Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to: Easy Chicken Math

We believe in integrity... We believe in the integrity food movement that is sweeping not only our nation, but our world! Everywhere people are waking up to realize how little they know about the food they put into their bodies. That's why we have taken a stand against nameless, shapeless (Yes, "Frozen" shaped chicken nuggets still count as shapeless because I've cut up literally hundreds of chickens and never seen a snowflake...), faceless foods. 

We believe that part of responsibly buying food is knowing where food comes from, who raised it, how it was raised, what it was fed, where it was processed, and most importantly, whether or not it's actually healthy! 

Whether you buy food from us or another local farmer, I encourage you to ask about those important topics.  It would create a post far too long if I told you everything about Bright Arrows Farm all at once... 

 That being said, I just want to answer a three questions in this post. 

1. How does our poultry operation actually operate?
2. What options do we offer for buying poultry?
3. Is it worth it?

First off, how does our poultry operation operate and what makes us different?

 We raise pastured free range chickens. We buy chicks that are shipped to us the day after they hatch. The first thing that differentiates our chicken from industrial chicken is right here. Most industrially raised birds are inoculated and medicated before they reach the farmer. We make sure that none of our birds have ANY medication before or after they come to us! When our chicks arrive they are placed into a "brooder" for several weeks. In this cozy environment with absorbent wood shavings on their floor we can control the temperature to keep the chicks warm enough. They get free access to unmedicated feed and water during this time. 

After the brooder, these adolescent birds move into a portable field structure. These structures are light enough for us to move DAILY to fresh ground. They have no floor. This allows the birds free access to all the grass and bugs they could desire, while protecting them from the sun, wind, rain, and (of course) predators! Here's where most of the differences between our way and the industry's way are noticed.
 Industrially raised chickens 
  •     Are moved directly into climate controlled buildings for the rest of their lives. 
  •     Sometimes have "access" to the outdoors.
  •     Rarely, if ever, actually spend time outside.
  •     Are fed an all grain vegetarian diet

Our Pastured chickens
  •     Are moved from their heated brooder into fresh air pasture shelters.
  •     Have access to outdoors and sunshine 24//7 for at least 5 of their 8 week lifespan
  •     Are actually on the ground scratching, foraging, and eating all day every day
  •     Are offered free choice non-GMO grains to supplement their grass and worms and bugs (chickens are naturally omnivores, just like us!)

 After 8 - 9 weeks, These birds are placed into crates, transported to another part of the farm, and butchered by us! With our model, there is no chaos, no trucking of the birds to an entirely different location, exposing them to noxious exhaust or nasty cages, and the entire carbon footprint is tiny! The impact on the environment is actually beneficial rather than destructive!

Our birds are NOT subjected to an acid or chlorine bath after we've cleaned them! (That's why the color of our birds is different than what you can buy in ANY grocery store! Even organic chickens processed in any USDA inspected facility is mandatorily dunked in acid to "clean" the carcass.

Secondly, What are your options for buying chickens from us?

  Due to the fact that our birds are ON GRASS over half of their lives, we only raise them when we HAVE grass! That's why we don't offer our chickens for sale during the winter!

We offer several opportunities every year for you to pre-order your chickens, usually beginning near March or April!

The birds will be 4 to 6 pounds whole. This includes the neck, skin, and bones.

  • Our price for the whole bird is $3.85 per pound (packaged) if you order 1-14.  This makes your bird $15.40 - $23.10. (Remember, you will get 6 - 8 cups of boneless skinless chicken from each bird. That makes up to 4 entire casseroles! See previous post.)

  • For orders of 15 or more the price is $3.45 per pound. This makes whole birds $13.80 - $20.70. That's a savings of $1.60 - $2.40 per bird! If you multiply that savings by 15 that's a total savings of $24 - $36.

 Here's where it gets really good!! If one 9"x13" casserole feeds 6 - 8 people, a $20 chicken could produce 4 casseroles. The chicken in each casserole would only be $0.41 per serving!!! 

We often encourage friends to go in with their family or friends to meet this bulk discount - we  only ask that there be one representative to place the order and accept delivery of bulk orders. 

We also offer hearts, livers, heads, gizzards, and feet. (Liver Pate or bone broth anyone?) 

According to the USDA, an average family of 4 spends anywhere between $719 and $1062 per month on food.

Buying 15 chickens from Bright Arrows Farm will cost approximately (this is a high estimate) $300. If you use 1 chicken every week (see previous post), that supply will last you over 3 months! That's less than $90 per month on clean, healthy, lean protein! 

And that's just whole birds!

We also offer our birds cut up. For just $4.85 per pound we'll do the work of separating your bird into pieces for you! When we cut up your birds you will receive two boneless skinless breasts, two wings, two leg and thigh pieces, two chicken tenders, and the back with bones and skin. When you receive your bird we recommend separating your pieces into freezer bags so that you can pull them out individually as you need them!

In closing - Is it worth it?


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