Pastured Chicken Hot off the Grass!

As weird as it may seem, I always look forward to processing day.  I like to know how well we did our job by the look & weight of the birds, and there is no better way to know that than by “looking under the hood” so to speak.  Today was a good day – our best by broiler raising standards.  For one, all of our birds ended up larger than we’ve ever raised before.  While the growth rate of broilers never ceases to amaze us, the average weight of our broilers this time around was 4.14 lbs dressed.  (Our largest was 5.88 lbs dressed!  Remember, these birds are eight weeks old!)  We’ve implemented several changes including feed control, some slight modifications to the feed ration and stocking rate, and a few other minor things which on the surface may seem insignificant, but makes compounding and significant improvements to the health of our broilers.  Another factor that made this day delightful (and yes, I do mean that) was the fact that we got to use our new automatic chicken plucker.  If you have ever plucked a chicken by hand, you might have an inkling of what I mean.  If you’ve ever plucked 50 or more at a time by hand, then you will completely understand our euphoria.  The plucker station used to be the most hated.  Now it’s the most coveted.

Look closely.  In addition to our recently deceased, scalded and not so little friend being disrobed in the plucker tub, you can clearly see a smile on the plucker queen as she leans leisurely in an (unrehearsed) pose of peaceful serenity.  Nobody else dared to attempt to take over the plucker station today.  I asked nicely and was able to watch a couple of times though.

Another great thing happened today that made the day even better.  Our good friends from Morning Star Meadows Farm in North Stonington came over to help, and great helps they were.  Thanks guys! 

If you’re interested in purchasing some of our broilers, give us a call: (860)564-9884, or email us at tomcovafarm@gmail.com .  The price is $3.50/lb, about $14.50 for an average 4lb+ broiler.

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7 Responses to Pastured Chicken Hot off the Grass!

  1. Roy says:

    Awesome average weight!! You guys were so organized that it made helping out a pleasure! Bring on hog processing day!

  2. Robin says:

    Hey – we’re going to cook these beauties today…but…I’ve looked ALL over! Where’s that little pop up timer thingy?!!! ; )

  3. Robin says:

    Perfect! I KNEW I should have looked there!

    And, by the way, the chicken is AWESOME! It has TEXTURE! It’s SO much less fatty! We slow roasted it in our big Nesco Roaster – set it, and forget it – started it at 275 for about 2 1/2hrs, then upped it to 375 for 30 min. or so. Didn’t need gravy – didn’t need a lot of seasoning – just SO tasty and good…thanks, guys!

  4. Larry says:

    Just found your blog through your FB page. Didn’t know you had finished the plucker. Isn’t it awesome? I’ve got 50 birds to process in a couple weeks. My plucker will be hard at work.

    • Steve says:

      Larry, the plucker is probably the single most loved tool on the farm. It makes a a very unpleasant chore into an enjoyable activity. It was the first time I’ve ever heard a kid say “it’s my turn to pluck!”

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