In this video, I tell you all about why I am raising heritage chickens for meat! I take you through my setup and give you the pros and cons of heritage meat birds.
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Why I am Raising Heritage Chickens for Meat
Most of the time, you will see Cornish Cross meat birds. These are the chickens you find in the grocery store. They grow fast and get really big in all the right places. The downside is that they just don’t have the same flavor or nutrition as heritage breeds of chickens raised on pasture.
I was inspired to raise heritage meat chickens by a book I read a couple of years ago. It’s called The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker. In the book, he talks a lot about how our food has changed over the years. We are not only lacking natural flavor in our food but also nutrition. Based on his experience with tasting the difference in a heritage chicken, I knew I had to raise some of my own heritage meat birds so I could see what he was talking about. I highly recommend The Dorito Effect if you have any interest in the history of food, where your food comes from or just love a good, fresh, garden grown meal.
How I am Raising Heritage Chickens for Meat
I am pasture raising my chickens. They have access to my garden as well as a large, fenced in area. I provide the chickens with supplemental feed as well. Heritage breeds take longer to reach maturity, so I will have these for about four months before harvest. Cornish Cross chickens can be ready in 6-8 weeks.
I started with 25 chickens since this is my first time raising them. I ordered these from Cackle Hatchery here in Missouri. Learn more about the breeds in the video!
These chickens have access to lots of grass, bugs and frogs. They have been doing some work in my garden for me as well! I put a chicken door in the fence going from their pasture into my garden. They have been turning up the soil, eating insects and plants and leaving their manure for fertilizer. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Should You Raise Heritage Chickens for Meat?
I am still in the process of finding out if the time and effort it takes to raise these heritage chickens is worth it. I am hoping the flavor and nutrition these chickens provide is worth the extra time. Be on the lookout for more about the meat chickens. Let me know if you have raised meat chickens and what you think.
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The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker I highly recommend this book. It is so interesting. Even though I read it over two years ago, I think about it all the time. It’s kind of hard not to when you are in the grocery store or at a restaurant. Schatzker really opened my eyes to how flavor is so important in nourishing our bodies. The food industry has some sneaky ways to get us to eat less healthy food. The title says it all: have you ever tried to eat just one Dorito?
Cackle Hatchery I bought my chicks from Cackle Hatchery. I ordered 25. They arrived alive and healthy. Make sure that you are ordering from a reputable hatchery.
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