First what does pastured poultry mean? With all of the catch phrases that we hear these days, from pastured poultry to free range, from cage free to organic it is a little hard to know which is the best for you and the bird.
Pastured Poultry means that the chickens, turkey’s, geese or what have you is raised on pasture. But like humans, chickens need complete proteins and cannot glean enough nutrition from pasture alone. According to Joel Salatin, author Pastured Poultry Profits and Salad Bar Beef, chickens are only able to gather 30 to 50 percent of their dietary needs from pasture alone. Our chickens and turkeys also eat a special grain formula that contains kelp, insects and sour milk leftover from making butter and cheese. Scientific research proves that eggs raised on pasture contain 17.60 mg of omega 3 per gram of yolk. Where a hen that is confined indoors produces a very pale egg in comparison, only 1.73 mg per gram of yolk. Omega 3 fats prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
Labels that state the poultry or eggs were fed vegetarian diets can be somewhat misleading. If you read that on the label it means that the chickens were confined indoors, likely in a huge building that contains thousands of birds and reeks of ammonia. These birds might be 9 laying hens to a wire cage , or loose on the floor (cage free) of the building.
Organic is good right? Well, only if the birds are fed the organic grain in addition to being out on pasture. Many large scale producers feed organic grains in the confinement buildings I mentioned earlier. So, given these circumstances, organic poultry and eggs are only slightly better than cage free.
Our poultry rises with the sun and hunts for insects that are slow to move in the coolness of the early morning. They peck at the grain ration, mix it with a nice salad of tender, dew covered grass and weeds. Bathe in dust bowls and lounge around under the shade trees in the heat of the day. By late morning the laying hens will have deposited their eggs in the nest boxes, or sometimes hide them in the tall grasses or shrubs. It is like an Easter egg hunt every day. When the sun begins to set, they head for the summer cottage where we lock them in for the night. Safe and protected by the hut and our Great Pyrenees dogs. Our birds are given the freedom to express their true “chickeness”.
When it comes time to process our poultry, we do it as quickly and gently as we can, right here on the farm. We are registered in the state of WV for on farm poultry processing and have been approved to sell within the state, at the farmer’s market, or directly from the farm.
We sell the birds fresh or frozen at the farm. Evans Knob offers whole chickens, whole cut up chickens, boneless skinless breasts, tenders, breast quarters, leg quarters, thighs, drumsticks, livers, hearts and bags of bones perfect for making soup and stock . The poultry we bring to the market must be frozen to meet health department regulations.
Egg Price: $4 /dozen
Chicken $3.75/pound average weight, 4-6 pounds for whole birds. Whole cut up chicken $4.25; Boneless skinless breasts and tenders are $8.50/pound; breast quarters $8/pound; thighs, leg quarters, drumsticks $4.50/pound; livers and hearts $5/pound
Ducks $5.50/pound average weight, 5-7 pounds
1st batch: June 8th
2nd batch: June 29th
3rd batch; July 27th
4th batch: August 23rd
5th batch: September 13th.
To Be Announced