A “broiler” is a tender, young chicken especially suitable for frying, grilling, or broiling, but they can be roasted or cooked any other way too. Chengwatana Farm-raised broilers are the Freedom Ranger breed.
This is a crossbred broiler chicken based upon the breed used for the famous “Label Rouge” chickens in Europe. We buy our live chicks from Freedom Ranger Hatchery and are thrilled with their service and the health of the chicks they send to us.
Commercial broilers are typically the Cornish Cross type. The grow much faster than Freedom Rangers, so they cost less to produce, but we prefer the hardier, slower growing chickens. They are healthier, forage better, have a better flavor, and have fewer leg problems than the Cornish Cross.
Pasture plants (grass, clover, herbs and “weeds”) can make up around 30% of the feed of pastured chickens. Insects, grubs, worms, and beetles add protein, variety, and fun to the chicken’s life. We purchase certified organic feed from the Buckwheat Growers Association of Minnesota. As is the case with all of our animals, our broilers are supplemented with kelp for micronutrients and receive pure, clean well water with no added chlorine or fluoride.
Chengwatana Farm broilers are harvested at 12-15 weeks of age and are processed in a Minnesota State Licensed processing facility, Nelson-Shine Produce in Brainerd, Minnesota. The Nelson family does a fantastic job of processing our birds; they are vacuum packed and frozen when we pick them up. Alternative cutting (8-piece or other variations) can be done for a small extra charge.
We are raising three batches of broilers in 2013, so if your freezer capacity is limited you have the option of purchasing a smaller number of broilers each time rather than your whole year’s supply at once. A good place to start with buying pastured broilers would be to figure on one 4-lb chicken per week for a small family. As you get accustomed to working with whole chickens you can begin to plan more meals around them and order more. Our family typically has a roast chicken once a week, with leftovers for sandwiches or wraps. We use the carcass to make a delicious pot of soup. Another night we might cut up a chicken and make a chicken curry or a tomato-based dish like chicken cacciatore.
New for 2014! Pastured Turkeys. Order information: click here or on the image below.
Some of our customers appreciate an older hen (retired from the laying flock) to make a tasty and nutritious chicken stock or bone broth. That can be arranged with some advance notice.