest time. They love that 30°C temperature.
Once they have grown enough and have a few feathers, they are now ready to be moved out to our Cakellac! Our Cakellac is a movable hoop shelter, that has wheels at each corner that can be set down and moved very easily. Once the chickens get used to the idea of moving to fresh grass, as soon as they hear the wheels going down, they are all ready and eager to go. As soon as I start to move it, they are as happy as can be to feast on all the fresh grass!
If you are up on your grasses this will make sense to you. If you aren't up on your plants, simply google them to see what they look like. I have found they go first for all the bugs and flies they can find in the fresh grass, then they go for the Red Clover, Alfalfa, and Plantain next. After these plants are gone, they will eat the Orchard Grass, Creeping Red Fescue, Kentucky Blue Grass and the rye grasses. We also supplement there hungry appetites with gmo free grains. A chicken cannot live simply on grass! We think that all these grasses leave a big impact on how our chicken tastes!
Due to harsh Canadian winters we are only able to raise our chickens outside in the summer months. In order to supply you with pasture raised chicken all winter we raise enough to stock our freezer so we have enough supply right through until April. New stock typically arrives in May of any given year. To keep our pastured chicken at peak freshness when it arrives at your doorstep we safely vacuum seal each cut of meat in portion sizes that are convenient for you to simply pull out of the freezer to enjoy all winter long. Each cut is quickly flash frozen to lock in all the delicious nutrients. When your meat arrives and each package is well sealed it will be as fresh as the day it was packaged up until at least a year from packaging date, due to this quality packaging we are using!
We have had customers tell us this is the best chicken they have tasted in all of Ontario! We thank you greatly for your compliments and it gives us and our children great pleasure to grow this pastured chicken.
I hope I have helped you gain a better insight as to how we raise and care for our chickens. If you have any further questions, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email - we would love to hear from you. If you are ready to jump in and try some of our delicious chicken, head over to our online store and place your order. We will ship it to you as quickly as possible!