From the Egg to the Table

The entire process of raising poultry here at luckybird 

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2008:

We ordered the first batch of broilers from Privett Hatchery (slow cornish and red broilers) and Freedom Rangers hatchery (Golden Rangers).

Brooding: This batch of chicks was kept toasty warm with a heating lamp in our "studio", a small building on the property. They were able to regulate their own heat by moving towards or away from the heat lamp. Food and water were always available.

Feed: We are currently feeding Hunt & Behrens (Petaluma) Certified Organic Chick Starter. If you would like further information on the ingredients, please see the scanned label below. In addition to the organic feed, we are managing the health of the chicks by giving organic kefir (natural probiotic) as well as organic apple cider vinegar and garlic to boost their immune system and help fight off the diseases young chicks are prone to. Treats from our garden and kitchen are also offered to stimulate their appetite and provide variety. As I write, the birds are enjoying a mixture of plain yogurt, finely shredded carrot and garlic, oat bran and flax meal.

Pasture: The meat birds were moved to pasture once they had enough feathers to keep themselves warm.  They are kept in a pasture pen, moved once a day until they are 8 weeks old; twice a day until 10 weeks.  We keep the pasture irrigated to provide fresh green grass for every move.  The breeds we have chosen forage far more than traditional meat birds - they eagerly hunt down blades of grass and insects on pasture in addition to the organic feed we provide them.  This diet ensures the birds receive the balanced nutrition they require as omnivores, which in turn provides us with nutritious and tasty birds for the table.  See your birds in action on pasture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG0kDHovZ2Q

Processing: When the birds are 10 weeks old we will take them to a USDA inspected slaughterhouse in Sacramento. Prior to this, we will tour the facility to ensure we have a good understanding of their practices and that they are in accordance with our respectful, humane philosophy of raising animals for meat. More information to come.

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2007: We ordered our Cornish Rock X chicks from Welp Hatchery and set up a brooder in the garage, using an old bathtub. The chicks came in a box and were very healthy. Once they had grown enough feathers to keep themselves warm, we built an outdoor pen to keep them in the garden, using Andy Lee's deep bed composting method. We provided wind blocks using straw bales and shade. We didn't have green grass at the time, so fresh straw was added daily and the chicks got tidbits from the kitchen as well as fresh clover we grew for them. They grew beautifully to an average of 6.5 pounds and we humanely harvested them at about 9 weeks in our backyard. Tom roasted our very first bird with herbs grown in the garden and we shared the feast with Katie's parents and grandfather. That bird fed all 5 of us with enough left over for enchiladas the next day! The flavor and texture was amazing; unlike any chicken we had tasted before.