Located in Central Alberta, Canada
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~ Heritage Chicken - Unique, Wholesome, Ethical and Tasty! ~
"Consumers have found that Heritage Chickens are succulent, flavorful and worth the higher cost. When consumers
enjoy a highly memorable meal, they are also helping to save endangered breeds. Ironically, eating endangered
breeds of livestock and poultry can ensure their survival."
Eating well and responsibly
"Slow food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature"
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food founder and President.
The Slow Food movement is helping to change the way people think about the food they eat. In this busy, fast-paced society, more people are recognizing the value of slowing down and enjoying some family time while preparing and savoring a home-cooked meal.
Education has also spurred the public’s interest in knowing where their food is coming from. Consumers want to know more about what they’re eating, and they want to feel confident that what they are feeding their family is nutritious and safe.
More people are also concerned about the welfare of the animals that supply their meat. They want to feel secure in the knowledge that the animals are raised humanely in a natural environment and free from cruelty.
One of the most enjoyable ways to help preserve agricultural biodiversity is by eating rare breeds of poultry and livestock! Surprisingly, a well-grown, large breed of heritage fowl doesn't taste like chicken...well at least not like "regular" chicken...
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
The chickens we sell for meat are exclusively our own Hawthorn Hill standard-bred heritage chickens. These are the kinds of chickens our great-grandparents raised for eggs and meat - before the modern hybrids came on the scene in the 1950s.
All of my chicks are hatched and brooded right here on our farm and are raised the old-fashioned way in healthy, natural conditions.
I grow and finish all of our chickens on our own feed mix made up of whole grains and legumes. All of my chickens enjoy unlimited access to very large grassy and shady outdoor pens and a coop to keep them safe and comfortable at night. Heritage chickens cannot be hurried along! They grow slowly all spring, summer and well into fall until they have reached a good size for processing. This is done professionally by a government inspected facility.
Raising and selling top quality breeding stock is my first priority, but only the best can be sold for breeding purposes. The majority that remain are still valued and raised with care, for they will certainly make wonderful meals! I believe the key to long-term heritage poultry preservation lies in developing markets for both the egg-laying pullets and the young meaty cockerels.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
Regular meat chickens grow fast! Even pastured broilers are ready to butcher by 6 - 8 weeks of age. Heritage chickens live and grow the way Mother Nature intended, over the course of 6 - 8 months. They spend their days outdoors, using their wings and legs to develop muscle. The wonderful, distinctive flavor of heritage fowl is attributed to the length of time the birds are grown, and the firmer texture of the meat is developed through the natural activities of healthy, energetic chickens. This is considered "specialty fare" and those who have never before experienced a plump, slow roasted Orpington or Chantecler will be amazed and delighted. In order to enjoy this meat to its fullest potential, it is recommended to thaw the bird completely and cook it slowly with extra moisture to keep the meat tender and juicy. All heritage chickens should be prepared for the table in the same manner as they are raised - with care and patience. But when prepared and cooked properly the result is a most pleasurable and memorable dining experience. It is interesting to note that the Chantecler chicken is featured on the Slow Food Canada Ark of Taste. Some additional cooking tips can be found here: modernfarmer.com.
This fall I will offer a limited amount of whole heritage chicken - naturally grown, professionally processed and government inspected. Their dressed weights will vary, but average weight is around 2.5 kgs.
PRICE: Unfortunately, the processing facility has implemented a 50% increase in the cost of processing heritage chickens this year. In order to cover this extra expense, I must also increase the price for my customers to $11.00 per kg ($5.00 per pound).
Freshly processed Orpington and Chantecler chicken will be available in October 2014. Sold whole only. Price includes processing, vacuum-sealed packaging, freezing and government inspection. Please inquire if you have questions or would like some fresh heritage chicken for your family to try.
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